Swegreen and Ica Maxi Solna launch Stockholm's largest In-Store farm
By installing Swegreen's in-store farm, Ica Maxi Supermarket in Solna is taking the concept of locally produced food to a whole new level and produced leafy greens and herbs on-site inside the store itself. The facility provides the Maxi store with the opportunity to offer its customers top quality, fresh and hyper-locally produced greens, all year round.
Swegreen's In-Store farming solution makes the Ica Maxi store in Solna the first of Stockholm's supermarkets to produce leafy green and herbs on a large scale inside the store themselves. Every day, the store's staff will be able to harvest fresh greens from a climate-smart cultivation system where energy, water and nutrients are recycled and reused in a sustainable manner.
- We want to be able to offer something unique to our customers, products that are not only climate-smart but also locally produced. With this facility we are making a major investment in our fruit and greens department, which increasingly is becoming a more important part of our assortment. Says Christofer Spångberg, Store Manager for Ica Maxi Solna.
The vertical farming facility, which takes place in the stores' fruit & vegetables' department, has transparent glass walls from the floor to the ceiling, so that customers could observe and watch how the cultivation process is taking place. The technology that is used is called vertical farming and hydroponic cultivation - a modern and very sustainable way of growing food in which there is no need for using soil and nutrition becomes available for the plants via nutrient-rich irrigation water, which is recycled in a circular system.
The cultivation unit itself is a completely closed- and controlled environment and the growing process is digitally monitored via IoT devices and sensors. The environment of the growing facility is controlled precisely and is optimized for the best growing condition to lead to maximum taste and high nutrition content for the produce.
The Swedish agtech company Swegreen lies behind the innovation itself, and has developed both the cultivation technology and the hardware and also the digitalized control platform and Cloud system which, by using artificial intelligence, manages and optimizes the crops' growth.
- We are very proud to work with the Ica Maxi Solna team on this new installation. Their commitment to the project - and to hyper-locally and climate smartly produce food - shows that this is a store that lies at the forefront of sustainability advocacy, says Swegreen's CEO Andreas Dahlin.
- Normal vegetables sold in the Swedish supermarkets travel an average of 3,000 kilometers, while our crops are produced on-site and are free of any transportation at all. Of course, it gives better durability, freshness, texture - and better taste and higher nutritional content, Andreas Dahlin continues.
Ica Maxi Solna's new In-Store farm is ready to deliver greens from the beginning of September and will then be able to supply the store with different kinds of herbs and spices. Greens such as coriander, basil, dill, and parsley, and also different kinds of lettuces such as Romaine and Oakleaf.
Swegreen's technology and solution guarantees locally produced and high-quality crops that have the highest class in taste and nutritional value, and that is completely free from chemicals and pesticides.
- With fresh vegetables produced in the store itself, we strengthen our offer and commitment to our customers. It feels fantastic and during the autumn, we will be able to provide our customers with several exciting surprises from our own farm, says Christofer Spångberg.
More facts on Swegreen's In-Store Farm c for Ica Maxi Supermarket in Solna:
- The cultivation room is 60 square meters
- It consists of four vertical layers, with elevators and automated robot arms for best efficiency
- We use hydroponic cultivation technology
- The plants receive light through a system of LED lights with a light recipe that is optimized for Swegreen's leafy vegetables
- The irrigation system is completely circular - all water that is not absorbed by the plants can be recycled
- Through optimized conditions inside the cultivation, unit, we produce 100 times more efficient and effective compared to traditional farming
- No transports - everything grows from seed to fully grown plants inside the plant itself
- The unit is protected by filters and advanced technology to keep any pests, insects or bacterias enter the cultivation area, hence there is no need for pesticides or synthetic chemicals.