Swegreen inks contract with ICA Focus in Gothenburg, to become the exclusive producer of hyper locally grown vegetables via an automated cultivation system inside the store itself. The agreement is based on Swegreen’s subscription-based Farming-as-a-Service, which gives food retailers and restaurants the opportunity to offer their customers fresh crops all year round – harvested directly on site or in store.
The contract between Swegreen and ICA Focus concludes that the Gothenburg-based store will be the first in Sweden to offer its customers hyper-locally produced greens grown from seed to fully-grown size inside a store itself. The cultivation facility, which is provided by the Swedish startup company Swegreen, is based on so-called hydroponic cultivation technology that is both resource efficient and climate smart. The technical solution also includes the company’s special lighting and nutrient recipe, air conditioning system for control of heat, humidity and CO2 content plus a complete digital monitoring – as well as a data-driven intelligent system for optimization of all cultivation processes.
Through Swegreen’s subscription-based business model, Farming-as-a-Service (FaaS), the cooperation between the parties is based on a long-term commitment where Swegreen ensures efficient production at agreed volumes and quality.
– Our FaaS model means that every store and restaurant owner can offer hyper-local, fresh and high-quality crops that are fantastically nutritious and tasty – at very competitive prices, says Swegreen’s CEO, Andreas Dahlin.
– We are very proud and happy to start this collaboration with ICA Focus. It is a store which has the will to be at the forefront, and we think there are going to be many who desire to follow their footsteps.
ICA Focus is located in the Gårda district in central Gothenburg, just a stone’s throw away from the famous amusement park, Liseberg, and the Swedish Exhibition and WTC. A flagship store which always has a large assortment of environmental-friendly products.
– Our customers have demanded more locally produced and sustainable greens in our assortment – and it will not be more local and greener than this! Says Daniel Åkerhage, Store Manager at ICA Focus.
– Now we look forward to our first on-site harvest, which we expect to take place later this month.
At full capacity, it is possible to deliver and harvest around 300 units of fresh salad heads and herbs per day in the cultivation facility in the ICA Focus store.
With hydroponic cultivation technology, where the crops grow without soil with lighting from special LED lamps, it is possible to grow vegetables in an urban environment – and thus produce food very close to the consumer. It also removes unnecessary, expensive and climate-damaging transportations. In addition, the crops do not need to be sprayed by pesticides or herbicides – they are ready to be eaten directly off the growing system. Up to 95% of the irrigation water is reused via the recycling system. Nutrients are also recycled, while the plants receive carbon dioxide through a filtered air intake from the store itself.
Swegreen has developed the cultivation module to be able to create integrated plant environments together with partners in the food and restaurant sector. Therefore, Swegreen has developed a cloud-based control- and monitoring system to make production easy to manage. Through data collection of current factors in the cultivation environment, the system can continuously refine and further optimize the cultivation processes by use of artificial intelligence.