Feature: Vertical farm offers DIY harvest in Danish supermarkets

2021-03-17 15:05:58 GMT2021-03-17 23:05:58(Beijing Time) Xinhua English

COPENHAGEN, March 17 (Xinhua) -- Cultivated without soil and sunlight, what do plants grown in a vertical farm look like? How do they taste? The answers can now be found in Denmark's supermarkets.

The Irma supermarket chain has teamed up with vertical farming company InFarm to sell fresh herbs grown inside Irma's 35 largest stores in the Copenhagen area.

"The taste of the herbs is very, very strong and very good, so you don't need to use as much of them as you would normally use," customer Bjarne Larsen told Xinhua after tasting a rosemary leaf.

Following successful pilot projects with individual herbs grown in special cabinets, Irma and InFarm now also sell boxed herbs grown and harvested in stores.

"Besides herbs, we have recently launched salads from InFarm," said Michael Nielsen, concept manager at Irma. "We have two varieties, Salad Trio and Crystal Salad. Both are very crispy, fresh and have a unique and powerful taste."

Since late 2019, collaboration with Irma has paved the way for InFarm to invest in a large production facility on the outskirts of Greater Copenhagen. Initially sown in vertical farms, the seedlings are later transported to Irma stores where they will grow.

According to InFarm, growing the plants in vertical farms and special in-store cabinets means they consume 95 percent less water, need no pesticides and chemicals at all, and reduce transportation costs by 90 percent.

"Customers are actually very happy about vertical farming," commented Irma Chain Director Rikke Wolff. "They find sustainability very important, and this method helps achieve sustainable growth, allowing us to use fewer resources but to end up with high-end quality products that are really, really tasteful. So, we achieve the best of both worlds: sustainable as well as high quality." Enditem