Retail micro-farming is indeed food for thought for our retail grocery shopping outlets, supermarkets, hypermarkets and restaurants.
A standout reason is demand for city-grown food – without the transportation cost and with appeal to local-oriented eaters – will only continue to grow as the population continues to urbanise.
Online publication WebUrbanist reported that Ikea’s “indoor gardens” are expected to produce food year round for homes and restaurants with its launch of a hydroponic gardening system that enables people to grow fresh produce at home without soil or sunlight.
It has also unveiled a similar system now under development and is aimed at helping restaurants raise ingredients in-house.
Ikea’s KRYDDA/VAXER hydroponic garden lets seeds sprout without soil, using absorbent foam plugs that keep plants moist. Germinated seeds can then be transferred to pots fitted into a growing tray with a solar lamp. The system is very easy to use, even by inexpert gardeners.
Meanwhile, in another bit to expand its sustainability model beyond furniture, furnishings and fixtures, Ikea has teamed up with Space 10 to create The Farm in Copenhagen, Denmark, an aquaponic garden system for restaurants.
The two companies are further developing the prototype system for mass production and commercial deployment.
The Farm prototype can even create a complete burger on site made of mealworm, beetroot and gluten and top with freshly grown herbs and lettuce.
It is similar to a system developed in Germany that enables grocery stores to grow and sell their own fresh produce. They offer fresh organic crops alongside conventional ones right in a retail grocery shopping outlet.
Elsewhere, American discount retailer Target’s new in-store micro-farms are expected to offer the freshest possible produce such as leafy greens and herbs to consumers initially and potatoes, beets, zucchinis, tomatoes and peppers eventually.