During MTV News’ visit to Netled head office, we arranged a taste test to see which strawberry would win: a Finnish “winter strawberry” grown with vertical farming technology in a completely controlled indoor environment or an imported Moroccan strawberry grown under the North African sun.
As with the earlier MTV interview, the taste test is in Finnish, but here is an overview in English:
“The strawberries are clearly bigger than the other strawberries.” says MTV journalist, Ville Kettunen, who is taking the taste on behalf of MTV News.
“The size is generally defined by the variety of strawberry. It’s probably a different variety from strawberry number 2. Currently, there are no varieties specific to vertical farming, but they are probably coming soon.” CEO, Niko Kivioja, states.
“If we think about the end products, be they strawberries, basil or lettuce, vertical farming allows the plant to reach its genetic maximum in terms of quality and growth rate. This is because there are no unexpected changes in the controlled growing environment as there are in greenhouse or open-field agriculture.” he explains.
“Strawberries never disappoint!” exclaims Kettunen.
“It’s a good-looking strawberry,” he continues, “but I can’t write ‘good-looking’ on the score sheet, I have to give it a number.”
The strawberries were scored according to the standard 4 – 10 points-scale used in all Finnish schools.
The scores for Strawberry 1:
“Well, this looks like a perfect strawberry.” says Kettunen.
“This is more like what Finns are used to out in the strawberry fields.” Kivioja suggests.
“This tastes ‘juicy’!” exclaims Kettunen. “It has a strong flavor; a really intense flavor.” he continues.
“In my opinion, the flavor is very close to what you would get if you bought strawberries from a market stall in July.” says Kivioja.
The scores for Strawberry 2:
Winter Strawberry wins the day
The winner is clearly the vertically farmed Finnish strawberry with an average of 8.5 points out of 10 compared to the imported strawberry with an average of 6.5 points.
The Finnish strawberry was grown in the middle of Finnish winter where outside temperatures are as low as -20 degrees Celsius and there are only a few hours of daylight.
Netled’s vertical farming systems completely remove the plant’s dependence on weather or seasons. Fresh Finnish-grown strawberries are a reality every day of the year.
“What this shows is that vertical farming clearly has the potential to bring real added value to consumers” Kivioja concludes.
You can watch the full taste test video (in Finnish) here: https://buff.ly/3I5F04t