Netled strengthens its position as the leading vertical farming technology provider in the Nordics, as its client, Finnish startup Tuoretarha Ltd. (“Fresh Garden”), begins commercial-scale herb production in Pirkkala, Western Finland.
The farm is the first fully automized commercial-scale vertical farm in Finland with a production volume of 1.3 million pieces per year. The production begins with seven different herb variants: basil, dill, cilantro, parsley, chive, thyme, and mint, with more to come.
The farm will supply local grocery stores and HORECA clients within around a 50-mile radius, and the herbs will be available for clients and consumers in March 2023.
“Agricultural productivity can be developed in many ways with technology. For Tuoretarha, Vyrtti brand, and Finnish consumers, Netled’s vertical farming technology is not only a step but a leap towards the green transition”, says Hannu Kottonen, the Chairman of the Board of Tuoretarha Ltd.
Consumers look for freshness, taste, and copiousness
According to consumer research carried out by Tuoretarha Ltd., the most important factors affecting consumers’ purchase decision in the herb category are freshness, taste, and the copiousness of the herb. The research was answered by 1300 Finnish consumers who purchase fresh herbs at least once a month.
Vertical farming comes with many environmental, financial, and product quality-related benefits. The production is done indoors in a totally controlled environment and is highly automated. This results in stronger taste and longer shelf life. With the Vera vertical farming system, production can be up to 2.5 times larger, energy consumption 70% lower, and water consumption up to 95% lower when compared to traditional greenhouses.
Vertical farming offers security of supply by allowing for cultivation all year round. Vertical farms can be located close to the consumer resulting in fewer food miles and access to fresher produce.
Nordic market leader ready for the US markets
The Nordic region is one of the most challenging places on earth to grow food, with Finland being the world’s northernmost agricultural country. Netled’s roots derive from organic tomato growing and decades of experience in successfully growing fresh produce in this challenging climate.
As a turn-key vertical farming project provider, Netled is not just a technology company, but also performs all services and support needed for building a commercially viable vertical farming business.
Tuoretarha Ltd.’s farm is the second commercial-scale vertical farm in the Nordics utilizing Netled’s proprietary Vera® technology. Netled’s client, Oh My Greens, has produced herbs for ICA, the leading grocery retailer in Sweden, since June 2022.
“Based on the feedback we have received from the Vera® farm in Sweden, we are confident that sustainability and high product quality is the combination consumers are really looking for today”, says Niko Kivioja, CEO of Netled.
“Facility in Finland is a logical step for Netled in our path in the Nordic market area. Simultaneously, we are building our presence in the US and bringing our expertise overseas”.
Samples of Netled’s fresh herbs and lettuces are available from its North American demo facility in Calgary, Canada. Later this month, on February 27-28, Netled will be exhibiting at the largest trade show and conference in the USA for indoor agriculture, Indoor AgCon.
“We are eager to discuss our latest project at Indoor AgCon in Las Vegas”, Kivioja continues.