Belgian retailer Colruyt Group has introduced basil grown in its own vertical farms under its Boni Selection store brand.
The herb is available in 31 Bio-Planet stores and online via the Collect&Go service.
The retailer plans to roll out vertically farmed coriander later in the year.
In November 2018, the retail group announced that it has developed a new 'vertical farming' system, which will enable high quality plants to be grown with a small ecological footprint.
The cultivation process is pesticide-free and requires 90% less water and 20 times less space compared to traditional farming.
The farm is energy efficient as it operates on 100% green electricity generated by wind turbines and solar panels and uses low-cost LED lighting developed by the company.
Fabrice Gobbato, managing director of Bio-Planet, commented, "An added benefit is that we only use purified rainwater, which we collect on the roof of our distribution centre."
The retail giant has integrated the farm in one of its distribution centres in Halle, thereby reduced the distance from the warehouse to stores by one fifth.
Gobbato explained, "We want to offer our customers products that are sustainable, local and innovative. We believe that vertical farming could be the answer to our customers’ rising expectations in terms of responsible consumption."
© 2020 European Supermarket Magazine – your source for the latest retail news. Article by Dayeeta Das. Click subscribe to sign up to ESM: European Supermarket Magazine.