Metro Cash & Carry Germany has started growing herbs and vegetables on site at its wholesale store in the Berlin district of Friedrichshain, using a high-tech kitchen garden developed by local start-up company INFARM.
The system lets the store’s employees grow herbs and vegetables on a thin, nutrient-rich layer of water in a space-saving vertical growing facility.
This type of cultivation, known as hydroponics, means that Metro Berlin-Friedrichshain’s customers can buy the freshest-possible produce. It has also allowed Metro to shrink its carbon footprint by cutting out the need for transport, and it doesn’t require any pesticides.
The managing director of Metro Cash & Carry Germany, Axel Hluchy, commented, “The in-store farming concept shows how we are using innovations to shape tomorrow’s retail and wholesale. We are increasing the benefit for our customers and, at the same time, conserving resources.”
So far, the store has seen various herbs and vegetables thriving on just around five metres of space. Each plant is provided with the optimum amount of nutrients and light to grow, ensuring that it develops a more intense flavour naturally.
The products are packaged while they are still growing, so that they do not need to be harvested until shortly before they will be used.
Frank Niemann, store manager at Metro Berlin-Friedrichshain, praised the project, saying, “Our gastronomy customers, in particular, are delighted. Harvesting directly in the kitchen enables a unique, full flavour.”
© 2016 European Supermarket Magazine – your source for the latest retail news. Article by Jenny Whelan. To subscribe to ESM: The European Supermarket Magazine, click here.