Himmelgrønt will be jointly owned by the firms and see the launch of a fully automated vertical farm next to the Avisomo offices at Gardermoen, Norway. Construction is set to commence in February 2024.
Established in 2018, Avisomo is a Norwegian start-up company which provides vertical farms with a range of ‘growth stations’ and automation software that controls lighting, irrigation, and fertilisation. The technology firm even has robots that assist in the transportation and processing of growing modules:
“It is fantastically exciting to develop our technology in collaboration with Coop in Norway, which has enormous expertise in industrial food production, and not least has sales channels for this. This will help us test out our technology, as a basis for our international expansion.” said Martin Molenaar, General Manager of Avisomo.
“Avisomo has ambitions to become a supplier of vertical systems to the whole world, but first we will help Coop succeed in growing great salad products in order to provide their customers with products of high quality and with a lower climate footprint,” added Molenaar.
With more frequent occurrences of extreme weather events such as droughts and floods in southern Europe, Coop Norway is finding it increasingly challenging to ensure stable deliveries of certain types of salads for its consumers. Norway is also increasingly affected by unusual weather itself and Coop Norway sees that indoor cultivation will become a larger part of the future solution for safe food production.
“Products such as arugula, spinach and other leafy salads are largely imported from areas where climate change makes deliveries increasingly uncertain. Indoor cultivation in a closed climate will give access to Norwegian-grown products of higher quality all year round. We will get more stable access, in addition to a significantly lower climate footprint by reducing transport from Europe.” says Hege Berg-Knutsen, CEO of Coop Norway.
“With reduced food waste, longer shelf life, and completely clean products free of pesticide residues, this will be a win-win solution for the environment and our customers. Vertically grown products will benefit our consumers, who also own us, in the form of a better and more climate-friendly selection, with a longer shelf life and a completely different taste experience than we get from today’s production” concluded Berg-Knutsen.