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As the demand for fresh, healthy and pesticide free food increases in Japan, the food provider for the chain 7-Eleven is turning to vertical farms to ensure a year-round supply of high quality vegetables.

The first of these farms have already started operating with the help of Signify and using the Philips GreenPower LED production module to help determine the optimal light recipe to produce crops with higher vitamin levels and nutritional values. The light recipe refers to the dedicated combinations of spectrum, intensity, moment of lighting, uniformity, and positioning which are customized for each situation. “After years of research with Tamagawa University, CCS and the plant specialists at Signify, we have found our recipe for growth with Philips GreenPower LED production modules, which allow us to fully control the growth cycle of our crops with the right lighting strategy,” said the president of the food supplier company.

The LED lights, not only “makes it possible to steer the cultivation process by adjusting the color, duration, and positioning of the lighting,” but also can reflect on productivity. The total growth cycle of lettuce went from 70 days in the open field to 39 days under the light recipe of the vertical farm.

The technology use also ensures year-round supply of high quality vegetables, avoiding any food supply risks especially those resulting from climate change. “It’s difficult to get a good quality and stable food supply from the open field due to the effect of climate change on crop growth,” said Mr. Kazuki Furuya, President of 7-Eleven.

In order to guarantee hygiene and to improve production times, the Japanese farm is completely automated. Robots are in charge of the logistics and manual operation is minimal.