In schools and universities in America, the catering and service provider Sodexo wants to produce fresh vegetables all year round via indoor farming. To this end, the company is cooperating with the US hydroponics provider Freight Farms. Vertically, lettuce is to grow there in containers on the campus.
More than 500 vegetable varieties, such as Salanova green butter lettuce (pictured), can be grown on a commercial scale in Freight Farms' containers with 320 square meters of vertical cultivation area - regardless of the season and without pesticides or herbicides. This type of vegetable cultivation also eliminates delivery routes.
With this cooperation, Sodexo is pursuing its strategy of operating as sustainably as possible while at the same time being fully informed about the origin of its food for customers in the education segment.
In addition, students will be able to follow the growing phases of their food. For example, schools could use hydroponic farming to integrate vegetable cultivation into interactive curricula or school subjects such as technology, agriculture, nutrition and economics, according to Freight Farms' approach. The vertical farming provider also sees similar advantages for employees when the containers are used in companies.
So far, vegetables are growing in freight farm containers in 25 countries and 44 states of the USA - in small and medium-sized companies, hospitals, as well as in retail and non-profit organizations, according to the information. According to the information, 35 school facilities are now working with the hydroponics system. The number is expected to grow rapidly through cooperation with Sodexo.