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In November 2018, Japan's largest convenience store, 7-11, announced the establishment of a large vertical farm in Tokyo to supply vegetables to its stores.
The modern plant factory is built by Prime Delica, a company that has been supplying quality cooked food to 7-11 for a long time. The vertical farm uses the LED grow lights as the main light sources for the growth of the crops.
The LED plant grow lights help Prime Delica grow crops with high vitamin levels and nutritional value. Prime Delica uses different light formulations at various stages of growth for different crops and pre-harvest treatments to increase vitamin C levels to meet functional food requirements. In addition to high quality, crops grown on modern plant factories have low levels of bacteria and do not require pesticides during growth.
In addition, the growth can be controlled through adjusting the spectrum, illumination time, and position of the LED lighting in vertical farms, so as to the producers can stabilize the supply of vegetables. Prime Delica collaborated with plant experts from Tamagawa University, CCS and Yannofei to develop a crop growth formula using the LED agricultural lighting fixtures. Researchers use the right spectrum combination to help them fully control the crop's growth cycle.
The vertical farm is automated from seeding to harvesting, minimizing manual time and improving crop health. Today, the entire growth cycle of lettuce from sowing to harvesting takes only about 39 days, while the growth cycle of traditional open-air farm lettuce takes 70 days. Moreover, the factory's lettuce production can reach 3200 kg per day.
Prime Delica chairman Masayoshi Saito said that although the cost of each lettuce in a vertical farm is higher than the cost of lettuce in a traditional farm, the overall cost of the process is greatly reduced in terms of logistics, inspection, and washing, and there is almost no waste.
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