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US (CA): Cityblooms’ automated hydroponic micro-farm grows nutritious produce on Plantronics Company Campus
Plantronics Inc. is pioneering the use of on-site food production to boost employee nutrition as part of the company’s global commitment to sustainability. Through a joint project with Santa Cruz-based Cityblooms, a prototype computer-automated farm has been installed at the Plantronics headquarters and is being powered by the company’s existing solar energy system.
The hydroponic micro-farm produces bi-weekly harvests of premium leafy greens and vegetables for the on-site cafe operated by Bon Appetit Management Company, a national leader in socially and environmentally responsible food service. “By locating these micro-farms close to the point of consumption, we measure farm-to-fork distances in yards, rather than miles,” said Nick Halmos, Cityblooms founder. “We eliminate the financial and environmental costs associated with food waste and food transportation.”
“We all know that fresher produce definitely tastes better,” said Ken Kannappan, President and CEO of Plantronics. “But the benefits include better nutrition for our employees. Store-bought lettuce, for example, can lose up to half its Vitamin C in the average of five days it takes from harvest to home. Just as important, we save more than 10,000 gallons of water annually through Cityblooms’ recirculation system, while eliminating environmental contamination from fertilizer run off. Our relationship with Cityblooms has helped Plantronics operate conscientiously in a way that is consistent with our values and commitment to the environment.”
In response to the increasing challenge of making quality food accessible in urban centres, Cityblooms has spent a decade developing its patent-pending, innovative technology. The company has focused on urban farming solutions that are modular, lightweight, efficient to operate, and that can be easily replicated on rooftops and in other underutilized spaces, the approach is made possible through advanced technology. “Using the power of the Web, cloud computing, and Internet-of-Things (IoT) sensor networks, Cityblooms represents the future of urban farming,” said Halmos.
This year, Bon Appetit is celebrating the 15th anniversary of its Farm to Fork program, through which all of its chefs are required to purchase at least 20 percent of their ingredients from small farms located within 150 miles of their kitchens. “I’m excited to see this partnership between our chefs and Cityblooms grow at Plantronics,” said Bon Appetit CEO Fedele Bauccio. “Combining cutting-edge growing technology and fresh, delicious greens sounds like a winning recipe to me.”
For more information:
T: +1 800 544 4660
Bon Appetit Management Company
Publication date: 10/29/2014
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