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Switzerland: Hydroponic greenhouse expectations surpassed
Migros Aare in Switzerland obtains oak leaf lettuce and a three-lettuce combo from Forster Salatgarten that cultivates the lettuce in the carbon-neutral hydroponic greenhouse in Oftringen. Migros already sold about 800,000 of these lettuce varieties. Due to the year-round production, the import of oak leaf lettuce has been reduced by 13%. By the end of March 2017, a CO2 reduction of 46 metric ton could be achieved.
The hydroponic greenhouse in Oftringen (about 60 km west of Zurich) is designed and built by Patrick Forster, the managing director of Trachsel in Pfaffnau. Migros Aare was convinced by the advantages and supported the project by committing to a purchase of 2 million lettuces per year.
Hydroponics cultivation has a promising future; this is partly due to the reduced availability of agricultural land in Switzerland. For example, to produce the same amount of lettuce, the area can be 8 times smaller and 70% less water is needed. Furthermore the use of fertilizer and crop protection chemicals can be reduced with resp. 50% and 90%.
Regional production and supply chain
Thanks to the hydroponic greenhouse the entire lettuce production and supply chain stays in the Aargau region the whole year round. Migros Aare reduced the import of lettuce with 13% that is about 200,000 heads of lettuce.
The greenhouse is carbon-neutral and heated by the surplus heat of the neighboring incinerator. This system will lead to a reduction of about 46 metric tons of CO2, compared to a greenhouse heated with fossil fuel, in the period of December 2016 to March 2017. According to the calculations of "myclimate", a Swiss climate protection foundation, this corresponds to a 180,000 km car journey.
Publication date: 1/5/2017
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