Dr. Thani bin Ahmed Al Zeyoudi, Minister of Climate Change and Environment, has inaugurated the region’s first hydroponic in-store farms at Carrefour, operated by Majid Al Futtaim.
Located at Carrefour’s stores in Abu Dhabi’s My City Centre Masdar and Yas Mall, the hydroponic farms are part of the company’s Net Positive strategy that aims to overcompensate its water and carbon footprint by 2040.
In addition to Dr. Al Zeyoudi, Ibrahim Al-Zu'bi, Chief Sustainability Officer at Majid Al Futtaim Holding; Miguel Povedano, Chief Operating Officer of Carrefour UAE and Head of Operational Excellence at Majid Al Futtaim Retail; Philippe Peguilhan, Country Manager of Carrefour UAE at Majid Al Futtaim Retail; and other senior officials from the Ministry of Climate Change and Environment, MOCCAE, and Majid Al Futtaim attended the inauguration.
Speaking on the inauguration, Dr. Al Zeyoudi said: "The UAE spares no effort in leveraging new technologies and innovative solutions to reach high levels of sustainability across the board. In this context, MOCCAE supports technological development and innovative techniques in the agricultural sector, including vertical and hydroponic farming that reduces water consumption by at least 90 percent and increases the productivity of multiple agricultural products. The Ministry constantly encourages farmers to adopt modern farming methods through providing subsidized agricultural inputs and guidance."
Dr. Al Zeyoudi acknowledged the achievements of Majid Al Futtaim in initiating projects that harness new farming techniques and contributing to meeting the country’s sustainability goals.
He also applauded Al Serkal Group that helped bring the project to fruition by providing innovative technologies that support the sustainability of the agricultural sector.
Miguel Povedano praised the efforts of Dr. Al Zeyoudi in supporting sustainable farming in the UAE. Speaking on the launch, he said: "As leaders in the retail industry, we should always be the pioneers in coming up with outstanding sustainable initiatives that leave a positive impact on our environment, economy and society. As well as supplying our customers with fresh quality produce, the hydroponic farms will allow them to learn about the role of technology and innovation in the development of local agricultural production."
Carrefour’s hydroponic farms are the result of a recently renewed memorandum of understanding between MOCCAE and Majid Al Futtaim Retail to sell locally grown agricultural products across all Carrefour stores in the UAE and enhance the use of innovative farming methods. The two farms are the first of their kind to be installed in the region. They use 90 percent less water and less space than traditional farms to deliver around 25 kg of fresh herbs and microgreens a day.
The isolated and temperature-controlled glass farming chambers were designed in line with the highest standards of hydroponics. While not accessible, the farms are visible to consumers at the stores, significantly enhancing their shopping experience. With virtually no food miles involved, customers are free to choose from a select range of herbs and microgreens, once fully grown, at the store.