Russian retailer to build greenhouses for growing strawberries and blueberries

Magnit, a Russian retail company, is constructing a berry production facility. The construction will begin in 2022 at the company's Tikhoretsk greenhouse complex in the Krasnodar region. The plant is scheduled to open in 2023. The new complex will have an area of 16 hectares, with 6 hectares allocated for garden strawberries and 10 hectares for blueberries, which will allow growing 1,229 tons of strawberries and 95 tons of blueberries per year.

The facility will produce fruits all year round. A special system will move the trays used to grow the berries in order to ensure the maximum effect from the additional lighting and make it more convenient for employees to access the plants to handle them and harvest the fruits. The blueberries will be grown outdoors. When the production reaches its projected capacity, Magnit plans to replace a significant share of berry imports with a domestic product, especially during the off-season periods.

Design stage
Right now, the company is preparing the project design; during the construction phase, European consultants will be engaged. The launch of its own greenhouse complex will provide Magnit with high-quality berries thanks to total control over the entire production process and logistics and ensure an attractive shelf price for the product. Implementation of the project on the basis of the existing Tikhoretsk greenhouse complex will optimize capital expenditures and reduce the payback period. The berries will be sold under the private labels of the retail chain.

Ekaterina Lobanova, Director of Commercial Procurement and Category Management Support at Magnit retail chain, said “We are planning to use the most advanced technologies for growing berries and significantly improve the quality of these products in our stores. We plan to use “one-touch” picking for the berries to preserve their consumer properties. After picking, berries will be immediately sent for vacuum cooling and then delivered to the Company’s distribution centers by our own vehicles while maintaining the temperature”.

Yulia Krymova, Director of Fruits and Vegetables Category Department of Magnit retail chain, said “Consumption of strawberries and blueberries in Russia is below the global average, and we see significant potential for the development of these products in Magnit. The launch of our own production facility coupled with our logistics capabilities will allow us to offer delicious and high-quality berries to our customers, to flexibly respond to changing preferences, and to expand the presence of new products depending on the demand. We want to make the berry offering in our stores as affordable as possible”.

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