Signify has signed a business and recipe development agreement with an agricultural company in Korea, Woodeumgee Farm (WDG farm), to increase the production of Tomango and improve fruit quality through Philips horticulture lighting solution.
Dutch technology embedded in horticulture
WDG farm is operating a Korean semi-enclosed smart farm greenhouse and will be the first agricultural corporation to be listed on the KOSDAQ in 2022. Chairman Ho-yeon Kim became interested in the smart farm business model after touring smart farms in the Netherlands in 2013 and was greatly impressed by much higher production within the same crop area. After that tour, he put all his effort into making a smart farm in Korea, following a systematic crop plantation approach based on proven Dutch technology within a smart farm setting.
The farm in Korea is pursuing high-tech cultivation
As such, WDG farm was selected as an excellent example of a leading business in the smart farm filed at the "2018 Korea Innovation Growth Reporting Contest" and recognized as a representative smart farm in Korea. WDG farm Chairman Ho-yeon Kim said, "I am delighted to be able to collaborate with Signify Korea, which provides solutions for plant cultivation lighting based on a crop-specific light recipe. In particular, he was attracted to Signify's way of working, which provides spectrums and light recipes optimized for each crop and variety and provides consultation on lighting operation by plant specialists. We will work closely together so that we can fulfill our roles and responsibilities as a leading agricultural company." Tomango, which means 'sweet tomato-like mango,' is a new variety product developed and patented by agricultural company WDG farm using FDA-approved natural sweetener stevia in 2019.
Chairman Ho-yoen Kim day and night in WDG farm
LED vs. HPS
A majority of growers in Korea use HPS (high-pressure sodium lamp) solution as a supplemental light source which consumes much higher energy, and it's also for heat generation in order to maintain a specific temperature within the greenhouse. HPS has been attractive to growers for many years at a reasonable purchasing cost. Philips LED GreenPower top lighting solution, however, can provide crop-specific light recipes to enhance Tomango production and fruit quality. This is based on a unique triangle approach starting from a technically trained key account manager's analysis of existing crop conditions, an application engineer's crop simulation, and a plant specialist's consulting service around each crop. As tomato price in summer season is at peak and securing stable production in summer season is key to the success of whole year cultivation.
HPS lamp typically shows yellowish color
Sustainable local food produce via science-based growth recipes
Stable year-round production is important because of abnormal climate condition that has been a threat to growers who are struggling to meet the balance of food supply & demand, especially impacted by unexpected longer monsoon season or winter season. Large-scale growers such as WDG farms are commonly requested by retail companies to provide agreed tons of Tomango per year.
Signify Korea is headquartered in the Netherlands, where the penetration rate of advanced farming methods is about 99%. Although the Netherlands is a small country with a dense population similar size of Gyeongsang-do, Korea, it is the world's second-largest exporter of agricultural products. Recently, the Netherlands has been focusing on improving the price competitiveness and quality of agricultural products in consideration of sustainability, such as promoting a policy to change the structure of agriculture to circular agriculture.
Yongnam Kang, market leader far east, is on the left
"Philips horticulture LED solution helps achieve maximum productivity via proven light recipe while minimizing energy use," said Yongnam Kang, market leader, far east. He continued, "Through this MOU agreement with WDG farm, we will spare no effort to provide a fresh harvest of various crops, including Tomango, in a sustainable way throughout the year.