Dutch fresh produce company Levarht has revealed plans to establish sustainable production of lettuce, babyleaf salad and herbs in Al Ain, in the United Arab Emirates, by harnessing new technology and suitable varieties.
Together with its business partner GrowGroup, the company said it wanted to mix vertical and traditional ‘horizontal’ methods of farming to produce crops in a modern, efficient and pesticide-free manner – within a closed environment under LED lighting – before packing them as ready-to-eat salad products.
Levarht will work in close cooperation with knowledge partners Philips Lighting, Rijk Zwaan and Delphy as it undertakes the new venture, building on their unique expertise and knowledge, it said.
“Our joint objective is to serve the final consumer fresh lettuces and herbs, and completely free from any pesticides or other forms of crop-protection,” the group said in a statement.
“By selecting the tastiest crops, the strongest varieties and establishing clean production, we are able to serve the consumer the best produce within 24 hours after harvest, ready-to-eat. Our products are so clean, we don’t even have to wash [them] before packing.”
The spokesperson added: “By creating a completely closed environment in production, using the latest generation of LED lighting, we can reduce the usage of water and energy to a minimum.
“We also see a great opportunity in growing close to the stores and final consumer. Local production enables us to reduce mileage and imports. So not only fresher produce on the shelves, but also a step forwards in protecting the environment.
“We have found in each other strong partners, who share the philosophy of not only changing, but especially improving farming techniques and serving the consumer fresher, cleaner and tastier product. Partners sharing their unique expertise… the best example of ‘bringing the best together’.”