The Norwegian Research Council has approved an application from retail group Bama for a project that can contribute to increasing production and value creation in the greenhouse industry.
“The overall idea is to create value growth with the goal of increased Norwegian production and increased consumption of, among other things, cucumbers and tomatoes in an increasingly sustainable way,” says Alvhild Hedstein, executive vice-president for sustainability and innovation at Bama Group.
“Despite unrest and concerns about high energy prices, Bama strongly believes that this part of the fruit and vegetable industry constitutes an important part of the potential for increased Norwegian production of our goods.
“We therefore want to help make Norwegian greenhouse production competitive with imports. We will do this by developing even more sustainable, good-quality production.”
The project will apparently combine adapted climate control and new LED lighting technology with natural light sources, to create a more environmentally friendly greenhouse with reduced gas emissions.
Also central to the project is the testing of new tomato varieties that can better meet the preferences of Norwegian consumers. Those varieties will be graded according to a new digital taste monitoring platform.
Another key aspect of the project is life-cycle analysis. In line with the EU's Farm to Fork strategy, it will introduce methods to assess the environmental footprint of its production.
“This will form the basis of a digital tool for strategic environmental analyses of different production methods in Norwegian greenhouses, compared with imported products,” Hedstein adds.
Interdisciplinary collaboration between three research environments – Norsus, Sintef and Nibio – in collaboration with Bama, Yara, Gartnerhallen's producers and Gartnerhallen, will target high-quality, relevant and innovative research.