Netled’s Vera vertical farming technology will help OMG produce high-quality herbs for ICA

Vera herbs vertical farm Sweden must credit ICA

Image: ICA

Finnish agtech company Netled’s has announced that its client, Swedish herb supplier Oh My Greens (OMG), has opened an industrial-scale vertical farm in Söderfors, Sweden.

The facility will produce high-quality herbs for ICA, Sweden’s leading grocery retailer, with the herbs available to consumers in June 2022.

The vertical farm will produce up to 2.7m pots of 14 different herbs per year.

According to Netled, ICA will be the first private label brand in the Nordics with vertically farmed products. Starting in June 2022, the vertically farmed herbs will be available to almost 350 ICA stores north of the city of Avesta.

“Netled’s Vera vertical farming technology will allow us to provide customers throughout Sweden with fresher herbs and leafy greens, grown hyper-locally and with a significantly reduced carbon footprint,” said Moses Isik, CEO of OMG. “Not only does the customer benefit, but the planet does, too.

”The reason why we have ICA as a customer basically buying all the volumes is that they want to be at the forefront of developing a sustainable food system of the future.” 

According to Netled, OMG’s facility is the first vertical cultivation in the world delivering climate-neutral herbs from seed to shelf, following the Climate Neutral Certification programme.

They calculate their emissions footprint on a granular level including ingredients, storage, production, packaging, mobility, and upstream and downstream logistics until the products reach the shelf.

Production is done indoors in a totally controlled environment. Almost everything is automated and operated mechanically with control screens where the amount of nutrients, water, temperature, and light is controlled.

Netled noted that its Vera vertical farming system meant production could be up to two-and-a-half times larger, energy consumption 70 per cent lower, and water consumption up to 95 per cent lower when compared with traditional greenhouses.

The overall carbon footprint could be nearly 80 per cent smaller than in traditional greenhouse growing.

“The reason I went into the vertical farming business is that I’m seeing that we are heading off a cliff with our current food production. I felt the need to participate in catalysing a change,” Isik stated.

“We considered 17 different vertical farming technology providers and came to the conclusion that, in terms of its technology, know-how, and delivery capabilities, Netled is years ahead of the competition.

“When you want to go to industrial scale and do a big-size investment, you really need to know you have a partner who understands the technology, has the employees, the backbone and history of also being able to create a project like this. There is a lot of complexity. We chose Netled and we are happy with our choice,” he added.

“This launch not only allows OMG to produce fantastic products for customers throughout the whole of Sweden, but it is a clear example to farm operators of the industrial-scale opportunities our Vera vertical farming technology and our experienced project team can provide,” said Netled CEO Niko Kivioja.