Marks & Spencer organizes vertical farms in its London grocery stores.
Marks&Spencer company, since 2000, is not limited only to the sale of clothing. Its shops are gradually turning into small shopping malls with entertainment areas and cafes. And it is possible to get there not only clothes and accessories, but also foodstuffs. And the new project will allow giving buyers exclusively fresh greens and herbs (a mint, coriander, basil, and parsley) which will be grown directly in shops, in individual vertical farms.
This opportunity came about thanks to cooperation with Infarm, whose technologies allow to create compact vertical farms built using the latest technologies, including artificial intelligence, designed for plant care. All data from each of the farms come to a unique cloud service, where they are processed and remotely controlled. Based on the information received, the system is trained, which allows it to take better care of plants in the future. Twice a week, the farms will be visited by Infarm representatives for harvesting and planting new ones.
It is reported that one such farm is capable of replacing 400 square meters of traditional agricultural fields. The newest approaches allow reducing water consumption by 95% and the number of fertilizers by 75%, which would be required for conventional agriculture. This means that Infarm farms are not only very economical but also minimize environmental damage.
M&S will be the first British retailer to start working with Infarm. So far, the company plans to supply such farms only to London stores, beginning with the recently opened M&S Clapham Junction. By the end of the year, six more stores will be covered.