SPREAD (Japan company) has begun construction of the world’s first large-scale Vegetable Factory (Plantfactory/Indoor farming) that is fully automated from seeding to harvest and capable of producing 30,000 heads of lettuce per day as the second phase for the business development of SPREAD’s vertical farm using artificial lighting called a Vegetable Factory.
1. SPREAD’s History
SPREAD Co., LTD. was founded in 2006 and operates the world’s largest Vegetable Factory using artificial lighting in Kameoka in Kyoto Prefecture. Currently four types of lettuce are produced totaling 21,000 heads per day that are shipped in a stable manner to approximately 2,000 stores throughout the year in the Tokyo metropolitan area and the Kansai region as the brand “Vege-tus”.
SPREAD’s strength is that it has the technical capabilities to maintain a high standard with production yield at “97%” and has achieved profitability in the Vegetable Factory business,
which has been said to be difficult.
In addition, we have taken advantage of the accumulated know-how and have been considering the construction of a new factory in an effort to further create high quality products that can provide a peace of mind in a stable manner.
2. The Concept and Needs of the New Factory Construction
There are water and food shortages due to extreme weather events accompanied by the increasing global population. Amid these problems, SPREAD has effectively managed energy through the Vegetable Factory business and has been working to lay the foundation for a more secure and sustainable society.
This time, SPREAD has specific environmentally friendly measures focused on global expansion and embarked on the construction of a next-generation Vegetable Factory.
【Needs Required for the Next-generation Factory 】
SPREAD believes that the following needs are required for the next-generation Vegetable Factory:
1. Environmental Friendliness
2. Low Cost
For environmental friendliness, an expandable cultivation environment control technology was developed that can recycle water resources and be used anywhere in the world.
Low cost was achieved by the full automation from seeding to harvest and the optimization of the energy used for the lighting and air conditioning. Low cost was achieved from the increasing efficient use of optimized energy for automation, lighting, and air conditioning from seeding to harvest.
3. Overview of SPREAD’s New Factory
（１） Type of Vegetable Factory ・・・Vertical Farm completely using artificial lighting (featuring R&D and testing facilities)
（２） Planned Construction Location ・・・Kansai Science City, Kizugawa, Kyoto
（３） Building Dimensions・・・Approximately 4,800m2
（４） Production Items/Scale ・・・30,000 heads of lettuce per day (10 million heads per year)
（５） Start of Construction ・・・Spring, 2016
（６） Start of Shipments ・・・Summer, 2017
（７） Total Investment・・・Approximately 1.6 to 2 billion yen (this estimated amount also includes R&D and testing facilities)
（８） Annual Sales・・・Approximately 1 billion yen (estimated amount)