What is the current status of hydroponic production around the world?
Hydroponics is already very common in various parts of the world and there has been a sharp rise in recent years; hydroponics is ‘hot’ and happening across Europe as well as in North and South America. It makes commercial sense to invest in hydroponics because safe and clean food products are in great demand and retailers in some regions are prepared to pay a higher price for hydroponically grown lettuce.
How does automation and technology support hydroponics?
Growers do not always have the financial means or experience to immediately implement medium-tech or high-tech hydroponic systems so they often start out using low-tech ones. As production becomes increasingly successful and labor costs become an issue, growers switch to medium-tech or high-tech systems with more automation to improve their efficiency and hence competitiveness.
One short-term goal is to grow safe lettuce without using pesticides, and high-tech hydroponics systems are putting this within reach.
Which benefits does hydroponics offer at the various stages of the fresh chain?
Hydroponically produced lettuce enables growers to better meet retailers’ quality and food safety demands since it is a very clean method.
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Source: Rijk Zwaan | International hydroponics magazine