Retailers all over the world are asking for ‘clean’ produce. They want lettuce and herbs to be free of pesticide residues or have as few residues as possible. On a MGS one can grow without or with a mere minimum of pesticides.
Retailers also ask for food safe produce. On a MGS installation the crop is not in touch with the soil and the water used is disinfected after each irrigation before being re-used. Hygienic processing of lettuce and herbs harvested from a MGS ensures a perfectly safe produce, without the risk of E. coli or other sick making microorganisms.
Operationally, a MGS ensures an optimal use of resources. Space is being used to the maximum as the gullies separate gradually while they move over the growing field. No water or nutrients are lost as a closed hydro-feed cycle is used. Water and nutrients only leave the cycle when uptaken by the crop. Artificial lighting can be benefitted more as on a MGS the whole surface is covered with leaves all of the time. Less labour is needed for the harvest and packing of the crop compared to any other way of growing, due to the ergonomic way of growing. Further automation can still lower the amount of labour needed.
Production per square meter can be maximized : production capacity is increased between three and six fold, depending on the crop.
Growing on a MGS in a greenhouse with artificial lighting means that a year round, continuous production of extremely high quality leafy greens is possible. Production can be planned and programmed, which makes it easier to discuss with retailers.
MGS also offers possibilities for product differentiation. Living lettuce provides the ultimate freshness as the plant is delivered with the root and is therefore still alive. With a longer shelf produce living lettuce is very appealing to both retailers and consumers.