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Singaporean agri-tech startup Sustenir Agriculture has recently expanded to Hong Kong with a new hydroponic farming facility in Tuen Mun to offer two kinds of healthy iron-rich kale greens. Their hydroponic farming technology means that non-native crops can be grown locally, reducing Hong Kong’s dependence on high-carbon foreign food imports and its resultant food waste. Sustenir’s farming solution comes at a time when the world is beginning to wake up to the vulnerability of the current food supply system due to Covid-19, offering the city a chance to improve local production of safe, healthy and traceable produce.
Already one of the biggest indoor farms in Southeast Asia, Sustenir Agriculture has recently entered into the Hong Kong market with a new 25,000 square foot farm in Tuen Mun from where they freshly harvest two types of kale every day, Curly Kale and Toscano Kale. Both kale varieties have grown in popularity in recent years due to their impressive nutritional profile, containing high levels of fibre, calcium, vitamin C and K, iron and antioxidants.
Founded in Singapore in 2013 by two planet-loving friends Benjamin Swan and Martin Lavoo, Sustenir Agriculture produces non-native crops that are in local demand using high-tech vertical farming methods, which is far more eco-friendly than produce imported from foreign countries and grown using traditional agricultural processes.
Their Controlled Environment Agriculture (CEA) technology is powered by artificial intelligence and LED lighting, which helps the process of photosynthesis in plants, allowing non-native crops that would otherwise be challenging to grow in hot and humid conditions to flourish in their pollution-free hydroponic facilities – without the use of any pesticides and genetically modified organisms (GMOs), using 95% less water and 85% less fertiliser than traditional farming methods.
Every day, Curly Kale and Toscano Kale are harvested fresh in Sustenir’s Tuen Mun facility to be delivered to stores. Sustenir does this each day to ensure that produce stays fresh and nutritious for longer. Only requiring delivery within the city, Sustenir’s produce does not require any air-freighting or shipping, reducing the carbon footprint that non-native fresh produce generates in the transportation process. And because they are grown in pollution-free hydroponic farms, Sustenir’s kale is 100% clean and does not need to be washed before eating.
In addition to reducing carbon emissions, resource usage and providing clean, pesticide-free produce, Sustenir’s local operations also ensure less food wastage. With Asia already responsible for 50% of the world’s food waste – much of it coming from food import-dependent cities like Hong Kong – buying produce that has been grown locally means a longer shelf-life, and also eliminates the food waste that often results in the logistical process of transporting fresh foods over long distances.
Boasting the advantages of food safety, traceability and local food self-sufficiency, Sustenir’s farm in Hong Kong represents a solution to one of the biggest emerging issues that the city is facing due to the Covid-19 pandemic. From travel bans to export and import restrictions, the global food supply chain has undergone massive disruption as a result of measures to contain the pandemic, and as a city dependent on foreign food imports, the need to build on a reliable locally-based food production system has never been more paramount.
The Covid-19 pandemic has awakened consumers to the safety of the existing food system. With the public now more attuned to the health and hygiene of products, Sustenir’s hydroponic technology provides shoppers with a local, traceable and safe option for their produce.
Sustenir Agriculture HK’s fresh produce can be found at over 32 retail locations, including the key partners:
- Wellcome Superstore, 25-29 Great George Street, Causeway Bay
- 3hreesixty (360), Shop 1090, 1/F Elements Mall (Kowloon Station), 1 Austin Road, West Kowloon
- Market Place by Jasons, Shop 3201-03, 3/F MOSTown (Sunshine City Plaza), 18 On Luk Street, Shatin
- Market Place by Jasons, Shop G128, Repulse Bay Arcade, 109 Repulse Bay Road, Repulse Bay
- Market Place by Jasons, Shop G1 & G10, G/F, Olympian City 2, 18 Hoi Ting Road, West Kowloon, Kowloon
- Market Place by Jasons, P27, Telford Plaza, 33 Wai Yip Street, Kowloon Bay
All images courtesy of Sustenir Agriculture.
This is a Green Queen Partner Post.