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Industry NewsEmpire Company to bring in-store farms to select stores across Canada

Empire Company to bring in-store farms to select stores across Canada


Select Sobeys, Safeway and Thrifty Foods stores across Canada will soon have in-store vertical living produce farms as a result of a partnership between Empire Company Limited and Infarm, supplier of smart modular farms for urban environments.

“Our goal at Empire is to be the fastest growing and most innovative retailer in Canada. As we strive to achieve that goal, we continuously seek out first-to-market opportunities,” says Niluka Kottegoda, vice president Customer Experience, Sobeys Inc. “Our partnership with Infarm is unique in Canada and offers our customers a world-leading urban farming solution. The products we will offer in store are unique to customers in urban communities. We’re excited to test and learn with our customers along the way.”

Launching this Spring, the first fresh produce harvests will include a range of herbs at two Safeway stores in Vancouver. Empire will place farms in stores across seven cities in Canada, including Calgary, Edmonton, Halifax, Toronto, Vancouver, Victoria , Winnipeg, growing millions of hyper local plants for customers.

The in-store farms produce fresh, nutritious and flavourful produce all year round without the use of chemical pesticides. The vertical farms use 95 per cent less water, 90 per cent less transportation and 75 per cent less fertilizer than industrial agriculture.

How it works:

  • Infarm has developed the world’s most advanced, sustainable, easily scalable and rapidly deployable modular farms.
  • Each in-store farm has a controlled energy-friendly environment designed to bring out the natural flavour and properties of each plant.
  • The plants are all grown in-store, dramatically reducing carbon emissions that result from transportation.
  • The individual farms are connected and remotely controlled from a central farming platform that gathers up-to-the minute information about the growth of each plant and learns, adjusts and improves the growing conditions.

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