The largest retailer in China is teaming up with a giant in chemical manufacturing out of Japan to build the largest Chinese hydroponic “plant factory”. These 2 companies are Jingdong and Mitsubishi Chemical and they are combining the retail expertise of JD.com and cutting-edge technology to build the factory that is 11,040 square meters. The process starts with closed seedling production that uses artificial light and a solar light hydroponic culturing system. Some of the plants that it can produce include cabbage, multiple types of lettuce, and spinach. The variety of plants that are able to grow in the factory is expected to expand as time goes on.
This facility will provide Jingdong customers with a new option when it comes to purchasing fresh, high quality produce. This produce can be purchased through their supermarkets known as 7FRESH or their website. The food produced by this state of the art facilities is all produced in an environmentally conscious way and are nutritious and safe.
The crops that are produced at the new JD.com plant, they are tracked from seed to delivery. This type of produce production is a big step towards the future of how food is grown and sold. Consumers are wanting more transparency about where their food and products are coming from and they plan on providing just that. This is especially important in China there has been a huge emphasis on good safety in the last few years.
Factors like humidity, light, temperature, and fertilization levels are all regulated by the advanced management system in the factory. This means that the vegetables produced will be more standardized than with other techniques. It also makes it so that these vegetables will not have to go out of season for their customers as the growing conditions will be the same no matter what time of the year it is. While field growing usually gets around 4 batches a year, the facilities at Jingdong will be able to grow about 6. The spinach that is grown in the facility is healthier than field grown spinach with higher levels of folate, potassium, and more.