Delhaize, the leading retailer in Belgium, has launched a vegetable garden and greenhouse on the rooftop of one of its stores in the Brussels area. The produce will be sold in-store and offer customers an opportunity to buy locally. Five kinds of lettuce are currently being grown and tomatoes, eggplants, and zucchini will be added next year. The farm will also serve an educational purpose, offering workshops to schools in 2018.
While urban farming has been discussed in the past, major supermarkets are now making these conceptual ideas a reality. There is a range of benefits to these kinds of farms. Indoor farming can give consumers access to fresh produce year-round—even those who live in dense, urban areas. In addition to greatly reducing carbon emissions, indoor farming also uses less water than traditional farming and doesn’t require pesticides.
“Developing a healthy and high-quality nutritional pattern…is one of the challenges of the Brussels region,” Brussels Minster for Environment and Energy Céline Fremault stated in a release. “This first city farm of Delhaize is therefore an excellent initiative, which fully fits into one of Brussels’ ambitions: to increase local production.”