In Brief

This Japanese farm is going fully automated conserve energy and grow fully organic produce

The lot of the farmer has always been one of hard work and uncertainty. The change of seasons, the vagaries of weather, and the rising cost of land and labor conspire against them, limiting growing time, making harvests unpredictable and profits hit or miss. In 2007, in automation-mad Japan, SPREAD Co. started an indoor factory farm to grow lettuce under closely controlled conditions.

Today, SPREAD ships 21,000 heads per day—a staggering 7.7 million heads of lettuce every year. Taking lessons learned in their first plant and improving upon them, the company plans this year to open a state-of-the-art facility in Kyoto that will produce a further 30,000 heads per day.

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