Wednesday, August 05, 2015
Meet the New Farmworker
Spread already operates the world’s largest vegetable factory using entirely artificial lighting, which is located in Kameoka, Japan. Now, they’re working on a fully robotic factory capable of producing 30,000 heads of lettuce per day, with construction expected to begin in spring 2016 and lettuce grown in the new facility expected to ship in summer of 2017.
...Full automation – from seeding the lettuce to harvesting the heads – will cut down on the cost of production, Spread said. Complete automation reduces labor cost by 50 percent. ...Spread is looking beyond Japan, too: the new factory setup is designed so that the stable cultivation environment could be created in any location around the world.
The factory will be a vertical farm spread out over 4,800 square meters of enclosed space, which also includes R&D and testing facilities. It cost about 1.6 to 2 billion yen ($12 million to $16 million) to build, with annual sales estimated at 1 billion yen.
If those cost estimated prove accurate you can watch the California Central Valley implode in years, not decades.