“City Farming” system wins top innovation award at Fruit Logistica 2013

The FRUIT LOGISTICA Innovation Awards are an integral part this annual global trade show for fresh produce held annually in Berlin in February, and attracting worldwide media interest.

They are presented to honour outstanding innovations in the fresh produce sector and its service industries. Expo visitors vote for three winners out of ten finalists…

WINNER: City-Farming

Company: Staay Food Group, Netherlands
Website: www.staay.nl

City-Farming is a system which allows agricultural production all year round irrespective of local climate and soil conditions. It can thus be used in cities and other unfertile environments anywhere in the world.

Special nursery rooms with specialised LED lighting allow seeds to be cultivated into young plants within 35 days independently of their natural season. The nursery rooms provide optimum growing conditions and a protected environment which makes the use of pesticides unnecessary. Temperature, irrigation and fertilizing are controlled and monitored completely automatically by computer.

The system thus offers a sustainable, future-oriented method of healthy food production within the context of an expanding world population.

Market launch: January 2012

Apfel-SchiffchenSecond: Apfel-Schiffchen

Company: Elbe-Obst Vertriebsgesellschaft, Germany
Website: www.elbe-obst.de

Apfel-Schiffchen are apple slices which have been dried in an innovative new way to make them particularly crisp and to extend their shelf life without damaging the cell structure. A further new treatment also maintains their natural colour and prevents browning. A special lining in the bag conserves their natural aroma and protects the apple slices from humidity and UV light.

Market launch: Spring 2012

Flower SproutsThird: Flower Sprouts

Company: Tozer Seeds, UK
Website: www.tozerseeds.com

Flower Sprouts are a newly developed hybrid cross between Brussels sprout and kale. They are similar in size to Brussels sprouts but look rather like tiny cabbages. The rosettes are edged with attractive frilly green leaves which show flashes of purple. They are a seasonal winter vegetable with the UK season lasting from November until March. The plant is very winter hardy and less susceptible to disease than Brussels sprouts.

In the kitchen Flower Sprouts are easy to prepare and are a highly versatile vegetable which can be boiled, steamed, roasted and stir fried. Their flavour is milder and sweeter than Brussels sprouts and they can be eaten as a stand-alone vegetable or be incorporated into more complex recipes.
Flower SproutsTM have twice as much vitamin E and B6 as Brussels sprouts and 100 g contains two thirds of the recommended daily intake of vitamin C.

Market launch: December 2011

Other finalists of interest:

Colored ApricotsColored Apricots
Company: Ben-Dor Fruits and Nurseries, Israel
Website: www.bendorfruits.com

Colored Apricots are a new, colourful family of apricot varieties developed through conventional breeding methods with skin and flesh which is different from traditional apricots. Colored Apricots are particularly sweet and juicy with Brix levels of between 18% and 20% and fruit sizes between 44 and 55 mm in diameter.

The Blackcot Apricot has a mildly hairy black skin with yellow flesh and a Brix level of 18%. The Vaiolet Apricot has bourdeaux-purple skin and red flesh. It is also mildly hairy with a Brix level of 18%. The Tiger Apricot has crimson skin and particularly juicy red striped flesh with an excellent balance of sweet and sour and a high Brix level of 20%. It also has mildly hairy skin. All varieties have a good shelf life making overseas export possible.

Market launch: June 2012

On-site biogas plant
Company: GreenWatt, Belgium
Website: www.greenwatt.be

The GreenWatt biogas unit has been specially developed to provide an on-site biogas plant, half the size of conventional plants, to turn mono- or multistream organic waste and waste water into renewable energy. The system can be adapted to all sizes of business and every type of production and processing operation within the agricultural and food sectors. The system is fully automated and self-regulating, requiring one hour of maintenance per day by low-skilled staff. It requires no supply of manure or adapted substratum.

Not only can waste disposal costs be saved, the plant also produces organic fertilizer as well as heat and electricity which can be sold back into the electricity grid.

Market launch: Spring 2012

Company: Nergi – Sofruileg, France
Website: www.nergi.info

Nergi is a brand of sweet berry fruit with green kiwifruit flesh. Small in size like a grape, with a fine and edible skin, Nergi does not need to be peeled. It can be eaten like a berry and thus makes a convenient snack. It can also be used in desserts, salads, smoothies and all kinds of recipes and is an excellent source of fibre and vitamin C.

Unlike wild varieties, Nergi has a longer season and can be kept over a longer period. It is currently harvested in Europe in late August and marketed from September until early November. It is sold in packs of 125 g with an average of 15 fruits of about 9 g each per pack. Two main varieties are used in production: an early variety oblong in shape, and a round mid-season variety.

Market launch: September 2012

Top fresh produce innovation from Fruit Logistica 2012

FRUIT LOGISTICA Innovation Award 2010