+ Flavor- Carbon Print = Sustainability

+ Flavor- Carbon Print = Sustainability

A flavor revolution is underway in New Jersey, thanks to the Oishii, a Vertical Farm project, where “The strawberries don’t taste like typical strawberries: they’re sweeter, with a denser, juicier center”.


An article published on the Forbes site explains the origin of the curious name “Oishii, which means “delicious” in Japanese, Oishii currently grows its famous Omakase Berry in a warehouse converted into a vertical farm. The crop is pesticide-free, but pollinated by real bees, which live in hives on the premises, queen bees and all.



″[The strawberries] average somewhere between two to three times more in sweetness level, compared to what’s conventionally grown in the U.S.,” Oishii co-founder and CEO Hiroki Koga tells CNBC Make It. “Once you taste our berries, it’s simply a completely different experience.”


This wonderful flavor and its characteristics have allowed them to sell their products at high prices for the category. In principle, they sold 6 strawberries for $50, currently they position the same 6 units at $20.




The beginning of an idea


Hiroki Koga and Oishii co-founder Brendan Somerville, after graduating from their MBA, embarked on this project, spending hours consulting and YouTube videos to figure out how to grow the farm and maintain a suitable environment for both strawberries and for the bees that would need to pollinate the plants.

The future is now

Koga revealed for Forbes “the vertical farm uses both water and soil as growing mediums and that robots play an important role, some of them taking millions of pictures a day to provide a constant flow of visual data. Other machines monitor environmental data, such as temperature, humidity, CO2, wind speed and light to make sure the levels remain consistent. Human farmers, who are important, too, must go through three levels of decontamination procedures before entering the facility. 

In fact, in the year 2021, they managed to raise “raised $50 million in a Series A round, bringing its total funding up to $55 million and positioning it for expansion into new crops and other metropolitan areas.

The funding round was led by SPARX Group’s Mirai Creation Fund II. Other investors include Sony Innovation Fund, PKSHA Technology, and Social Starts”, subscribe the article “Robots And Bees: High-Tech, Vertical Strawberry Farm In N.J. Raises $50 Million In Series A Round”,  published by Forbes. 


In this video published by Make It, as part of a special for the startup, called “These New Jersey farmers grow strawberries that sell for $20 a box: the taste is “a completely different experience” you can learn more about this fascinating project, which already has locations in New Jersey (original), New York City and Los Angeles.



What is a vertical farm?


It is about replacing the extensive traditional cultivation area with a vertical structure, sometimes with several floors, where vegetables and in some cases, meat, poultry and fish can be produced.


The future for farms


Oishii is the perfect example of what experts predict as a future of sustainable food, vertical farming that will allow local foods, without pesticides and whose production does not generate emissions, are now possible beyond small urban gardens.


Multiple benefits


These initiatives have numerous benefits, especially for the areas surrounding the farms, since they allow:

  • Reduce production space.

  • Save water, up to 95%

  • Produce all year round, regardless of the weather.

  • Achieve higher production in less time.

  • Reduce spending on transportation.

  • Reduce CO2 emissions.

  • Bringing agriculture closer to cities

  • In addition to enjoying an incomparable flavor and supporting the local economy


In addition, this project is closely aligned with some UN Sustainable Development Goals for 2030, such as:

  • Goal 6: Ensure the availability and sustainable management of water and sanitation for all

  • Goal 7: Ensure access to affordable, secure, sustainable and modern energy

  • Goal 11: Make cities more inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable

  • Goal 12: Ensure sustainable consumption and production patterns

  • Goal 13: Take urgent action to combat climate change and its effects

  • Goal 15: Sustainably manage forests, combat desertification, halt and reverse land degradation, halt biodiversity loss


If you are interested in learning more about this topic, do not hesitate to visit the following links with useful information:

Engineering for all: a middle school program to introduce students to engineering as a potential social good.

Controlled environment agriculture poised to grow.

Vertical farming: Farms among the skyscrapers

THE VERTICAL FARM: The World Grows Up.

Digging the City : An Urban Agriculture Manifesto

Vertical Veggie Farm.

Advances in Renewable Energy and Sustainable Systems

GOING UP: After failures and losses, vertical farm operations expand on growing trend.

Author : Vanessa D”angelo
Degree :
Major : Marketing
Country : Spain
Language : English

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