Spread, Chubu Electric Power and ES-CON JAPAN Enter an Investor Agreement, Plan to Construct Techno Farm Fukuroi, World’s Largest Vertical Farm to Produce 10 Tons Daily

Spread Co., Ltd., Chubu Electric Power Co., Inc., ES-CON JAPAN Ltd., announced today that they have entered into an investor agreement regarding the establishment of TSUNAGU Community Farm LLC to construct and operate vertical farms.

Expectations are high for vertical farms for stable production of pesticide-free agricultural products through precise control of the cultivation environment.

Many hope that vertical farms will provide a solution for a number of problems, such as growing consumer needs for food safety, decrease in farming population, as well as food supply instability and price fluctuations due to extreme weather.

Based on the agreement, Spread, Chubu Electric Power and ES-CON JAPAN will jointly establish the new company that will construct and operate vertical farms, in July 2021.

As its first initiative, the new company is planning to build an automated vertical farm Techno Farm Fukuroi” in Fukuroi city (Shizuoka, Japan), which will be the world’s largest automated vertical farm, capable of producing 10 tons of lettuce per day.

The construction will start in October this year, while the production start is planned for January 2024.

The integration of Chubu Electric Power’s energy management know-how, ES-CON JAPAN’s real estate development capabilities,and Spread’s cultivation technologies will allow for the efficient and stable production of pesticide-free, safe and clean vegetables.

Spread, Chubu Electric Power and ES-CON JAPAN aim to solve the issues affecting food and agriculture through vertical farming, while actively utilizing renewable energy and effectively using CO2 in the cultivation process to achieve a sustainable society and the delivery of SDGs through decarbonization.

[About Spread]
Since its establishment in 2006, Spread has been promoting vertical farming with a goal of creation of a sustainable society.

In 2018, Spread started shipping from the large-scale automated Techno Farm Keihanna in Kizugawa, Kyoto which is the first facility to employ Spread’s next generation food production system Techno Farm?. In less than 2 years from the start Techno Farm Keihanna reached a stable operating rate of 99%. Spread will further refine Techno Farm? technologies that allow stable production anywhere at any time, and plans to reach 100 tons of daily production domestically by 2030, while pursuing various business opportunities both in Japan and overseas. Under the concept of “Sustainable Vegetable”, Spread delivers its own vertically farmed vegetables brand Vegetus to approximately 4,000 stores in Japan. Since start of the brand in 2008, Spread has sold over 70 million packs in total*1.

Spread is excited to enter the investor agreement with Chubu Electric Power and ES-CON JAPAN, as all partners share same vision and values of sustainable agriculture, and each partner is bringing their own unique strengths to the partnership.

[Unique Features of Techno Farm Fukuroi]
– Largest vertical farm in the world, capable of producing 10 tons of lettuce per day
– Standardized, efficient operations via automated cultivation
– Even more precise environmental control
– Recycling of the water used for cultivation
– Energy saving due to in-house developed LED lighting specifically for vertical farming
– IoT-based cultivation management system
– Pesticide-free, stable production, not influenced by the weather
– Utilization of renewable energy

Spread will continue to pursue further business opportunities through technological innovation both in Japan and overseas.

Spread aims to provide solutions for the global problems of climate change and food security, and the delivery of a truly sustainable society.

[Techno Farm Fukuroi’s Specification]
Construction site: Fukuroi-shi, Shizuoka Prefecture, Japan Farm type: Indoor Vertical Farm using Artificial Lighting Site area: Approximately 24,400㎡

Product: Leafy greens(Lettuce)
Production capability: 10 tons per day / 3,650 tons per year Production start: January 2024

Overview of TSUNAGU Community Farm LLC
Established: July 2021 (scheduled)

Location: 1, Higashi-shincho, Higashi-ku, Nagoya-shi, Aichi Prefecture Managing partners: Chubu Electric Power (representative member), ES-CON JAPAN, Spread

Investment: Chubu Electric Power: 51%, ES-CON JAPAN: 48%, Spread: 1%
Business: Production and sale of agricultural products through the operation of vertical farms, utilizing fully artificial light

Overview of Chubu Electric Power Co., Inc.
President & Director:Kingo Hayashi
Business:Renewable energy business, Nuclear power business, Overseas business, Community support infrastructure related business, Etc.

Overview of ES-CON JAPAN Ltd.
President & Representative Director:Takatoshi Ito
Business:Real estate sale, Real estate leasing, Real estate planning, brokerage and consultation

Overview of Spread Co., Ltd.
Chief Executive Officer :Shinji Inada
Business:Vertical farming operation, management and sales of the products