Food Security and Indoor Farming
We believe food security is one of the most important issues of our time.
The world population is steadily increasing. Projections estimate there will be 10 billion people on the planet by 2057. That’s a lot of people who will need access to a sufficient supply of safe and nutritious food.
At the same time, arable land is decreasing. There are many threats to sustainable farmland that are compounding the issues of food accessibility and traditional agriculture.
- Rapid urban expansion is replacing arable land with pavement, rendering the land useless for food production
- Land degradation due to topsoil washouts caused by deforestation and wildfires
- Rising irregularities in global weather patterns
- Increasing risks to international supply chain logistics
Unfortunately, none of these threats seem likely to subside anytime soon.
The global food economy must tackle the challenge of meeting increasing demand while simultaneously dealing with a diminishing supply capacity.
At NuLeaf Farms, our goal is to help improve reliable year-round access to fresh, locally-grown food. We believe environmentally-sustainable, indoor farming technology is part of the food security solution.
Why is food security important? Read this explanation to better understand the importance of this global issue and the potential impact the NuLeaf Farms solution can make.
What Defines Food Security?
We know that food security affects individuals and households all around the world. The United Nations’ Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) explains:
Food security exists when all people, at all times, have physical and economic access to sufficient, safe and nutritious food that meets their dietary needs and food preferences for an active and healthy life.
The FAO further describes the four dimensions of food security:
- Availability – sufficient quantities of quality food through domestic production or imports
- Access – adequate resources to acquire nutritious food
- Utilization – reaching a state of nutritional well being through a healthy diet
- Stability – having access to a suitable food supply at all times
What is Food Security vs. Food Insecurity?
Food security is our ability to maintain access to the nutritious food required to live a healthy life. Food insecurity occurs when this access erodes. Because food accessibility is a basic human entitlement, national governments typically assume the responsibility of ensuring food availability for individuals.
The Government of Canada defines household food insecurity as:
the inability to acquire or consume an adequate diet quality or sufficient quantity of food in socially acceptable ways, or the uncertainty that one will be able to do so.
Countries in colder climates, where traditional farming operations are seasonal, rely on global trade and food imports to maintain food security. However, indoor farming technology represents a new opportunity to reliably grow fresh local crops 365 days/year.
Indoor Farming Technology
NuLeaf’s unique indoor vertical farming technology is a controlled environment agriculture (CEA) system engineered to:
Our system vertically integrates with large scale food retailers and distributors to reduce supply chain risks.
Designed to meet strict municipal zoning guidelines, our CEA system connects grow rooms within new or existing urban distribution centers. The end result is a stable year-round supply of great-tasting, locally-grown produce.
Improve Food Security
Pick for Freshness, Not Shipping
Maintaining shelf freshness is a common challenge for grocers. This often leads to sub-optimal produce being sold in supermarkets.
Spoilage not only hurts profitability, but it can also build a negative brand impression with consumers. No one likes to return from the supermarket and discover those fresh, leafy greens are half rotten.
The initial reaction for most shoppers is to blame the retailer. Some people might even take it back for a refund or exchange. This all leads to more waste, inefficiency, and costs to the retailer.
The root of the problem is the distance that food needs to travel.
Reduce Dependency on Food Imports
If you operate in a cold climate like Canada, many crops may need to travel across the world. And it’s common for certain supposedly “fresh” foods to only get to store shelves weeks after harvest.
With NuLeaf’s precision indoor vertical farms, the plant-to-plate timeline can be as short as 24 hours… now that is fresh!
That’s because our compact indoor farming system vertically integrates with existing urban distribution networks to grow fresh food locally. By displacing crops typically imported from other countries, we can improve food security and profitability.
Fresh, Locally-Grown Produce
Stay Local, Grow 365 Days a Year
When it comes to solving the food security issue, we all have a role to play.
As individuals, we can focus on more sustainable consumption habits, like buying only for our needs. We can also grow our own fruits and vegetables at home and choose to purchase locally-grown food over imports.
These may seem like small efforts. But combined, these actions can make a big impact.
Governments and food retailers and distributors also have roles to play. Localizing the food economy with indoor vertical farming technology is surely a factor in the future of food security. The key is to have a system that creates value throughout the supply chain.
At NuLeaf, we believe that value begins with indoor farming technology that optimizes grow cycles for maximum crop yields. Our indoor farms provide a predictable supply of fresh, locally-grown produce 365 days a year.
Let’s work together to reduce supply chain complexity and help improve food security. Contact NuLeaf Farms to learn more about our seed-to-package solution that is done for you all under one roof.