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  6. Plant Factory - Cosmo Farm Iwamizawa(Iwamizawa City-Hokkaido)fully artificial light-type -

Plant Factory - Cosmo Farm Iwamizawa(Iwamizawa City-Hokkaido)fully artificial light-type -

From the Front Line
Cosmo Farm Iwamizawa(Iwamizawa City, Hokkaido)
Fully artificial light-type
- A plant factory contributing to the diets of local people, including those with disabilities -

Basic information

Facility name (location) Cosmo Farm Iwamizawa(Iwamizawa City, Hokkaido) map
Company name (category); factory-type Social Welfare Corporation Cupid-Fair (other);
fully artificial light-type
Establishment; major products 2003; leaf lettuce
Actual land area 596 square meters
Output 100-150 kg/day, 830,000 heads/year, and 26 crops/year
Land category/use Special industrial area
Employees(regular/part-time) 7 (total): 2 regular and 5 disabled employees

Social Welfare Corporation Cupid-Fair is a 43-year-old sheltered work institution that serves people with severe disabilities and constantly accommodates 500 people. With the goal of establishing "a system whereby people with disabilities can work" and pursuing "agriculture for people in wheelchairs", the institution launched a business to grow lettuce using hydroponics.

Cosmo Farm Iwamizawa Cosmo Farm Iwamizawa
Features of this plant factory

This factory sells 70 g packs of leaf lettuce, which are selling at an average retail price of ¥198.
The institution has recently started delivering some products directly to buyers.
The lettuce is used for school meals as well. Although raw food is not supposed to be served in school meals, the lettuce is served fresh under the approval of the city’s board of education, which has passed the board’s stringent criteria for safety.
Customers that buy the products for commercial purposes include a restaurant in Ginza that features food from Hokkaido, a sandwich shop at an airport, and a convenience store chain that sells salad udon as a prepared meal.
Employees with disabilities are engaged in tasks such as harvesting and packaging the lettuce as well as raising the seedlings. The factory-grown lettuce can be stored at room temperature for seven to ten days. No pesticide is used at all.

Cosmo Farm Iwamizawa Cosmo Farm Iwamizawa
Future challenges and a message from the company to those considering entry in the business

The good keeping quality of vegetables grown at plant factories makes them suitable for consumption by unmarried people who live alone and elderly households. Since the prices of factory-grown vegetables are less competitive than vegetables grown outdoors, producers should advertise values other than price (e.g., pesticide-free) that appeal to consumers. An easy strategy to implement would be adopting the concept of "local production for local consumption" in a way that is suited for plant factories, such as meeting local demand, including that related to meals at schools and hospitals.

¥1=US$ 0.01

Extracts from the Handbook of Practices at Plant Factories: Published by the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries and the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry

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Last updated:2013-01-17