Thursday 12 May 2022: Woolworths Metro has partnered with Sydney based AgTech innovation company InvertiGro, to launch Australia’s first in-store vertical farm at Metro Park Sydney Village, delivering fresh, sustainably grown herbs to the Erskineville community.
Dubbed The Urban Garden, shoppers will see the innovative indoor farming solution in action in the fruit & veg department of the store. Fresh living herbs will be grown indoors with water and space efficiency with the absence of synthetic herbicides and pesticides, giving the new meaning to the term “locally grown”.
The herbs begin their life at the InvertiGro indoor farm in Rosebery, less than two kilometers from the Woolworths Metro Park Sydney store. Fully-grown herbs are then transported to the store ready for sale, whilst others are transplanted into the in-store vertical farming wall where shoppers can watch them continue to grow.
Grown indoors in optimal conditions, the herb range currently includes Basil, Parsley, Mint and Coriander, which are always fresh and in season. Herbs are still living when customers take them home and when added to water, they can continue to enjoy fresh herbs for longer.
InvertiGro Co-Founder Paul Millett said: “We are delighted to be partnering with Woolworths Metro to deliver a hyper locally-grown fresh and flavoursome herb range whilst also introducing Park Sydney shoppers to a new way of farming and the benefits of indoor vertical farming.
“Through growing close to where our produce is going to be consumed, InvertiGro reduces food waste considerably by reducing the amount of food lost in transportation and handling. By providing fresh usage-size bunches we also aim to reduce the waste once consumers take them home. What's generally discarded, such as stalks (although these can often be used in cooking too!), the root-ball and growing media of herbs can all be put in the green-waste recycling, whilst the paper-based packaging is also 100% recyclable in the kerbside paper-bin.”
Woolworths Metro Director Justin Nolan said: “This is a great opportunity for Metro Park Sydney Village customers to connect with the provenance of their produce and an exciting platform for Woolworths Metro to create greater awareness for innovative Australian farming methods, helping us grow a greener future.
“Metro Park Sydney shoppers will notice InvertiGro takes up a small amount of space in-store and is a great non-waste initiative for our customers. We look forward to our shoppers using the hyper-local fresh herbs available at the Urban Garden to garnish and add flavour to home-cooked meals.”
Basil, Parsley, Mint and Coriander will be available in convenient common usage sized bunches for $3 each.