Reference project: Reichenspurner // Kaufland

Markus Möhler
Markus Möhler
© Kaufland

Sustainable production of healthy and fresh fruit and vegetables is playing an increasingly important role.

Together with the Reichenspurner family, the Kaufland supermarket chain has opened one of Germany's most modern and sustainable greenhouses in Chiemgau - equipped with Lock power drives and the LSC 40 mechatronic limit switch.

Whether it's energy, climate or global supply chains - the current times bring entirely new challenges. Kaufland is therefore focusing even more on year-round fruit and vegetables from Germany. Together with the Reichenspurner family, Kaufland is opening one of Germany's most modern and sustainable greenhouses in Chiemgau. Here, strawberries, tomatoes and peppers are grown and harvested year-round on an area the size of 22 soccer fields. The electricity and heat required for this is already partly covered by renewable energies, and will be almost exclusively so in the near future.  

Throughout the year, a wide variety of tomato varieties such as truss tomatoes, beef tomatoes, cocktail truss tomatoes, cherry truss tomatoes, mini truss tomatoes and mini Roma truss tomatoes are grown and harvested for Kaufland. In addition, sweet peppers are grown between March and November. In addition to spring and late summer, the new greenhouse also supplies Kaufland stores with strawberries from Bavaria between October and December. 

"With the greenhouse, we also offer tomatoes, peppers and strawberries from Germany with a particularly aromatic taste and maximum freshness in our stores during the winter months," says Stefan Lukes, Managing Director Purchasing Fruit and Vegetables at Kaufland. "By growing them in Germany, we save time and distances, which has a very positive effect on freshness. The vegetables get from the field to our stores much faster, usually less than 24 hours." A representative Kaufland study recently showed that many Germans also like to eat peppers or tomatoes in winter. It is important to more than half of Germans (55.4 percent) that the vegetables are grown year-round in Germany.

"By growing fruit and vegetables regionally, we are making ourselves a bit less dependent on the current challenges in global supply chains, and in doing so we are also supporting local fruit and vegetable growers," says Lukes. After all, the sustainable transformation and strengthening of domestic agriculture for more regional products is a central concern of Kaufland.  

On peak days, up to 30 tons of tomatoes, 15 tons of peppers and up to six tons of strawberries are harvested and delivered fresh to Kaufland stores throughout Germany within a few hours thanks to sophisticated logistics and short transport routes. For the best possible freshness and quality, the care and harvesting work is done by hand. A doctor of entomology and her scouting team check the plants daily for pests. These are specifically controlled with beneficial insects such as predatory bugs, ichneumon wasps and ladybugs. Bumblebees as well as bees from a local apiary are used for optimal pollination of the plants.

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