Vertical farming company Oishii has announced a new strategic partnership with Yaskawa Electric Corporation, an industrial robotics company based in Japan.
Together, the two companies will develop new automation solutions to optimise vertical farming methods and scale output. A series of Yaskawa robotic arms will power New Jersey-based Oishii’s indoor vertical strawberry farm. The robots will work in concert with Oishii’s infrastructure, technology, and urban farmers to harvest strawberries at the peak of freshness.
When paired with Oishii’s proprietary tech stack – which includes crop management algorithms, environmental controls, and energy monitors – Yaskawa’s innovations will deliver new efficiencies to reduce food, energy, and water waste.
The collaboration also aims to accelerate Oishii’s ability to scale globally. With the introduction of advanced automation across all of Oishii’s farm facilities, the brand said it will be able to meet the ‘substantial demand’ for its vertically farmed strawberries.
Hiroki Koga, co-founder and CEO of Oishii, said: “Yaskawa is one of the most respected names in industrial robotics today. Like Oishii, they are guided by the pursuit of quality and believe technology can solve some of the world’s most pressing issues.”
Koga added: “We’re honored to partner with a company that is invested in our mission to reinvent the future of agriculture. Together, we will deliver forward-looking solutions to bring clean, delicious produce to more people.”
In February, Oishii introduced a new cultivar called The Koyo Berry, marked by its ‘refreshing sweetness, balanced acidity, fragrant aroma, and slightly firm texture’. The company opened its indoor Mugen Farm in May 2022, spanning over 74,000ft<sub>2</sub>. The farm uses 60% less energy and 40% less water than the company’s first-generation facilities.
Oishii’s fruit is pollinated naturally with bees, farmed without pesticides and is ripe year-round. The vertical farming innovator said it is also in development of new types of flowering produce.
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