More and more consumers believe their vegetables should ideally be cultivated in the local regional and in a climate-friendly way. But fruit and vegetables need certain levels of heat and moisture to grow well. In Switzerland that often means using greenhouses, which require heating. Usually still with fossil fuels. Yet making the switch to sustainable heating systems, such as biomass, biogas or techniques that use the residual heat from a refuse incineration plant, is complicated and costly.
Promoting sustainable heating systems in agriculture
Various pilot projects have examined new technologies and tracked and documented the switch to alternative energy sources. Thanks to substantial initial funding from the Migros Pioneer Fund, the projects have accelerated the switch and made it possible to place regional vegetable production on an environmentally and economically sound footing.
A new standard
Conversion projects showed it is not always possible to utilise the potential of alternative heating systems as effectively as hoped. As such, this venture generated valuable practical insights and made the findings available to vegetable farmers in Switzerland. Migros’ own supply chains have seen changes, too. For example, suppliers must now demonstrate that their greenhouses are equipped with sustainable heating systems.