Growing food below the city reduces logistics costs

Posted by joe

timthumb 2This article “Vast underground bomb shelter reappropriated by urban farmers” (Wired.com, February 11, 2014), describes an innovative new “farm” located  100 feet below ground in southwest London. Zero Carbon Food uses a World War II bomb shelter designed to hold 8000 people. Fortunately it has not been needed since WWII and it has laid dormant — until now that is. A couple of entrepreneurs are growing broccoli, pak choi, and more using hydroponic growing techniques. One of the benefits — low shipping costs (something to talk about when you cover logistics) — and certainly appeals to the environmentally conscious segment of the market.

What other benefits could Zero Carbon leverage? What suggestions do you have for Zero Carbon’s distribution strategy?

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This entry was posted on Monday, March 3rd, 2014 at 4:40 pm and is filed under Consumer behavior, Place, Sustainability. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

One Response to “Growing food below the city reduces logistics costs”

  1. CNauman Says:

    What an awesome idea! A company, Zero Carbon Food, has transformed the underground space of a past bomb shelter to grow vegetables. They have signed a 25 year lease. Currently, with the help of LED’s, they are growing different salad vegetables. This idea expounded from a chat regarding the future and if we will run out of natural resources and fossil fuels.
    The whole underground garden concept has its pros and cons. Expenses are less for their set up. They are able to move the product quickly to the local restaurants and food stores. This logistics plan cuts down on the extent of spoilage. They are satisfying many customers who are environmentally friendly. Also, they will be satisfying those who want the organic healthy foods. However, due the limited natural light, they will need to bring in many LED’s and as they increase and expand their gardens. Once other markets find out about the product, they will need to find a way to help decrease the logistic costs in order to ship their foods out, rather than just focusing on the local market.
    The New Product Development Process can be seen throughout this article. (1) Idea generation- two men talking about future and how can they act now rather than wait. (2) Screening- using a S.W.O.T. analysis before signing a long term lease. (3) Idea evaluation- the items were tested in a small area that would soon turn into 25 year lease if appropriate. (4) Development- There is a plan in place to hire and plant more gardens. There may be further revisions, especially in the logistics area. (5) Commercialization- A celebrity chef has endorsed the product. They are able to deliver now to the local markets. They are networking with some who are important in the food industry. They are raising money for full capacity growth on an equity site, Crowdcube. Lastly, they have already done the leg work to get investors tax relief.

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