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Tuesday December 6th, 2022
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Medicinal herbs for organic cosmetics will grow on smart vertical farms: Capsum opens a laboratory farm in its research center using iFarm technology

Capsum, a France-based artisanal cosmetics manufacturer, has launched an innovative vertical farm to grow its natural ingredients with an IT-driven approach in a fully controlled environment. A pilot laboratory farm is able to produce microgreens, herbs and flowers. All processes are managed by software, without human/weather/logistics factors – which enables fully predictable nutrients with absolute eco-safety. Vertical farming is widely used to produce ultra-fresh leafy greens and vegetables locally in cities.

iFarm has completed work on capsum's state-of-the-art agricultural laboratory, a joint project announced in late 2021. Located on the company's existing research and development site at its Marseille plant, the lab allows Capsum scientists to grow their own high-quality ingredients for new cosmetic formulas. Using iFarm technologies for vertical farming, Capsum will grow a range of crops, including microgreens and flowers. The experimental farm is controlled by iFarm Growtune software, which provides Capsum with the tools and data needed to optimize plant growth.
"Indoor cultivation is perfect for the beauty industry because it allows us to grow in a fully controlled environment, without pesticides or harmful chemicals. iFarm's technology meets the needs of our researchers, as they can vary a wide range of parameters," said Capsum CEO Anthony Briot. The pilot laboratory includes the automatic control system and three grow rooms with experimental racks based on Ebb-and-Flow hydroponic technology. This facility allows Capsum to conduct experiments, test new plant varieties and streamline its supply chain with pesticide-free cosmetic ingredients grown on site. Microverts are one of the types of plants used in Capsum's organic cosmetics, and they are currently looking for innovative extraction methods. The research process is long and complex, but all the technologies needed to continue production and R&D all year round are already in place. The potential benefits of indoor farming for innovative cosmetics companies go beyond the laboratory setting. "With iFarm, customers can start with an R&D project and then expand it to industrial production of herbs, flowers and microvegetables, with full hardware and software support along the way. A stable and predictable crop throughout the year, as well as guaranteed to be free from any potential contamination by pesticides or other harmful chemicals, would also be beneficial for larger production volumes," said Timo Koljonen, vice president of sales at iFarm.

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