REWE has launched its first Green Farming store in Wiesbaden-Erbenheim. The latest pilot, which opens on May 27, is the first supermarket in Europe with a resource-saving food production facility on the roof. The approximately 1,500m² supermarket at Berliner Straße 277 already catches the eye from the outside with its unusual architectural concept: pillars made of stacked wood form the supporting structure for the glass roof farm and form a unique vaulted structure that extends into the market. Inside, customers look out over a glass atrium, the greenhouse on the roof. The building was designed with the London architecture firm acme.
“With Green Farming in Erbenheim, we are introducing a new generation of green markets at REWE, because for us a holistic approach to sustainability includes not only product ranges, but also construction and operation. A new building that is unique in Germany and Europe has been built here, combining a supermarket, basil farm and fish farm under its glass roof – a state-of-the-art green building. We have built over 200 green buildings in Germany since 2009. The new store with an integrated roof farm is the logical next step for us,” said Peter Maly, Vice President REWE Group.
The REWE Green Farming market is not just a supermarket, but also a production facility in the middle of the city. On the roof farm, which is operated by REWE partner ECF Farmsystems, 800,000 basil plants grow annually using aquaponics, which receives excretions from the fish that REWE breeds on-site as fertilizer. No pesticides are used here. “Our vision is to provide people with sustainably produced food. That is why I am delighted to be able to help implement the dream of a self-producing supermarket here in Wiesbaden,” said Nicolas Leschke, founder and managing director of ECF Farmsystems.
Thanks to the innovative technology of the Berlin start-up, two separate, resource-saving cycles are coupled with one another: the aquaculture cycle for fresh production and the hydroponic cycle for plant production (= aquaponics). The use of this circulation system enables food production with 90% less water consumption compared to conventional agriculture, as the water is used twice.
Around 14,000 pots of basil are packed plastic-free on-site every week. Sustainable packaging can save 12 tons of plastic per year. The basil is already available at the opening and is also being delivered to 480 REWE stores in Hessen and parts of Rhineland-Palatinate. At the same time, around 20,000 cichlids are bred in pools on around 230m² under sustainable conditions and processed on-site. This produces around a ton of fish meat per month. The fish is expected to go on sale at the end of 2021.
“The new REWE store in Erbenheim is a milestone in the development of modern supermarkets. I am very happy and a little proud that this special project was implemented in our region,” said Jurgen Scheider, CEO of REWE Central Region. “We are particularly proud of the wide range of over 100 regional and local suppliers.”
In addition, customers can use “Scan & Go” in the store, which means they can scan their products themselves using the app or hand scanner and pay at the express checkouts. A REWE pick-up service enables you to do your shopping online and to collect it ready-packed at the market. There are also charging stations for e-cars and bikes. The outdoor areas are also designed to be sustainable: with a new parking lot layout, in which the parking spaces are laid out in a circle, sealed areas were reduced and subsoils that could seep away were created.