April 29, 2021

RED x Les Crudettes

Armel Collon
Agronomic and technical manager

A pioneering project for a local and more environmentally friendly production

In 2016, the company “Les Crudettes” created an innovative pilot greenhouse to develop an aeroponic salad production technology. It is at the company’s headquarters in Chateauneuf-sur-Loire that the project is developed. “The objective is to allow local production all year round, without pesticides,” emphasizes Armel Collon, Agronomic and Technical Manager.
Les Crudettes are developing the production tool of tomorrow. A system at the cutting edge of technology to meet current and future climate challenges. For the team, this production method allows them to reduce their environmental impact and to facilitate the management of their workforce thanks to a regular production all year round.

Relocating production, managing resources efficiently and recycling waste. These are values shared by the RED Horticulture teams who, through this partnership, are investing in the future of the sector.

Production adapted to the needs of the supply chain

The main production criteria for aeroponics lettuce are the weight per piece, the rate of healthy leaves and the conservation. The choice of the variety is essential. Today, 15 varieties of lettuce are being tested. The RED solution makes it possible to work on each variety with the same lighting, adapting the spectral modalities to the specificities of each one.

“Light plays an important role in the thickness of the leaf. A thick leaf will be more resistant and will not be damaged during the rinsing and spinning processes. ”
Armel Collon
Agronomic and technical manager

A collaborative partnership to develop the most efficient system

Since there is not enough light during the winter period, an artificial lighting system was integrated into the project from the start. Just as the water used for the nutrient solutions is 90% recycled, the lighting must be economical and efficient.

This is the context in which the cooperation with RED Horticulture began. “The first discussions with RED showed a great deal of expertise. Their ideas are based on solid technical fundamentals,” says Armel.

The partnership set up is based on joint work. On the one hand, the trials set up in Chateauneuf-sur-Loire, and on the other hand the support of RED’s photobiology teams. This assistance is reflected in the provision of a bibliography on the light/salad relationship. “This bibliography allowed us to validate ideas, to raise avenues to be explored and to rule out certain hypotheses. “Armel Collon explains.

After validating the cultivation strategies, Les Crudettes would like to pass on their production tools to producers. “We want to move forward quickly to be able to equip producers with the best lighting and the best light spectrum. The salads produced with our tool will not necessarily be sent exclusively to our factories. Producing for the fresh market will also be possible.

“ Innovation is part of our DNA, we are convinced that investing in R&D means enabling producers to respond to changes in the fruit and vegetable market. ”
Louis Golaz
CEO, RED Horticulture


The proven versatility of TAURUS lighting

Crudettes laboratories are equipped with TAURUS 600 lighting systems, controlled by the SOLSTICE solution. The RED solution allows the spectra to be modified and the intensity to be adapted as the tests progress.

“ Today, with the RED lighting with variable spectra, we have the right tool to achieve our objectives. The advantage of working with variable spectra is to be able to find unique spectra adapted to the production of lettuce in aeroponics. ”
Armel Collon
Agronomic and technical manager