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RED Horticulture

RED x Les Crudettes

Les Crudettes and RED Horticulture have set up a collaborative partnership to develop the lighting solution best suited to aeroponic salad production.

15 November 2023

A pioneering project for local, more environmentally-friendly production

In 2016, the company “Les Crudettes” created an innovative pilot greenhouse to develop an aeroponic salad production technology. The project is being developed at the company’s headquarters in Chateauneuf-sur-Loire. “The aim is to enable local, pesticide-free production all year round,” stresses Armel Collon, Agronomy and Technical Manager.
Les Crudettes are developing the production tool of tomorrow. A state-of-the-art system to meet current and future climate challenges. For the team, this production method reduces environmental impact and facilitates labor management thanks to regular production all year round.

Relocate production, manage resources efficiently and recycle waste. These are values shared by the RED Horticulture teams who, through this partnership, are investing in the future of the industry.

Production tailored to supply chain needs

The main production criteria for aeroponic lettuces are weight per piece, healthy leaf content and shelf life. The choice of variety is essential. We are currently testing 15 varieties of lettuce. The RED solution enables us to work on each variety with the same lighting, adapting the spectral modalities to the specific characteristics of each one.

"Light plays an important role in sheet thickness. A thick sheet will be more resistant and won't be damaged during the rinsing and spinning processes."

Armel Collon

Agronomy and technical manager

A collaborative partnership to develop the most efficient system

As there is insufficient light during the winter months, an artificial lighting system was integrated into the project from the outset. Just as the water used for the nutrient solutions is 90% recycled, the lighting must be economical and efficient.

It was against this backdrop that cooperation with RED Horticulture began. “Our initial discussions with RED revealed 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 at Chateauneuf-sur-Loire, and on the other, the support of RED’s photobiology teams. This assistance took the form of a bibliography on the light/salad ratio: “This bibliography enabled us to validate ideas, raise avenues to explore and rule out certain hypotheses”, explains Armel Collon.

After validating the growing itineraries, Les Crudettes would like to pass on their production tools to growers. “We want to move forward quickly so that we can equip growers with the best lighting and the best light spectrum. The lettuces produced using our equipment will not necessarily be destined for our factories. It will also be possible to produce for the fresh market.

"Innovation is part of our DNA, and we're convinced that investing in R&D means enabling growers to respond to changes in the fruit and vegetable market."

Louis Golaz

General Manager, RED Horticulture

"Today, with RED variable-spectrum lighting, we have the right tool to achieve our objectives. The advantage of working with variable spectra is being able to go out and find unique spectra adapted to aeroponic salad production."

Armel Collon

Agronomy and technical manager