Swedish home furnishing giant IKEA (IKEA) is known for its simple, affordable furniture that populates dorm rooms and studio apartments across the country. Now, the furniture chain is getting into the sustainable farming industry, one restaurant kitchen at a time.
The company—which has put further emphasis on becoming more environmentally sustainable—recently introduced “The Farm,” a hydroponic garden that would allow them to grow the food served at their stores directly inside the IKEA restaurants. The in-store cafes—known for their Swedish meatballs, cinnamon rolls and lingonberry everything—are just one small slice of the company’s $2 billion-a-year business. However, IKEA is hoping to use The Farm as a model for restaurants everywhere to take a more holistic, home-grown approach to the food supply chain.
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The brand partnered with Space 10, a “future-living lab” and exhibition space in Copenhagen, to develop and unveil the project. According to PSFK, one Space 10 employee compared the state of the environment to a sick human body, saying that the earth needs to time to rest and get healthier in order to recover from its current issues. IKEA is no doubt hoping this DIY farming concept will provide some of that rest for the planet by moving gardens indoors and taking a little stress off the land. The Farm utilizes a variety of IKEA products in its design; The LED lights that power the hydroponic garden are from the store’s Rydda/Vaxer line, and IKEA-brand shelves and plastic bins are used to house the plant life. All said, 80 percent of the supplies used in The Farm’s initial model came from the company.
For now, the company’s design will be utilized only within its own restaurants, but soon chefs, restaurateurs and home cooks across the world could be creating their own on-site sustainable gardens. A sustainably sourced food future could be just an IKEA trip away.
This article previously appeared on FoodandWine.com.