Dubai: Now, pluck and shop for your fruits, vegetables from an in-store farm

One-stop-shop features Carrefour’s first ever café as well as an indoor hydroponic farm to support farm-to-table lifestyle across the UAE



By SM Ayaz Zakir

Published: Mon 28 Feb 2022, 10:12 PM

Last updated: Tue 22 Mar 2022, 4:06 PM

Have you ever thought of shopping for greens directly from the farm and tossing them straight into your shopping cart? Now, you can pluck and shop for your fruits, vegetables from new eco-friendly grocery store in Dubai.

Shoppers can pick their greens from the in-store hydroponic farm at Carrefour BIO at City Centre Me'aisem. Leafy greens, including lettuce, arugula, kale, and herbs, such as basil, dill, and sorrel, are grown at this hydroponic farm.

Christophe Orcat, head of Commercial operations of Carrefour UAE, Majid Al Futtaim, said that the hydroponic farm increases the quantity of fresh, local, and sustainable produce supplied to Carrefour customers.

"Our farm promotes sustainable locally-grown produce, enabled by innovative solutions," said Orcat.

"With establishing in-store hydroponics farm, we are expanding our own sustainable farming capabilities. We are also working closely with local farmers to stock their produce in our stores. These initiatives are great for our customers, the local economy and the environment."

Mariam Bint Mohammed Saeed Hareb Almheiri, the Minister of Climate Change and Environment, opened the store on February 25. She said that such concepts would bring about a positive change in diets.

The one-stop-shop features Carrefour's first-ever café as well as an indoor hydroponic farm to support farm-to-table lifestyle across the UAE.

The new concept store, with over 3,000 items to choose from, specialises in healthy and organic products spanning from food and beverages to beauty, personal, and home care items.

Hani Weiss, Chief Executive Officer of Majid Al Futtaim Retail, said: "Our research tells us that whilst healthy eating is now a huge priority, many consumers limit organic shopping as they perceive it as a more expensive option. This is exactly what Carrefour BIO seeks to solve, offering healthier alternatives at affordable prices to ensure the wellbeing of the entire community. Customers can now find healthy products, make conscious decisions whilst dining out and help save the planet one recyclable bag at a time – all under one roof in Carrefour's BIO store."

The store is conceptualised on a vegan, eco-friendly and sustainable idea, where even the interiors of the store are constructed from recycled materials.

Everything sold at the store is based on sustainable value, from bakery products to water and even detergent.

The store encourages shoppers to bring their containers to refill with products to reduce wastage and prevent excessive plastic consumption.

Containers are stocked to carry water, which can be reused multiple times. These containers can be replenished for free with different types of water at refilling stations. One can choose from sparkling or regular water with different flavours.

Shoppers would usually buy detergent liquid or powder in a plastic or cardboard box container, so to reduce plastic usage and waste Carrefour BIO has developed a refill station with dish soap and laundry liquid.

Dubai had recently approved a policy to limit the use of single-use bags. Starting July 1, 2022, single-use bags will cost 25 fils at stores across the Emirate.

The BIO store brings about awareness to avoid single-use plastics to align with Carrefour's sustainability efforts, such as incentivising customers to opt for reusable shopping bags.

Majid Al Futtaim group had earlier pledged to remove single-use plastic from its malls, hotels, Vox cinemas and Carrefour stores by 2025.

Carrefour BIO offers recyclable paper bags and uses biodegradable packaging.

Fresh greenery and wooden finishes bring the store to life, with a café providing visitors with nutritionally balanced meals and somewhere to unwind and relax. The brand's first sit-down dining concept offers all-day breakfast, delicious salads, fresh juices, and organic teas and coffees, as well as fan favourites from manakeesh to burgers with a plant-based twist.


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