As a result of European directives – the Nitrates Directive and the Water Framework Directive- the government and growers of leafy crops are forced to improve the water quality. Leafy vegetables include: lettuce, Chinese cabbage, endive, celery, fennel, spinach, arugula, radicchio and corn salad.
The fertilisation level that is necessary for an optimal production of leafy crops in conventional production, will eventually be a threat to the sector. Emission standards cannot be complied unless growers settle for a suboptimal production. For the sector these are unacceptable consequences, that is why a fundamentally different production method is necessary in order to secure the continuation of the sector. The aim of this project is to develop an operational sustainable cultivation system ‘above the ground’ for leafy vegetables.