New hydroponic unit helps deliver sustainability at ESS Northern Lights Lounge

The ESS Northern Lights Lounge at Aberdeen International Airport has introduced a new hydroponic pod to grow micro cress and greens for its menu.

Friday, November 5, 2021
Opened in 2017 as part of the £20m terminal transformation project, the lounge is continually seeking new ways to introduce healthy, sustainable ingredients for customers.

The hydroponic unit, called a Kube, allows the lounge to grow a range of products which its chefs can use to enhance the flavour, aroma and presentation of dishes.

Recipes specifically designed using the Kube will be offered as part of the menu.

The units are remotely managed by Bloomkubes as part of a partnership with ESS Energy. Bloomkubes is a modern agritech company that has developed a range of self-contained farm to fork hydroponic units using a system of soilless plant cultivation that delivers water, nutrients, and oxygen to the roots of plants in precise cycles.

The micro cress and greens being grown in the units have been developed by Koppert Cress, a Dutch company based in the Netherlands.

Key benefits of the hydroponic pod are that it is pesticide free, with all products being grown in carefully controlled facilities eliminating the need for chemical pesticides, and it saves water as the Kube recycle approximately 90-95% of the water compared to conventional farms.

The approach also eliminates delivery mileage and plastic packaging as the products are grown on the premises.

Jemma Cumming, commercial manager at Aberdeen International Airport, said: “Our lounge has already won a number of awards for its partnership with local suppliers and we look forward to enhancing the menu with products from the Kube.

“This is an exciting new project for us and passengers will be able to see the pod up close when they visit the lounge.”

The Executive Lounge has been a very popular addition to Aberdeen International Airport and was recognised in the Working Together for Tourism Accolade at the Scottish Thistle Awards in 2020.

Ronnie Kelman, Business Director for ESS, commented: “We’re thrilled to be working with Bloomkubes to introduce hydroponics technology at Aberdeen International Airport.

“Growing fresh ingredients on-site in an environmentally friendly way is a great opportunity for us to deliver on the ‘Healthier Food’ and ‘Healthier World’ pledges we make to our customers, clients and colleagues as part of our Wellness Commitment.

“We hope our customers at the airport will enjoy seeing the products in a variety of dishes served in the Northern Lights Lounge.”

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