The Good Design Award winners were announced at the Good Design Exhibition 2014, held at Tokyo Midtown in Roppongi between October 31 and November 4, 2014 (presented by the Japan Institute of Design Promotion). On the first day of the exhibition there was a special event for Food and Design, where Fujitsu provided a presentation as one of 8 winners of the Good Design Award 2014 for food-related projects.
From approximately 1,250 entries, Fujitsu's projects achieved a fantastic result, winning a total of seven Good Design Awards in 2014. In particular, Fujitsu's award in the food-related category was presented for the Aizu-Wakamatsu Akisai Vegetable Factory initiative, which attracted significant attention.
During the special event for food-related project winners, Koji Nomaki, Manager of the Planning Department, Advanced Agriculture Division of the Fujitsu Home & Office Services Limited, had the opportunity to introduce details about Fujitsu's unique initiative. The title of his presentation was "Aizu-Wakamatsu Akisai Vegetable Factory Creates a New Industry and Revitalizes the Community."
Mr. Nomaki explained Fujitsu's activities at the Akisai Vegetable Plant, which uses a converted clean room, previously part of the semiconductor plant, to produce clean and fresh lettuce. "Our production know-how allows us to harvest 3,500 heads of lettuce per day, and to harvest crops 365 days per year." Mr. Nomaki also expanded on four new qualities of the enhanced vegetable:
- 1. Very low potassium
- Very low potassium: 80% less than normal lettuce. Even patients with kidney disease can enjoy fresh lettuce.
- 2. Very clean: No washing required
- Lettuce grown in a clean room has almost no germs
- 3. Long lasting freshness
- The lettuce will stay fresh in a refrigerator for two weeks
- 4. Delicious and crisp
- Crisp texture with no bitter taste
During the presentation, Mr. Nomaki showed a video to the audience with real footage from the vegetable factory, clearly demonstrating the leading edge facilities. At this point, the interest of many people in the audience peaked and they began to take pictures of the screen with their smartphones.
The presentation concluded with Mr. Nomaki reiterating Fujitsu's drive to continue supporting people, particularly in the Aizu-Wakamatsu region, through technology. Fujitsu is also dedicated to helping the ongoing recovery from the Tohoku Earthquake that hit in 2011. Fujitsu promotes the use of technology to develop a smart community, through advanced agriculture practices and next-generation farms.