Tag: sustainability

Netled CEO Niko Kivioja

‘Any Step Closer to Climate Neutrality Is An Important One’ | Q&A With Netled CEO Niko Kivioja   

Netled_IndoorAgContentVertical farming technology provider Netled and its client, Swedish herb supplier OMG (Oh My Greens), recently launched the first industrial-scale vertical farm delivering Climate Neutral Certified herbs from seed to shelf.  Indoor Ag-Con had the chance to catch up with Netled CEO Niko Kivioja to learn more about this exciting project, why it’s so important, and what’s on the horizon for this innovative company in this month’s CEO Q&A.

Why did OMG Choose Netled’s VERA® Technology for its new industrial scale vertical farm?

Swedish herb supplier OMG (Oh My Greens) produces 2.7 million heads of herbs annually for ICA, the leading grocery retailer in Sweden. Building a major facility with that kind of production capacity is very complex. OMG needed a technology provider who truly understands the technology and also has the experience and project delivery capabilities to carry out a project of that scale.

Oh My Greens industrial scale facility.indooragcontentWe call ourselves the one-stop shop for vertical farming, which means that on top of our proprietary Vera® technology we offer all services and support needed to build a commercially viable vertical farming business. This means we provide our customers with the design and planning of their facility, we ship the equipment, and we build, install and commission the farm. We support our customers in getting their farm up to production volumes. We also provide a five-year maintenance agreement to ensure the technology performs optimally.

It can be challenging to combine technology and services from different companies and ensure they work smoothly together. Plus you have to manage the various companies involved in the project. With Netled, you get the entire package under one roof. It’s simpler for the customer because all the various bits and pieces you need to build an industrial-scale vertical farm work seamlessly together. In a facility the size of the OMG project, those bits and pieces amount to around 120 000. So it’s no small feat.

OMG really did their homework in selecting a vertical farming partner. They will tell you themselves that they looked at 17 different providers before choosing Netled. They said that we are years ahead of the competition in terms of technology, know-how, and delivery capabilities. We are honored by that recognition.

What attracted you/Netled to the OMG project

OMG has the same level of ambition as we do: they want to succeed at vertical farming at an industrial scale and continue to grow from there. Our Vera® vertical farming technology is designed in a way that it’s scalable according to the customers’ needs and business case. The size and ambition of OMG’s project was perfect for our technology and service offerings. The growing area is about 25 800 square feet (2400 m2), and it is a big difference to make the automation work smoothly in that volume compared to smaller units.

Oh My Greens Vera vertical farm 2.indooragcontent
Photo Credit: ICA

We are also impressed by the fact that OMG’s customer is ICA, the largest retailer in Sweden. It is a very important step for us that such a significant player in the food retail industry takes a step towards vertically farmed products and sells them under their private label. Like us, they want to be at the forefront of developing a sustainable food system for the future.

We are very happy to see this development happening with big players like ICA, and we think it’s a good sign for the entire CEA industry. Vertically farmed produce is becoming more and more mainstream, and consumers will soon learn more about the benefits of this production method. Netled carried out consumer research this spring, and we found that only 11 % of Finnish consumers really knew what vertical farming was about. However, 95 % of the respondents were willing to buy vertically farmed products after learning more about the production method and its benefits.

It is clear that when major retailers incorporate vertically farmed products into their own store brand, it will open new conversations for us as technology providers.

The farm is described as the ‘first vertical farm in the world delivering Climate Neutral Certified herbs from seed to shelf.’  Can you share more about this designation and why it’s so important.

Oh My Greens Vera vertical farm.IndoorAgContent
Photo Credit: ICA

We are all in this battle against climate change together, and any step closer to climate neutrality is an important one for both OMG and Netled.

OMG is the first vertical cultivation in the world to deliver Climate Neutral Certified herbs following the Climate Neutral Certification programme. The owner of the standard is The Climate Neutral Group, a member of ICROA, the International Carbon Reduction & Offsetting Alliance. They follow strict criteria in terms of Verified Emission Reductions (VERs), and verification is carried out by independent, internationally recognized agencies.

Within this certificate, climate neutrality means both CO2 footprint reduction and compensation. OMG calculates their emissions footprint on a granular level including ingredients, storage, production, packaging, mobility, and upstream and downstream logistics until the products reach the shelf. The facility is built in an old steel factory and it operates with renewable energy: wind power. The remaining CO2 emissions are compensated by supporting an NGO’s agroforestry project of 214 hectares in India. The ultimate goal is to reduce the emissions every year until they reach a 0-emission supply chain.

Netled_WEB_4.indooragcontentNetled’s Vera® technology is designed to be as energy and resource-efficient as possible using up to 70% less energy and up to 95% less water than traditional indoor agriculture. It also allows customers to grow 2.5 times more crops in the same amount of space as greenhouse growing.

OMG’s vision is a world where food production is truly sustainable, and we as their technology provider are working towards the same goal. We are constantly striving to reduce emissions and this will be a work in progress as we develop our technology and processes.

What’s next for Netled – any other projects of this scale or other developments on the horizon?

We recently opened our first North American Vera® vertical farm as part of the launch of Netled North America in Calgary, Canada. The vertical farm in Calgary is a showcase facility for North American customers who want to see our Vera® technology firsthand. The demo unit features the same Vera® technology, but on a smaller scale. It will allow potential customers to see the technology up close and discuss their requirements with our experienced team in Calgary.

Netled_WEB_3.indooragcontentIn terms of other projects, we have just finished commissioning a compact-size Vera® farm in Poland, and we are currently building another industrial-scale facility in the Nordics. We are in the negotiating phase with other clients on some very exciting commercial-scale projects in Europe and North America, stay tuned for more details!

Learn more about Netled by visiting the company’s website — www.netled.fi

The Center of Excellence for Indoor Agriculture Announces New Water Quality and Management Service

COE Erick Bandala
Dr. Erick Bandala to head new water quality and management service for Center of Excellence for Indoor Agriculture

The Center of Excellence for Indoor Agriculture, a U.S. based company that supports the growth of the vertical and indoor farming industry, announced a new water quality and management service headed by Dr. Erick Bandala, an environmental scientist.

The new service focuses on the sustainable use of water for indoor vertical farms, greenhouses, and urban farms as well as water safety and quality. Services include water quality testing and assessment, contaminant identification and source assessment, wastewater treatment and reuse, and water treatment system identification and evaluation. Services also include advanced bacterial testing and analytics, as well as the detection of chemicals such as PFAS.

More info is available at https://indooragcenter.org/water-quality-management

Eric W. Stein, Ph.D., Founder| Executive Director, Center of Excellence for Indoor Agriculture

Eric W. Stein, Ph.D., founder and Executive Director of the Center of Excellence notes, “Water is the lifeblood of all farms. Having a quality water supply that is effectively managed is essential to running a sustainable, efficient, and safe indoor farm. The Center is proud to offer this service to the industry under the direction of Dr. Bandala.”

Dr. Bandala observes, “Indoor farms are well-known for saving significant amounts of water while growing plants compared to conventional farms. However, much less is known about how water use may affect indoor farm operations or the quality of the product. I am excited to join the Center to help indoor growers solve water quality-related problems, improve water efficiency and to reduce their overall use of water for operations.”

About The Center
The Center of Excellence for Indoor Agriculture provides insights about the economics of indoor farming based on a careful analysis of industry data and from thought leaders in industry and academia. As the first U.S.-based Center of Excellence dedicated to indoor farming, it promotes best practices, bench-marking, new knowledge and research. Its annual Best in Class Indoor Farming Awards™ recognize top indoor growers and manufacturers. The Center is located in the Philadelphia metro region.

About Erick R. Bandala, Ph.D.
Dr. Bandala holds a Ph.D. in Environmental Engineering, an MSc in Organic Chemistry and BEng in Chemical Engineering. Dr. Bandala is author or co-author of nearly one hundred peer-reviewed papers in international journals, 5 books, 27 book chapters and 65 works published in proceedings of international conferences.

Katie Seawell Bowery Farming

Resiliency, Sustainability, Smart Farms: Q & A With Bowery Farming CCO Katie Seawell

Bowery FarmingFrom the recent opening of its largest, most technologically advanced sustainable commercial smart farm in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania to its expansion into fruiting and vine crops with the launch of new strawberry varieties , Bowery Farming has been making a lot of headlines lately.

Indoor Ag-Con had the opportunity to catch up with Katie Seawell, Chief Commercial Officer (CCO) of the largest vertical farming company in the U.S, to get her thoughts on CEA industry trends and learn more about Bowery’s innovations, programs and mission to grow food smarter, sustainably, for more people, in more places.

What trend(s) are you seeing as it relates to how/why retailers are investing in CEA?

Investment in CEA comes down to two words: resiliency and sustainability. The past two years have made it painfully clear that climate change, global events, and supply chain disruption all have an enormous impact on our food systems. We need resiliency now more than ever before. By growing indoors, 365 days a year, with zero impact from drought, wildfires, or extreme temperatures, Bowery is growing a resilient supply of pesticide-free produce. And not only resilient, but predictable and reliable—we know, and therefore retailers know, exactly how much produce to expect, which cuts down on food waste.

Retailers and consumers are knowledgeable about where food comes from, and are investing in CEA for its sustainability practices. Bowery farms are powered 100% by renewable energy and cut down food miles drastically.

A product that is both good for the planet and more reliable is a powerful investment for retailers.

Can you share details around Bowery’s new partnership with the Nature Conservancy and what you hope to achieve through that relationship?

Bowery and Nature Conservancy Partnership

Bowery partnered with The Nature Conservancy to spread the word about #Rewilding—a movement committed to restoring degraded farmland and forests. A pack takeover during Earth Month and beyond included a QR code, available in over 1,000 grocery stores, to connect customers to information on actionable sustainability and restoration efforts, such as supporting The Nature Conservancy’s ‘Plant a Billion Trees’ campaign.

In addition to pledging to restore 50 acres in the U.S., in partnership with The Nature Conservancy, Bowery sought to raise awareness about Rewilding, and spotlight what is possible when we give Mother Earth a break – allowing land to ‘Rewild’. Our packs featured cutouts of six animals, such as the Louisiana Black Bear, which was recently delisted as an endangered species thanks to conservation efforts.

The missions of Bowery and TNC meet in this partnership, as Rewilding and indoor vertical farming are both part of the solution to address global challenges from climate change to ecosystem biodiversity to feeding growing populations. When we grow inside, we can restore outside.

Congrats on the recent opening of your newest farm in Bethlehem, PA. It’s described as Bowery’s largest, most technologically advanced & sustainable commercial smart farm. Can you share why you chose the Bethlehem site and how this newest farm fits into Bowery’s growth strategy?

Bowery Bethlehem PABethlehem represents the next chapter in climate-smart agriculture at Bowery. The Bethlehem Farm, once a non-arable industrial site, is now modern farmland. This transformation from brownfield to vertical farm means that fresh, healthy food is now being grown, year-round, where it was previously thought no food would ever grow again.

This commercial farm is also a blueprint for Bowery. It features a replicable system that will allow us to grow food wherever and whenever it is needed. The farm is powered with 100% renewable energy and features 15% more efficient LED lighting. Bowery’s Bethlehem Farm will bring fresh produce to a population of 50-million people within a 200-mile radius.

We chose Bethlehem for several reasons: to meet regional demand for pesticide-free, local produce grown sustainably; to further our mission of democratizing access to reliable, healthy produce; and to help fight the climate crisis by building resilient regional food systems on previously non-arable land. What was once the flagship site of the Bethlehem Steel Corporation is now, in part, a modern farm that will help feed the community.

Tell us a little more about aGirlculture, the women’s development network you co-founded at Bowery and serve as the group’s executive sponsor.

AGIRLCulture at Bowery FarmingOver the course of my career, so many talented women leaders helped shape and inspire my path. I wouldn’t be where I am today without their encouragement and support. This background, where women fiercely support one another, led me to co-found aGirlculture at Bowery. The group brings together women of all levels to connect with peers and senior leaders. We’re creating a space for mentorship and other opportunities for personal and professional growth.

Our programming has included guest speakers, roundtable discussions, International Women’s Day celebrations, and more. During the height of the pandemic, we moved forward with our programming over Zoom.

It’s been very rewarding to build a space where rich discussions can happen, where we can dig into culturally relevant topics for women and lay the foundation for women to advocate for each other. And we’re just getting started.

Before joining Bowery, you were with Starbucks where you held a number of senior leadership roles in branding, marketing and product development. Can you share any lessons learned or challenges from your time at Starbucks that have helped you in your role at Bowery?

Two main lessons learned come to mind. First, Starbucks instilled in me a deep belief that we are all stewards of our planet, and that it is our responsibility to care for the environment to the best of our ability. This value led me to Bowery and guides the urgency I feel when it comes to our sustainability goals.

Second, my time at Starbucks taught me that the private sector cannot be a bystander when it comes to the challenges of climate change. Businesses need to put full weight and resources behind sustainability to be part of the solution to the climate crisis. By making responsible decisions to build sustainable models, we can solve really hard problems.

What’s next for Bowery?

Bethlehem Farm Bowery FarmingThe Bethlehem Farm, our Smart Farm of the Future, is a model for what’s next at Bowery. We have two additional farms under construction in Locust Grove, Georgia and Arlington, Texas and we’re on track to double our number of farms by 2023, with the goal of helping to alleviate the strains insecurity puts on the U.S. food supply and economy.

We’re also committed to innovation: our R&D team is continuing the diversification of our pesticide-free produce portfolio, unlocking new possibilities and flavors in food. This includes more SKUs in addition to leafy greens and herbs, such as strawberries and other fruiting and vine crops.

We envision a Bowery smart farm in every city in the U.S. and ultimately the entire world, and we’re on the growth trajectory to achieve just that.

For more information, visit the Bowery website — https://boweryfarming.com/

Shawn Woods GoodLeaf Farms

Canada’s Largest Commercial Vertical Farm | Q&A With GoodLeaf Farms’ Shawn Woods

GoodLeaf FarmsWhat started in 2011 as a dream to deliver fresh, nutritious produce to Canadians year-round has become reality. As Canada’s first and largest commercial vertical farming operation, GoodLeaf Farms began supplying microgreens and baby greens to retail locations and restaurants throughout Ontario in 2019.

Indoor Ag-Con is excited to kick off our 2022 Indoor Ag-Conversations webinar series on June 1, 2022 at 2:30 pm ET with the idea-packed case study session , “A Dream Becomes Reality” with GoodLeaf Farm Manager Shawn Woods and equipment partners from Signify & Montel.  Ahead of the webinar, we had the chance to catch up with Shawn to learn a little more about how GoodLeaf is delivering on its mission and what’s next for the growing company.

 What are you growing at your Guelph, Ontario operation, and, what differentiates GoodLeaf from other vertical farms in the marketplace

GoodLeaf FarmsWe are currently growing microgreens  — Spicy Mustard Medley, Pea Shoots, Asian Blend, Micro Arugula, Micro Radish, and Micro Broccoli —  and baby greens – Ontario Arugula, Ontario Spring Mix and Ontario Baby Spinach.

In terms of what sets us apart, we are Canada’s largest commercial vertical farm, and the only one with scale to supply the major grocery chains with safe, fresh, and healthy greens. We lead the industry in Food Safety with SQF Level 2 Certification and a positive release program, which  means that we test every harvest for pathogens and only release them once they have been cleared by our internal lab

In addition, our proprietary technology enables us to grow nutrient-dense local food that is environmentally conscious 365 days a year.

From Day One, our focus has been on growing healthy, tasty food that people want to eat. We use our technology to grow food, while others use technology to collect data.

 

Sustainability is a key part of your mission. Can you share some of GoodLeaf’s sustainable practices and initiatives?

GoodLeaf Farms Sustainable PracticesOur sustainable practices include:

  • Water use in vertical farming is 95 per cent less than traditional farming methods.
  • More food can be grown per acre, maximizing use of space, and limiting land use.
  • Because our farm is indoors in an environment that is almost entirely controlled, there are no pests, bugs, or birds — and thus no pesticides, herbicides or fungicides are used.
  • The water used is cleaned and recirculated, so there are no run-off issues.
  • Peat / Soil is recycled and re-used in landscaping.
  • Favorable carbon footprint compared to traditional farming.
  • By providing a local food source, we are removing thousands of food miles annually; Leafy greens coming from the southwestern United States are trucked across the continent, burning fossil fuels the whole way.

 

Last year, GoodLeaf announced an aggressive growth and expansion plan to build a national network of vertical farms.   Can you share updates, including progress on the Calgary project?

GoodLeaf FarmsConstruction on our Calgary farm is well under way. We are on schedule to have the 95,000-square-foot farm open and providing fresh leafy greens to grocery stores across Western Canada in first half of next year.

We are continuing to move forward with our plans for a similar facility in the Montreal area but are not able to provide additional information at this time.   

 

GoodLeaf is working on a number of R&D projects with universities to advance the science & engineering of vertical farming.  Can you tell us about any of the projects currently underway?

We have an MoU with the University of Guelph to build stronger links between theoretical research, the development of technology and processes and practical application in the field.

Some of the best and most innovative agricultural research in Canada happens at the University of Guelph. Building on the vertical farm technology we have already developed and are using; it will be exciting to see where this partnership can take us.

Some of the projects currently under way with the University of Guelph include research into:

  • Enhancing yields, plant science and new product development.
  • Substrates, growing compounds, and microbiology.
  • Human resources and training future experts in the field of vertical farming.

 

What’s next for GoodLeaf ?

GoodLeaf FarmsWe are constantly innovating and experimenting with new processes and products to bring the best possible leafy greens to Canadian consumers.

Efforts continue to build partnerships with grocery retailers across Canada, and we are aggressively pursuing growth into the restaurant and hospitality sector. Chefs can do wondrous things with our leafy greens, and we are excited to see where this journey will take us.

While Canada is our priority today, we can’t wait to bring our greens to consumers across the globe

What’s more, we are excited about other opportunities for vertical farming to add value — expanding the portfolio beyond leafy greens or growing specialty crops for healthcare

 

To learn more about GoodLeaf Farms, visit the website at www.goodleaffarms.com  and check out this video that takes you through a quick tour of GoodLeaf’s seeding and grow rooms, harvesting and packaging:

 

Indoor Ag-Con Event Partner Tech 4.0

CEA 4.0 | Accelerating the Development, Advancement & Efficiency of Indoor Farming

Indoor Ag-Con is proud to be an event partner for Controlled Environment Agriculture (CEA) 4.0, the virtual event focusing on accelerating the development, advancement and efficiency of indoor farming.  This year the event runs over 2 days —  Friday, May 6 and Friday, May 20, 2022.

“This edition of CEA 4.0 will focus on the current evolution of the indoor farming industry to explore how policy is developing with its integration into the sector, how we are helping to drive the circular economy forward, sustainability, integration into traditional food systems, and learning how this is being done from an international perspective. From a technological aspect we will be focusing on seeds and their development, TCEA, grow light solutions, resource efficiencies, automation, energy usage and requirements, innovations in research and technologies, and robotics & AI,” according to Jonathan Martin, director, Tech 4.0.

As part of our event partnership, our Indoor Ag-Con audience is invited  to take advantage of a special VIP upgrade.  You can register for the current lowest price of £4.99 and you’ll be  upgraded manually to a VIP attendee which includes:

  • Full conference & event access provided for the entire event
  • Instant messaging and 1-1 video networking with any attendee
  • Ability to arrange 1-1 video meetings with any attendee
  • Access to recordings of event presentations
  • Customizable company & attendee profiles with various multimedia content options
  • Associated event company branding

Learn more & register at   https://www.tickettailor.com/events/jonathanmartin/535203

Carbon Book Launches Carbon Tool

CarbonBook Launches Carbon Calculation Tool for Indoor Agriculture

The platform offers the industry a standard for measuring, documenting and improving carbon footprint

CarbonBook℠ announced today that it has launched its flagship product — an easy-to-use software tool of the same name, that empowers indoor farms to become more sustainable and productive. This new product helps indoor growers, retailers, and input providers measure, document and improve their carbon footprints.

“Consumers, retailers, and investors are hungry for reliable sources of produce with reduced carbon footprints. Carbon score labeling is just around the corner,” remarked Daphne Preuss, CEO. “With CarbonBook, growers will be able to document their carbon footprint over time, using an ISO-compliant model. This opens the door to more sustainable indoor farming and will provide the validation needed for additional revenue streams through the sale of carbon credits.”

Developed specifically for Controlled Environmental Agriculture (CEA), the software takes a comprehensive and nuanced approach, including:

• Evaluating and monitoring CO2 emissions.
• Measuring carbon contribution from energy inputs, consumables, packaging, storage,
and transportation.
• Capturing benefits from biomass production, recycling and power generation.
• Providing reporting and data analysis

Designed to meet the highest industry requirements for carbon footprint products, the software uses the Science Based Targets initiative (SBTi) and indoor agriculture- focused life cycle analysis to provide the most accurate carbon calculations available for indoor farming.

The software will be showcased to the industry for the first time at Indoor Ag Con in Las Vegas from February 28 to March 1.

About CarbonBook
CarbonBook℠ is a global leader in calculating greenhouse gas contributions from indoor farming. We assess and standardize carbon footprint calculations for produce grown indoors, from high-tech vertical farms to ordinary greenhouses. Our products enable growers, distributors, retailers, and input providers to track and improve carbon footprints, from seed to harvest to delivery. For more information, visit the company’s website at carbonbook.com.

NY Sunworks at INdoor Ag-con

NY Sun Works – Supporting the Next Generation of Urban Farmers and Innovators

NY SunworksFor more than 10 years, NY Sun Works, a NYC-based non-profit organization, has used hydroponic technology to teach K-12th grade students about science and sustainability. Their first hydroponic farm-classroom opened in 2010 at a Manhattan public school.  Since then, they’ve grown to nearly 200 schools across the five boroughs of NYC and metro NJ, enabling over 65,000 students in 2021 alone to learn biology, ecology, chemistry and environmental science concepts – all while growing fresh produce to share with their families and school community.

To date, NY Sun Works has installed more than 700 hydroponic systems in school farm-classrooms and greenhouses.  And this number is growing quickly as the non-profit is set to build at least one new hydroponic classroom every week through 2022 – and demand for the program is only growing.  Students plant and grow a wide variety of crops, not only exposing them to critical hands-on science and sustainability topics, but also to new and nutritious vegetables and herbs. As students bring their harvest home to families, they share with them how delicious and fresh vegetables can be when they are grown hydroponically and eaten soon after harvest.

Now, NY Sun Works is introducing its new high school career readiness program in Controlled Environment Agriculture (CEA). Recognizing the need for high school students to have direct-to-work options – and the growth of indoor farming as a green industry in NYC and other urban areas – the program provides high school students with marketable technical skills to enter the job market directly after graduation or to continue with further training in a post-secondary academic program.  The program launched in 3 Brooklyn high schools in the 2021-22 school year with pilot funding from the U.S. Department of Agriculture and will expand to other schools and boroughs next year.

This is an exciting time for urban farmers in NYC, and NY Sun Works has been a key driver of new growth and development in this sector. Last fall, NY Sun Works Executive Director Manuela Zamora was appointed to Eric Adams’ Food Policy Transition Team where she worked alongside industry leaders and community farmers to develop plans for the administration to help grow urban agriculture in NYC. As then-Brooklyn Borough President, Mayor Adams stated in 2021, “Urban agriculture has the potential to revolutionize our urban landscape and play a significant role in an equitable recovery process…Programs such as NY Sun Works give high school students technical skills required in the emerging agricultural industry…We should seek to scale this up further.”

NY Sun Works is excited to launch this innovative career readiness program and to help build a greener NYC.  For more on our CEA certification program and to learn more about NY Sun Works, please contact: Megan Nordgrén, Director of Program Development: megan@nysunworks.org.

 Join Sidsel Robards, Co-Founder, the Greenhouse Project, NY Sunworks for our Indoor Ag-Con 2022 Panel: Cultivating The Workforce Pipeline: Educating the Next Gen Farmers.  Learn more & register today

Matt Ryan Soli Organic

Organic, Sustainable, Affordable, Accessible: Q&A With Soli Organic CEO Matt Ryan

Soli OrganicIndoor Ag-Con is excited to announce that Soli Organic CEO Matt Ryan has joined our CEO keynote line-up for the February 28-March 1, 2022 edition of Indoor Ag-Con. During his keynote presentation on March 1, 2022, 8 – 8:50 AM, Matt Ryan will share more about his company’s plans to change the world of organic produce by “Bringing Nature Indoors”™ with its soil-based, certified organic biofarms.

Soli Organic, formerly known as Shenandoah Growers, Inc., is the nation’s only soil-based, controlled environment agriculture company delivering 100% USDA certified organic produce to more than 20,000 retail stores nationwide We checked in with Matt ahead of his keynote to learn more about the company’s latest developments and plans for future growth in this month’s CEO Q&A.

Soli Organic
default

Given your proven leadership background in branding /marketing with companies like Starbucks and Walt Disney, how did your outside perspective come into play with the Soli rebranding and what do you hope to accomplish with the new branding?

I’m very grateful for the incredible experiences I’ve had leading up to this point in my career and the lessons I’ve learned at each stop proved to be valuable as we went through our re-branding process in 2021. The new branding is a reflection of Soli Organic’s commitment to growing indoors, in real soil, and we’re aiming to convey to consumers the company’s vision to produce fresh products that are organic, sustainable, affordable and accessible to all.

Soli Organic 3Congratulations on the recent news about the $120 financing arrangement with The Decennial Group.  How does this play into your growth plans?

This is a very exciting time for Soli Organic as we continue on a track of accelerating growth to build on our company’s 30-plus year history of strong financial performance. The arrangement with Decennial – one of the largest of its kind for a controlled environment agriculture company – will help to support that growth, providing financing for three new indoor Biofarm facilities that will enable us to continue to scale the growth of our operations and meet the growing demand for fresh, sustainably-grown, organic produce that is affordable.

 

Soli OrganicSpeaking of news, can you also share a little more about the new partnership between Soli Organic and Rutgers University and how you will be working with its plant breeding experts?

Over the next five years, we’ll be working with the world-leading plant breeding experts at Rutgers School of Environmental and Biological Sciences to select and advance the next generation of commercial organic, indoor-grown produce. Specifically, we’ll be analyzing the chemistry of new crop lines to optimize flavor, aroma, nutrition and yield traits for indoor cultivation. The partnership is an example of Soli Organic’s deep commitment to a “biology first, technology to scale” philosophy as we work to provide consumers with great-tasting and affordable organic produce.

Soli OrganicWhat’s next for Soli Organic?

Right now, our focus is on executing against current product timelines and continuing on our growth track to enhance our ability to meet the growing demand for fresh products that are organic, sustainable, affordable and accessible to all. To that end, we have plans in place to build eight new high-tech indoor Biofarm facilities, in addition to the seven farms in operation today. We’re very excited about the future at Soli Organic.

To learn more about Soli Organic, visit the website at www.soliorganic.com 

Carbon Book Launches Carbon Tool

CarbonBook Launches Carbon Calculation Tool For Indoor Farming

Indoor Ag-Con 2022 Exhibitor CarbonBook℠ has launched its flagship product — an easy-to-use software tool of the same name, that empowers indoor farms to become more sustainable and productive.

This new product helps indoor farmers, retailers, and input providers measure, document and improve their carbon footprints.

“Consumers, retailers, and investors are hungry for reliable sources of produce with reduced carbon footprints. Carbon score labeling is just around the corner,” remarked Daphne Preuss, CEO. “With CarbonBook, growers will be able to document their carbon footprint over time, using an ISO-compliant model. This opens the door to more sustainable indoor farming and will provide the validation needed for additional revenue streams through the sale of carbon credits.”

Developed specifically for indoor agriculture, the software takes a comprehensive and nuanced approach, including:

• Evaluating and monitoring CO2 emissions.

• Measuring carbon contribution from energy inputs, consumables, packaging, storage, and transportation.

• Capturing benefits from biomass production, recycling and power generation.

• Providing reporting and data analysis

Designed to meet the highest industry requirements for carbon footprint products, the software uses the Science Based Targets initiative (SBTi) and indoor agriculture- focused life cycle analysis to provide the most accurate carbon calculations available for indoor farming. About CarbonBook CarbonBook℠ is a global leader in calculating greenhouse gas contributions from indoor farming. We assess and standardize carbon footprint calculations for produce grown indoors, from high-tech vertical farms to ordinary greenhouses.

Our products enable growers, distributors, retailers, and input providers to track and improve carbon footprints, from seed to harvest to delivery.

For more information, visit the company’s website at carbonbook.com.

Koppert Rebrand

Koppert New Branding : Inspired By Nature

Indoor Ag-Con 2022 Exhibitor Koppert is pleased  to present its  new logo and branding! Koppert has grown and evolved tremendously since it was  founded. Therefore, after 30 years it was time for an update, a branding that matches its ambition and reflects our connection to nature.

‘Our mission to contribute to the health of people and the planet by partnering with nature has led us to where we are today: a solid purpose-driven organization with strong core values. Our new branding reflects that mission and values. This will ensure that what we stand for is reflected consistently in how we communicate,’ says Chief Strategy Officer (CSO), Peter Maes.

With offices in thirty countries, our solutions are being used in 100 countries all over the world. Over the years, othe  family company has evolved from a pioneering concern with four employees into a global market leader. According to Martin Koppert, Chief Business Officer (CBO), it was time the branding evolves as well: ‘To make our world more sustainable, we need ways of growing that are both safe and healthy. Our goal is 100% sustainable agriculture. We work together with growers and farmers towards this goal. Our new branding will ensure a powerful image across all global markets and confirms Koppert’s unique dedication and commitment in providing a comprehensive range of biological solutions in a wide range of crops.’

‘We aim to collaborate and co-create with partners in pursuit of our mission. We believe this branding will open a world of opportunities, connecting customers and partners who are willing to contribute to a better world,’ adds Maes. ‘We are convinced that we can be part of the solution, in which we offer our knowledge, expertise, and products to produce healthy food in the most sustainable manner.’

The new branding shows our connection with nature. ‘Nature is where we draw all of our inspiration from, where our solutions find their origin. Obviously, our new identity is rooted in nature,’ says Maes. The Koppert ‘K’ is designed to aim forward: always looking ahead for new sustainable solutions. In addition, the symmetry symbolises the equal importance of plant protection above and underground. The natural shapes and colours of the new Koppert brand express the connectivity with nature, and the unlimited solutions which can be found in it.

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