As the world grapples with challenges like climate change and water scarcity, innovative agricultural techniques are emerging as potential solutions. One such method, aeroponic agriculture, is making waves in the industry, promising not only resource conservation but also environmental sustainability. Leading this revolution is the Italian company, Agricooltur®.
Founded by Marco Bartolomeo Divià, Alessandro Boniforte, and Stefano Ferrero in 2018, Agricooltur® has introduced a patented aeroponic farming system. This unique approach allows plants to grow without soil in a controlled setting, resulting in significant water savings compared to conventional methods, and eliminates the need for pesticides.
The trio of founders shared their ambitious plans: “We aim to strengthen our foothold across Italy. By June 2024, we’re looking to inaugurate an Agricooltur greenhouse in Rome, complementing our ongoing ventures in regions like Lombardy, Piedmont, and Liguria. Our vision also extends beyond Italy. Collaborating with industry veteran Frédéric Thil, former CEO of Ferrero, we’re crafting strategies for international expansion, with a keen interest in European markets, particularly France and Spain.”
Agricooltur’s system is underpinned by three patented technologies (Aerosmart, Aeromatic, and Hortus). These innovations enable the cultivation of vegetables, microgreens, and herbs by misting the plant roots, yielding impressive results in terms of growth speed, yield, and quality. Their cultivation modules, ‘The Plant’ and ‘Hortus’, can be adapted for both indoor and outdoor settings.
Highlighting the benefits, Divià, Boniforte, and Ferrero stated, “Our plants, suspended and nurtured in a controlled environment, are less susceptible to common pests and diseases. This method ensures up to 98% water savings and reduces fertiliser use by over 90% compared to traditional farming. Moreover, by situating our facilities close to demand centres, we minimise waste and reduce road transport, thereby cutting down greenhouse gas emissions.”
Agricooltur’s recent collaboration with the retail giant Carrefour underscores the potential of their produce in the large-scale retail sector. “Our partnership with Carrefour has been immensely positive. The response to our brand and products has been overwhelming, and we’re optimistic about expanding our presence in more stores,” the founders remarked.
Following a successful investment round in 2023, which raised €5 million, Agricooltur is poised for growth. The company anticipates sales exceeding €11 million in 2024 across Italian and European markets. Their franchise model, which offers a comprehensive package for production and marketing, has garnered significant interest.
Concluding their vision, Divià, Boniforte, and Ferrero said, “Our core proposition is delivering fresh produce with roots intact to the end consumer. To achieve this on a grand scale, franchising is our chosen path for nationwide expansion.”
For more insights, visit Agricooltur’s official website.