Glowfarms was formed in mid 2020 by Luc de Vries and Ben Pieterse with the goal of creating a vertical farming company with “a perfect balance between technology and marketing.”
Glowfarms utlises a unique vertical cultivation system, which comprises a large conveyor belt that moves 10cm an hour. Small plants are loaded at one end and emerge at the other in 24 days, where the now large plants can be harvested. Along the way perfected balanced water, nutrients and light are provided to cater for the plants’ needs.
A self-learning system
The facility is being showcased as a proof of concept research centre to highlight the advantages of this form of agritech and to create a self-learning system to be implemented in a future cultivation facility.
Luc de Vries, explained, “As of now, we’re developing, building and testing all the processes by ourselves since all the systems would have to be custom made for our farm. The cost of such tailor-made equipment built by third parties would be too high at this stage. However, if other companies offer a better solution, we’d love to try that out in order to be more time-efficient.
“The system is currently fully developed and easy to scale, but we’re constantly looking for the best solution,” He added.
Increasing awareness amongst Dutch consumers
“We found that many products, especially herbs, weren’t produced locally yet and the shelf life was a real issue for consumers. That’s why we want to bridge this gap with our consumer brand Glow. At this point, we’re in talks with several potential retail partners on where to pilot our products and from most, we did already receive positive confirmation,” continued Luc.
Given the volatile nature of fresh herb market prices, due to seasonal influences, the company favours a fixed price. Retail prices vary from €1.15 (low season) to €1.60 (or higher) high season. “As we’re not season bound, we’re targeting a fixed price of around €1.50,” said Glowfarms co-founder,Ben Pieterse.
“Although we might be priced lower than other suppliers at times, we want to show that our product is consistent day in, day out,” Luc concluded.