"Vertically grown strawberries are not easy, but automation is bound to solve the economic problem"

“Vertically grown strawberries are not easy, but automation is bound to solve the economic problem”

“As soon as vertically grown strawberries are on the market at a lower price, it is child’s play for the market to switch to the consumption of vertical farming products. It’s just the question of how fast this industry can scale and how quickly the necessary technologies can be commercialized, ”says Samuel Bertram, co-founder and CEO of OnePointOne (OPO), a US-based agtech company.

Samuel Bertram

“Today, the value proposition is largely a supply chain value proposition. There is tremendous inflation going on in food, which is not good for low-income families, but offers an entrance for products. of high quality to enter the market. ”

OPO’s business model is to sell farms and license software to buyers throughout the supply chain. Since there is a high level of automation, remote controlled farming is just around the corner. Part of OPO is Willo, which licenses OPO technology. In Willo, there is a subscription option that allows them to sign up for delivery of leafy vegetables and strawberries once the farms are up and running.

The Apollo ™ 3

‘Big economy’
“At the end of the day, it’s all about unitary economics and supply chain problem solving. Once solved, the passage of consumption to a vertically grown product will be immediate and seamless. Due to the complexity of complete automation and system reliability, we see very few vertical companies addressing this issue in its entirety. Automation has always been a stake: you need to be a competitive player in the vertical farming sector.

Identify a common trend: All hardware innovations begin by tapping into a premium market that provides the capital and traction to solve the problem for the mass market. OPO is targeting its technology in regions where consumers are prepared to pay a premium for much higher quality products. The organization is focused on navigating that commercial landscape over the next three years for the mass market. “Growing strawberries is not easy, but automation will allow for significant production savings.”

A row of strawberries

The first strawberry farm has been sold to IMEX Organic and will build 12 more farms by the end of 2025. The first of IMEX’s agricultural network will be located in Phoenix, Arizona (USA). The 80,000 sq m warehouse was designed to house numerous farms for various customers. Each agricultural unit costs $ 2 million and is designed to grow a variety of green leafy vegetables, herbs, microgreens and berries.

Samuel adds that the strawberry market is perfect for vertical farming. However, they are in the market selling various farms. Opollo ™ 2 agricultural technology is designed to grow herbs, leafy vegetables and microgreens. Opollo ™ 3 specializes in the cultivation of various berries. While Opollo ™ 4 will focus on growing cannabis, and the rest will follow. On the farm it is possible to grow two types of varieties at the same time, 4 in total, allowing growers to be more flexible and to respond to market fluctuations.

An Opollo ™ 3 under construction

Solemn automation
“We are at the forefront in many areas as we are able to capture images of plants, moving plants, moving lights, etc. with a single fleet robotics platform. We want this technology to feed and treat more than 10 million people within 10-15 years. For me and our team, this is a matter of life and death for people who do not have access to food. OPO aims to become the “Intel Inside” of agriculture, “says Samuel.

“The system is designed to completely eliminate physical human interaction with plants.” The only time someone enters the farm is when system anomalies occur: any system anomaly can be handled by the system itself. Robots descend on the farm to take photos, pollinate, collect and move between plants. OPO’s software platform dictates the company’s actions and monitors plant performance. Thanks to a large network of sensors and a mobile network of cameras, data can be accumulated and analyzed in a superhuman way.

For more information:
Samuel Bertram, co-founder

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