Fresh produce grower Freshero and agtech company RotoGro are set to agree on a joint venture which will see the construction of a fully automated urban vertical farming facility in Australia.
An announcement from RotoGro said the two Australian companies expect to reach agreement on the venture before the end of 2019 and finish construction of a flagship facility in the second quarter of 2020.
The joint venture will combine the Freshero’s experience as an organic fresh produce grower and its relationships in wholesale and retail spaces in Australia, South-East Asia and the Middle East with RotoGro’s rotational hydroponic garden systems, and crop management and fertigation technology.
Together they aim to construct a fully-automated urban vertical farming facility to cultivate organic produce on a commercial scale. Once this flagship facility is complete the joint venture plans to expand and construct similar facilities across Australia, South-East Asia, Middle East and the rest of the world.
Tony Mahoney, chief executive of Freshero, said his company was impressed by the results produced by RotoGro’s technology, especially in relation to leafy greens and strawberries.
Prior to Freshero, Mahoney was the founder and chief executive of Nutrano and was the chief executive of Freshmax Group.
“Working with RotoGro over the past 15 months, developing protocols for various product lines utilising the RotoGro technology, we are very excited to move towards a formal joint venture agreement as we commence the construction of our first urban vertical farming facility,” Mahoney said.
“The RotoGro technology is unmatched in the indoor farming space – the product quality and yield of both leafy greens and strawberries have surpassed our expectations.
“We will be able to produce high-quality product on a commercial and industry-leading scale, all while utilising less water and less power in state-of-the-art facilities throughout the world,” Mahoney added.