Date of Investment: May 2017
AeroFarms is the world leader in indoor vertical farming, growing plants aeroponically under LED lighting. The Company is both a food producer and a technology capabilities company, with a strong focus on data collection, optimisation and machine learning. A roll out of production plants in both the US and overseas is planned, leveraging IP and generating licence fees and royalties as well as product sales. The company currently operates one full scale farm in Newark, New Jersey and plans additional US sites in 2018.
Date of Investment: October 2017
Innoliva is one of the world’s leading olive oil producers, both in terms of quality and volume. The Company is based in Spain and operates more than 5,500 hectares of Super High-Density (SHD) olive groves in Spain and Portugal. This method of growing olives allows the Company to be one of the lowest-cost producers of Extra Virgin Olive Oil (EVOO) in the world, an achievement made possible by its pioneering development of SHD groves with 2,000 trees per hectare. High tree densities allow efficient mechanised harvesting and rapid processing of the picked olives which can be pressed in less than 3 hours from harvesting – something only made possible through the Company owning its own processing facility. These factors allow the Company to produce large quantities of low acidity EVOO consistently, which is sold to EVOO bottlers who pay a premium for Innoliva’s high quality product.
Date of Investment: December 2017
Currently, 80% of the world’s almonds are grown in California, where there are growing demands for water, with strong competition from the wine industry. Australia offers ideal climatic conditions for almonds and a sophisticated and mature water trading market. In late December 2017, the Cibus funds completed the acquisition of 430 hectares of productive almond orchards near Lake Powell in Victoria, close to the border with New South Wales in Australia. This was an asset purchase of a fully mature orchard and forms a base from which to develop a full-scale almond business. A management team with considerable almond experience has been installed locally. In August 2018, a further 560 hectares of land ideal for almonds has been acquired and further greenfield developments are being sought, with a target of 1500 hectares. All aspects of the Lake Powell orchard are being reviewed, with the aim to make it and future acquisitions at the leading edge of almond growing.
Date of Investment: April 2018
Rootility develops and uses innovative root-focused plant breeding methods to dramatically increase crop yields and overall agronomic performance, while preserving crop quality. They use GMO-free processes, based on sophisticated simulation and empirical work, in combination with well-known breeding techniques, which enable them to screen crops at a large scale and high speeds. They focus on roots as drivers of tolerance to environmental changes disease resistance and performance improvement. Rootility have a distinct advantage in bringing better products to market in a more cost-effective way. Rootility has successfully applied its technology to a number of crops in different regions across the globe.
Date of Investment: August 2018
Insects are amongst the most efficient protein converters. Our oceans are overfished and 37% of fish caught are used to make fish meal used to feed farmed fish. This situation is unsustainable and consequently the rewards to find alternatives are potentially enormous. Enterra manufactures and markets sustainable insect-based feed ingredients, backed by strong technical expertise and a commitment to quality and customer service. Black Soldier Fly (BSF) larvae are voracious eaters as they need to store enough energy to sustain the entire adult stage of their lifecycle. Enterra feeds pre-consumer waste from the corn syrup industry to BSF larvae under controlled conditions. These insects rapidly transform this waste into protein and fat. After a 14-day feeding cycle, the larvae are harvested and processed into sustainable animal feed ingredients. The larvae also produce as a by-product, an organic natural fertilizer that is rich in nutrients and beneficial microbes.