"CEF’s mission is to engineer, construct and operate agricultural facilities that contain the optimum growing environment for the cultivation of locally grown fresh fruit, vegetables, herbs, shrimp and fish year-round", says Bruce Carman, owner of CEF.
They intend to address the demand for locally grown, nutritious, quality food at competitive and consistent pricing through the construction of new, patent pending, organic food production facilities. Each facility, engineered as a kit, can be replicated anywhere geographically and permits the cultivation of a wide range of organically cultivated products.
CEF facilities contain IP cultivation concepts, including software development, that will integrate the most critical aspect of closed loop aquaponics: nutrient water purification and oxygenation. Product cultivation occurs through a closed loop, aquaponics water flow system that uses the fish waste to provide nutrients for plant growth. The fish waste is cycled through mechanical and microbial filtering equipment, eventually being dissolved within the nutrient water system. The ability to consolidate and intensify this process, within the controlled environment facility, provides for sustainable water conservation and enhanced cultivation. The facilities are engineered to operate successfully by producing nutritious, quality consistent product, and consistent quantities with affordable pricing, year-round.
CEF will License facilities to those who wish to own and operate a CEF facility. License applications are approved on a case by case basis and take into consideration: Financial Capacity, Knowledge of CEF Methods and Systems, Knowledge of Aquaponics, Marketing and Distribution Capacity, Site Location, Demographic Analysis, Human Resource Capacity and Employee Education.
CEF will work for the owner(s) to develop the facility in the same way it would if it was a CEF facility. This includes: demographics, economic analysis, product diversity/demand, distribution and future expansion capacity. Licensing includes on-going outreach/support with webinars as needed on improvements within the methods and systems, employee education, R&D on products and equipment and market trends. Outreach/support programs are for five years and are renewable.
Currently, SBA 504 and USDA Business & Industry loan programs are available.
Tucson facility progress
CEF's proposed Urban Farm in Tucson, AZ took a step forward with the acceptance of a Purchase Agreement, by both parties, for the land. The proposed facility will be located in downtown Tucson, on E 22nd street, and will have a footprint of approximately 40K sf.
Internal operations will consist of a closed loop aquaponics nutrient system that will support the germination, cultivation, harvesting, processing, packaging and distribution of locally grown fruit, vegetables, herbs, shrimp and fish. Recognition of the need for locally grown food and the Urban Farming Regulations within the City of Tucson, made the location possible.
The preliminary schedule is to finish financing and engineering over the next 4 to 5 months and start construction early next year. Food production operations should be starting in late 2020 with product availability in early 2021.
"Placement of Indoor Ag facilities within the city limits of a municipality, Urban Farming, is getting more and more recognition," said Bruce Carman. "It definitely provides greater freshness and affordability to the residents of the local community. That provides tangible value to the area."
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