As Sweden is not on a lock-down yet, the virus is nevertheless having a great impact on jobs and the country’s economy. Crisis packages for jobs and transition are now being presented by the government. So far SweGreen has not noticed a great impact on business despite the COVID-19, rather the opposite. The absolute major part of SweGreen produce, based in Stockholm, is the distribution of their ‘Stadsbondens’ branded leafy greens and herbs to supermarkets. A particular increase in sales is visible, even though the company doesn’t do anything extra in-store to meet customers, besides deliveries.
“We have some restaurants on our client list, and we see that they are suffering a lot now. We are actually delivering to them according to the agreement, but for free. We have chosen to not charge our restaurant partners anything during this crisis, just to show our compassion and goodwill,” Andreas Dahlin, CEO of SweGreen says.
The SweGreen salad mix
Stadsbondens, which means ‘The City Farmers’ in Swedish, is the leafy greens brand, that SweGreen uses for marketing their produce to supermarkets. As for now the produce is sold at around ten supermarkets, located in Stockholm. SweGreen has recently set up a service together with an online distributor which enables them to sell their fresh produce online and home-delivery of the greens. Dahlin notes: “It gives us the possibility to reach more people. Next to that customers don’t have to get out of the house, and our brand lovers can order the fresh produce no matter where they are located in Stockholm.”
Farming as a Service
SweGreen has developed its own farming service, which is a closed environment and automated in-store solution that gives customers within grocery and restaurants the possibility to be their own providers of fresh, nutritional, locally-produced greens harvested directly off the shelf.
A vertical basil wall
“Farming as a Service, as we like to call it, is the service we offer. We provide a whole system, containing both software and hardware, such as monitoring and steering. So basically with our concept, everyone can be a City Farmer as it automates the whole growing process”, Andreas Dahlin says. In Stockholm the SweGreen city farm has been fully developed to automation. “We control everything that goes in and comes out. With a fully closed system, we also can digitally control every unit or crop that we provide to our client. One of the most important keys for Urban Farming is absolutely being able to get valid data from growing processes and having the ability to convert the data to value-shaping intelligence. We focus a lot on this now. In this way we can improve the systems constantly together with our clients.”
A vertical fresh produce wall
“Our objective now is to further develop the Farming Service. Our customers really appreciate this service model and I think the circumstances right now prove the importance of factors such as sustainability, resilience and hyper-local production for the food industry."
Andreas Dahlin, CEO at SweGreen
"We have just closed our second seeding round with investors and we are planning on expanding internationally. Not only with the focus on supermarkets, because we also get a lot of interest from restaurants too. Restaurants and chefs are early adopters when it comes to the sustainable production of food”, Dahlin adds.