The French foodprocessing company LSDH and the Kuwait company The Green Life Company have something in common. They both chose for an innovative aeroponic growth system, developed by the Swiss company CleanGreens, that enables plants to grow without soil.
"Our system allows salads and aromatic herbs to grow with 97% less water, while improving productivity by a factor of 30, thanks to a high-performing aeroponic system that is unique in the world and totally free of pesticides," says CleanGreens CEO Serge Gander. "These two new projects represent a key step in the growth of CleanGreens."
The first contract was signed with a longstanding partner: French foodprocessing company LSDH, whose subsidiary Les Crudettes is a active in the production of bagged salads. “It’s a great pleasure for us to pursue and intensify the aeroponic technology developed by CleanGreens, a trusted partner for more than five years,” says Emmanuel Vasseneix, CEO of the LSDH group. This family-owned company boasts some 2,000 employees and annual sales of € 900 million. After the inauguration of its first commercial greenhouse in France in 2019, Les Crudettes is now expressing its confidence in CleanGreens’ expertise by adding an 8,000m2 installation dedicated entirely to aromatic herbs.
The new greenhouse is also part of a circular-economy approach, as it will be powered by energy recovered from a nearby LSDH production site. Producing 150 tonnes of aromatic herbs year-round, it will allow the development of a reliable local subsidiary, reducing imports by 30 truckloads a year. The facility will be operational by mid-2022.
The second project is a 7,000m2 greenhouse for a new client in Kuwait, a milestone in the company’s growth beyond Europe. This installation will produce 70 tonnes of aromatic herbs and 210 tonnes of salad a year, thereby avoiding 17 cargo flights and the CO2 they would emit. The client, The Green Life Company, decided to partner with CleanGreens to respond to the Gulf’s need for fresh produce. “CleanGreens’ aeroponic technology is perfectly suited to the needs of Kuwait,” says Adel Al Shamali, a discreet but influential entrepreneur known throughout the Gulf region, and president and co-founder of the Green Life Company.
“The shortage of leafed vegetables and aromatic herbs, our strong dependency on imports (up to 70%) for these products, our severe climatic conditions and our limited water resources are all factors that make this project highly promising.”
By impacting the global supply chain, the Covid-19 pandemic heightened Kuwait’s concerns about food security, creating a major issue for the government. The water and energy savings of the CleanGreens solution will mark a further step toward food self-sufficiency. Operational in 2022, the project falls within the framework of a broader partnership for CleanGreens in the region.
These new contracts represent two pillars in CleanGreens’ strategy for growth and international expansion. They will boost the company’s turnover to more than CHF 4 million and will allow the company to increase their workforce by 30%.
Other projects are under discussion in several countries within and beyond Europe. "The contracts also confirm the interest among both the public and the food-processing industry for aeroponics, which ensures outstanding productivity as well as the elimination of pesticides, currently a topic of heated debate in Europe", Serge concludes.