Cichorium

This interview details Cichorium, an indoor farming company based in Spain. The interview is with Philippe Blanquet, Owner of Cichorium.

Source: Cichorium

What is the origin story of Cichorium?

The story of Cichorium started in 1988. When Philippe Blanquet, at this time assistant at the University UCL Belgium, received a sample of Cichorium intybus var foliosum rotting roots. That’s when I got contaminated by the virus of Endive. From that moment on I decided to grow Endive. And I started in Spain with a huge Company looking for a specialist in plant diseases. 35 years later, I still have the virus, and I am still passionate about this crop. 

Important to mention: Endive crop was the first crop designed for hydroponic vertical farming around 1977. 

Today we are a company specialist in Endive growing from A2Z. We are consultants and work worldwide for our clients. We have invented a new and revolutionary and patented hydroponic growing system, which eliminates most of the common Endive diseases. It allows us to produce organic certified endive all year round and it is the perfect proof for our concept and for all the new growers who decide to work with us. 

Source: Cichorium

What are some of the biggest challenges facing your team in the future?

The biggest challenges are the changing climate and the workforce. 

The roots, “raw matter”, need an optimum sexual maturity to produce high quality endive. The climate change impacts directly that maturity, moving the limits of the harvesting period and increasing the risk of losing roots (winter). Regarding to labour, it becomes increasingly difficult to find workers for the repetitive work as each endive must be touched by human hands tree to for times. And people are less and less prepared to commit to this kind of work. 

Source: Cichorium

What is unique about Cichorium compared to competitors?

Our uniqueness lies in our different approaches towards growing and in our profound knowledge regarding this crop. Our more than 30 years of experience with different environments on all 5 contents enable us to provide our customers with solid technical advice. We are a strong partner for our clients. We work only with the best growers in an international network. Our quality control is unique, we not only check it on the field but also force it ourselves and know exactly the best conditions for each root variety.

Source: Cichorium

Any other big news upcoming from Cichorium?

The big Cichorium news are more than one. WE have designed a compostable Endive-kit for home growing. We have just recently welcomed new oversea clients in Canada, California, Tahiti, New Caledonia, and Martinique with a full range of services that cumulate in customized turn-key solutions. 

Cichorium is also designing the next mechanisation system “AI-Vision” to reduce the labour needed to produce the indoor crop. 

Source: Cichorium

How can people connect with you or learn more about Cichorium?

People can connect with us via our webpage: Cichorium.com, Endibio.org, Endiplant.com or simply via phone: 0034 948413077.

Source: Cichorium

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