Elevate Farms Canada

This interview details Elevate Farms, an indoor farming company based in Canada. The interview is with Amin Jadavji, President & CEO, Director of Elevate Farms.

Source: Elevate Farms

What is the origin story of Elevate Farms?

2 Co-Founders.  One with 20 years of photobiology experience and the other with 20 years of manufacturing experience supplying food service.  We came together with the intention to create a solution to supply high-volume, mass-market products.

Source: Elevate Farms

What are some of the biggest challenges facing Elevate Farms in the future? 

Most vertical farming operations carry the same narrative; local, less water, less land, pesticide-free.  The industry is facing a bit of a reckoning at the moment which makes it difficult to separate ourselves from our competitors.   

Source: Elevate Farms

What is unique about Elevate Farms compared to competitors? 

The technology that we have developed is based on a decade of advanced photobiology research along with advanced automation.  The result is reasonable energy costs and very low labour costs.  The combination of our tech allows us to focus on the high-volume wholesale market.  

Source: Elevate Farms

How has Elevate Farms's advanced photobiology research influenced the design and operation of its indoor farms? What are some key insights or discoveries that have been applied to enhance the farming process?

 

Our entire system design is based on the results of our research.  For example in research, we are able to calculate the amount of water evapotranspiration that a plant puts out at a particular time in the grow cycle.  We multiply this by the estimated number of plants in a given section of our large-scale system and build out the required volume dehumidification to ensure healthy plants. 

Source: Elevate Farms


Water usage is a significant concern in agriculture. How does Elevate Farms address this issue in its indoor farming systems? Are there any innovative approaches or technologies employed to optimize water consumption?

 

An external audit of our system has validated us for being 95.2% more water efficient than traditional farming.  We run our nutrient feeding in a closed cycle, meaning we recycle the water.  In addition to this, we remove moisture from the air, creating pure water which then becomes our primary water source.  All these recycled water sources are run through various stages of filters and purification equipment to ensure consistent quality.  In addition, our autonomous farm allows us to have better control over all of the variables improving our moisture collection.  

Source: Elevate Farms

 

Looking ahead, what are Elevate Farms's plans or ongoing research in terms of technology and water usage? Are there any upcoming innovations or developments in these areas that the company is currently working on or exploring?

We feel we are already a leader in minimizing water consumption however as we build out larger-scale operations, we believe that we can embed water storage as part of our building design which would further improve our overall water efficiency.

Source: Elevate Farms

How do you measure the impact of Elevate Farms so far? (Revenue, Employees, Customer Quantity, Production Volume) etc? 

Benchmarking can be complicated.  Over the last couple of years, we have seen numerous announcements from competitors that claim to have the world's largest vertical farm.  We don't hear any announcements about building the world's most efficient vertical farm!    Our farm in NJ grows over a half million pounds a year with just over 10 employees and this includes not just growing, but also processing and packaging. In fact, our grow room is fully autonomous requiring no human intervention. Our technology is operating in Canada, the US, and New Zealand with plans to expand to Europe, Australia, and the Middle East.  

Source: Elevate Farms

What have you learned that you wish you knew when you joined or started the company? 

It's true that hindsight is always 20/20, and also that everything always takes longer than you expect (and costs more).  For me, the biggest challenge was trying to build a global business while the world was on lockdown.  The multi-year effects of Covid-19 not only affected our ability to travel, they also caused massive fluctuations to the way we consumed and therefore distributed food.  For example, it was impossible to focus on food service distribution when no one left their homes. 

Source: Elevate Farms

How can people connect with you or learn more about Elevate Farms?

You can reach out to us via info@elevate.farm.

Our LinkedIn handle is Elevate Farms

Our Instagram handle is elevate_farm

Our website is https://elevate.farm

Source: Elevate Farms


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