Zenith Global

This interview details Zenith Global, a company based in the UK. The interview is with Richard Hall, Chairman of Zenith Global.

Source: Zenith Global

What is the origin story of Zenith Global?

I founded it in 1991 with four colleagues as a consultancy, to provide the best analysis of food and drink market change, with the best insight into unlocking future opportunity.

We had to be global because most change that’s coming in the next 5 years is already taking place somewhere. We wanted to work with the big multinationals and we have. We also wanted to work with start-ups and help them expand. Some of them are now global players too.

Fortunately, we’ve been in the vanguard of many new trends. And we’ve sometimes had to warn clients about investing in what we thought were no more than mirages.

Source: Zenith Global

What are some of the biggest challenges facing Zenith Global in the future?

The biggest challenge is that everyone has access to so much information. It takes time and knowledge to use it wisely and discard nonsense.

The next is that no one knows the future and anyone could be right. So one has to explore constantly and question every pre-conception.

The third is maintaining client relationships over time when so many people change jobs so often.

A fourth is delivering definable value for money. Our fees are modest, but our impact can be very substantial, especially over the longer term.

Source: Zenith Global

What is unique about Zenith Global compared to competitors?

That’s really important. No one has a capability that is as genuinely global and specialised across all food and drink. No one else has a combination of technical alongside commercial expertise. And no one has our track record of working alongside so many of the emerging niches that have in time become mainstream.

We also hold the only dedicated global forum for company leaders in the vertical farming industry at our annual Vertical Farming World Congress. We were instrumental in creating the Vertical Farming Industry Identity Statement and Manifesto and we run the annual Vertical Farming World Awards.

Source: Zenith Global

What are some trends Zenith Global is noticing in the indoor farming industry?

Our focus has been on totally controlled environment agriculture (TCEA) rather than greenhouses or hybrids of vertical with sunlight. TCEA is a new opportunity.

The top priority here is profitability for leafy greens. More attention is being placed on renewable energy and on energy-efficient site location. Automation, quality, and cost control are also key. The sector is still defining the basics. Many companies have developed their own systems and solutions.

In time, there will be more common standards and practices. Then the real growth will come from new crops, propagation, high-value ingredients for pharma, and many other innovations.

I used to wonder when every home would have its own vertical farm in the kitchen, but that seems some way off. They could spread adjacent to more hospitals, colleges, and other big food service providers. Interestingly, it’s beginning to happen in prisons.

Any predictions for the future of the indoor farming market? 

Ah, I’ve just done that. More generally, I’d say TCEA will become an ever-increasingly important complement to other forms of agriculture, but I regard it as more of an extension of food manufacturing than farming.

Two other points … The idea of food that needs no pesticides, is not at risk of floods or drought, has no seasonality, conserves water, minimizes road miles, uses less land, is fresher, lasts longer, tastes better, and is more nutritious is immensely powerful when climate change and consumer health are so much under the spotlight.

The other is that TCEA has to prove its worth in terms of fully accountable sustainability. I believe it can and will.

How can people connect with you or learn more about Zenith Global?

Very simple. Go to zenithglobal.com or send me an email at rhall@zenithglobal.com

Source: Zenith Global

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