It really pays to get out and see the innovation happening all over the world. The urban agriculture movement is global. I was thrilled to see truly impressive solutions and successes of companies all over Asia and the Australia that are moving urban farming forward. Here are a few of my highlights!
First stop – Sydney, Australia, where I met Angus Armstrong, Business Development Operations Lead, and Paul Millett, founder of InvertiGro—an indoor vertical farming solution. They are smart, have an interesting plan of execution, very mission driven and humble people.
InvertiGro’s solution is a modular system built around the InvertiCube—a pallet-sized “farm” capable of growing any crop that thrives indoors under lights. The more you want to grow, the more cubes you install.
Their modular system caught the attention of Woolworths, Australia’s leading grocery retailer. As Australia’s first in-supermarket vertical farm, their system offers customers a direct connection to fresh, locally grown produce year-round, sparking curiosity and awareness in high visibility environments.
Next stop was Foodcube in Melbourne, Australia, where I met with Brendan Condon, Director of Biofilta, Australian Ecosystems, and other sustainability initiatives in Australia, and a true sustainability warrior that cares about the wellbeing of the planet. I had the opportunity to take a closer look at Foodcube.
A modular, water-efficient, low-tech, soil-based urban farming system.
Rainwater capture: The system efficiently captures rainwater, breaking down barriers for new buildings, apartments, or developments to use productive, water-efficient urban farms.
Melbourne Skyfarm will transform a 2000-square-meter former car park into a thriving educational community space that produces large volumes of fresh produce for charity using Foodcube technology.
I then headed to Singapore where I met with Mathew Howe, founder and CEO of Grobrix. Grobrix is a beautifully designed living wall system made for various indoor settings. Matthew and I had been talking for the past couple of years, and I was very excited to finally see Grobrix in person! It is amazing what he has accomplished.
Very simple and beautiful living wall system perfect for a broad range of indoor education settings.
Their design and ease of use has got them partnerships with companies such as CBRE, LinkedIn, W hotels, and more. GCG is excited to partner with Grobrix in bringing them to the US!
At the National University of Singapore, I met with Doctor Sanjay Swarop and graduate student Darren Sim. The university’s Agritech Center is very impressive and inspiring, especially in discussing Singapore’s 30 by 30 goals, aspiring to produce 30% of the nation’s nutritional needs locally by 2030. After meeting with them, I felt that the future looks bright.
Modern thinking around capacity building and the power of microbes.
Next, I met with Simon Lim and Zac Toh. They created Citysprouts, a community space supporting various forms of urban agriculture. With 3 locations in Singapore, their mission is to rejuvenate urban spaces and develop educational programs, bringing together socially-minded individuals and businesses to create communities that inform, educate and support action on social and environmental issues.
Citysprouts promotes sustainable living in an urban community setting, emphasizing the importance of diverse urban agriculture initiatives.
Last but not least was ComCrop. I met with Peter Barber, ComCrop’s Co-Owner & CEO, to learn about Singapore’s first and only commercial rooftop farming company. Singapore currently imports over 90% of the food they eat, and that means vulnerable to supply and price disruption. Com Crop is working to change that.
ComCrop’s supply to major retail outlets showcased the potential of hydroponics on a larger scale.
The emphasis is not on leadership but on building relationships with one another to contribute to a global movement that shapes a more sustainable future. Inspired by the passion and ideas of individuals across the world, we remain committed to being a valuable participant in the broader urban agriculture movement, contributing to a more sustainable and interconnected world.