E Agri leads effort to future-proof agriculture
AN assessment of the sustainability of traditional farming processes and methodologies has prompted new agribusiness company, E Agri, to develop a new technology and environmentally-focused platform aimed at making food and horticulture production more accessible, attractive and efficient for urban communities. According to E Agri’s environmental spokesperson, Rob Gell AM “our objective is to enable people to grow fresh, organic food in city environments and encourage better utilisation of unconventional but potentially valuable production areas such as factory roof tops for farming”. “We are also focused on providing the safest, highest-quality food solutions to minimise environmental and carbon cost impacts through ‘food miles’ while allowing consumers to access fresh food from their local environment, year round, regardless of climate and free of pollutants.” The diverse team behind E Agri Co. is made up of industry leaders from across agriculture, education, technology, and sustainability. According to Gell, who has more than 20 years as an environmental consultant, the farming solution offered by E Agri Co is a positive step in the right direction. “With natural resources becoming scarce, efforts to produce more efficiently and profitably are in high-demand,” Gell said. “Through commercially proven, hydroponic and sustainable horticulture systems, we are now in a position to deliver new turn-key solutions to generate significantly lower cost, higher yielding crop per square metre of land than can be achieved with either traditional horticulture or conventional hydroponic approaches. “We believe the types of technological advancements being developed by E Agri will help cement Australia’s position as a provider and innovator of sustainably produced, highquality food globally,” he said. Unlike competitors, promising to offer high-tech, new age solutions and infrastructure, E Agri can point to proven success through its collaboration with partner Australian Fresh Leaf Herbs (AFLH), one of Australian’s leading producer and distributors of sustainable fresh herbs. According to AFLH managing director and Australian Young Farmer of the Year (2011) Jan Vydra, E Agri’s technology has helped the company grow the business in the past four years. Recognised as one of Australia’s fastest start-ups, AFLH went from producing 2000 units to more than 100,000 units a week using the hydroponic, cloud-based system. “Utilising new technology including cloud computing has let us maximise resources and conserve water and energy through smart phone and tablet devices,” Vydra said. “The software assists with everything from where we plant and monitoring water levels through to documenting the quality of the produce from the moment it leaves the farm gate to the time it lands at the retailer distribution centre. “Through E Agri we have been able to generate higher yields from available land, minimise environmental impact and run a profitable business from start up in 2008,” he said.
E Agri is allowing consumers to access fresh food from their local environment, year round, regardless of climate and free of pollutants.