A New Series: Notes from the CEO

AgriFORCE Growing Systems’ CEO, Ingo Mueller, is often on the go from early morning to late at night during the week. He is in our head office in Vancouver, B.C.; travelling to California, New York or several other states where we have business; or he is overseas, taking our message and our intellectual property for our proprietary facility design and automated growing system to the world.

It’s an exciting time for the AgriFORCE team. Once every two weeks or so, Ingo sits down at his home office in West Vancouver and shares his perspective on the world of AgTech, the AgriFORCE team, work/life balance, and his vision for creating positive change in the world.

Welcome to the AgriFORCE blog – Notes from the CEO. My goal in taking this on is to provide you with a behind-the-scenes look into AgriFORCE Growing Systems, how we work, our perspective on the agriculture industry, and what it needs to move it into the 21st century. Right now, this important industry is decades behind where it could – and should – be.

I’d like to take a moment to tell you a bit about our proprietary facility design and automated growing system. We believe that we have developed a valuable solution to some of the larger issues facing the indoor controlled cultivation space – specifically with plant-based pharmaceuticals, nutraceuticals, hydroponics and other high-value crops.

It is clear that current legacy greenhouse and indoor growing systems have a number of inherent challenges. This includes how temperature and humidity are controlled and the pervasive use of pesticides and other chemicals to deal with common issues such as mites, mildew and mold. Not to mention the serious problem of relying on irradiation – a technique used to kill pathogens and bacteria such as salmonella, campylobacter and E. coli. Our goal shouldn’t be to find better ways to control or kill pathogens after they invade the environment and attack the plant, but to create an “ecosystem” that does not allow them in at all.

In addition, the outdated agricultural model used today focusses on large-scale factory farms with massive output. The environmental cost is much too high and it’s just not sustainable.

We have spent more than two years re-imagining how to help plants thrive with substantially less impact on the environment – without the need for pesticides or irradiation. Our pioneering facility design and automated growing system will provide the ability to achieve commercial-scale indoor farming that is both environmentally sustainable and precisely controlled, creating a near-perfect growing environment.

Our automated growing system provides a clean, self-contained environment, with limited human intervention and an assurance of quality control. Which means that pathogens are virtually blocked from entering the AgriFORCE “ecosystem” because of the innovative – and proprietary – building envelope. It is designed to deliver a higher crop yield than legacy greenhouses and most indoor growing systems. It also offers daily harvests – all while dramatically reducing water and power requirements, environmental impact and production costs.

Our goal is to be a key player in making positive change in the agtech industry. It is a challenging, interesting and exciting time at AgriFORCE and in this industry as a whole.

I hope you will come back often to join me in what I hope will be an engaging and compelling conversation.