“We're looking for investors to help us expand into 10 additional cities in Brazil. We have a big population to feed and with these 10 new farms, we plan to reduce our production costs even further to become even more competitive,” says Diego Gomes, founder and CEO of 100% Livre, a Brazil-based vertical farm.
100% Livre is a vertical farming company based in Brazil that produces 15 different leafy greens, cherry tomatoes, strawberries, mini peppers, basil and six other spices. The farm is currently growing between 20 and 30 tons of produce per month, which are supplied to retailers, food service, marketplaces, the sauce industry and directly to consumers.
The company currently has one site which is 14 meters tall with a 300 square meter footprint in the central area in the city of São Paulo. 100% Livre is currently building its second site which is 18 meters tall and covers 1.500 square meters. The second farm is also very close to the main vegetable dealer in Latin America, which will make it easier for 100% Livre to distribute its produce throughout Brazil, if not beyond those borders.
“Brazil is a very big company. Roughly 80% of leafy greens are produced in the southeast region and like every logistics chain, there's a great loss of quality and waste in the long transport and handling chains. Our technology solves this problem,” says Diego.
Blueberries at the site
100% Livre created its own automation and management system for the farms with key items having been patented for future scaling up. The company also benefits from its currency being very competitive for export. As Diego emphasizes, the company is ready to receive investments and partners from around the world to expand its coverage.
“Our goal is to expand to all Brazilian capitals and then to other countries. Today, Brazil already feeds more than 1 billion people in the world. With our technology, we will expand this even further,” explains Diego.
The tested Brix levels of indoor-grown blueberries and strawberries
Pesticide-free and sweet as can be
Born out of the desire to feed his son with pesticide-free produce, Diego has always stressed the importance of having fruits and vegetables without chemical residues. 100% Livre already has competitive pricing with traditional rural producers, who may sell their products washed but do use pesticides during production. With 100% Livre, consumers can rest assured that their produce has never touched a pesticide.
Beyond that, consumers can also expect sweet fruit from 100% Livre, as they have measured Brix levels of 17.7% in their strawberries and 20% in their blueberries.
Cherry tomatoes grown indoors
As Diego explains, much of a company's success is due to the depth of research that Diego has done and continues to do to optimize its processes. Partnerships have also been key, as 100% Livre is working with the Brazilian Agricultural Research Corporation (Embrapa). And moving forward, the company is keen on developing additional partnerships and bringing investors on board to facilitate its expansion plans.
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Diego Gomes, founder and CEO