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Poland: Farms with a productivity range of 13 to 125 tons of fresh produce annually

“Rising energy prices are a challenge for all food producers. To give the right outlook on future profits, we consider energy prices for several years ahead, thus providing certainty of returns. In order to oversee operational costs, we integrate solar panels and heat pumps to drastically decrease the expenses of running a vertical farm,” says Wojciech Krajewski, CEO of Hydropolis. 

According to Wojciech, depending on the region, energy costs can account for about 70% of operational costs. That's why the team is spending so much time making its products as energy efficient as possible. For that, they use the knowledge from our previous experiences in the RES industry.  

Coming from a renewable energy source angle, Hydropolis stumbled upon vertical farming which increased their interest. Using nascent technology from Poland, a hobby soon turned into a business vision. Armed with our collective knowledge and expertise, we resolved to develop a pioneering solution in Poland,” says Wojciech.

R&D Center in Krakow
After establishing a partnership with the University of Agriculture in Krakow, Hydropolis co-created the first modular hydroponic system with a controlled environment in the country. Upon successful completion of the inaugural harvest, the team realized they could take the system to a higher level to mitigate the growing food imports. Founded in 2020, Hydropolis ever since, aimed to expand and scale the concept. 

Producing its first crops was done in the company’s R&D Center in Krakow, Poland. That’s where all growing recipes are developed and tested. “Currently, we're proud to be working with two clients. SmartFood, who are striving to create a sustainable future through innovative food production and consumption methods. Plus, a private investor is partnering with us to cultivate near Warsaw aiming to build a 980m2 facility. In 2023, we aim to provide our clients with a total cultivation area of 1700 square meters.”

Product offering
The company is offering turnkey solutions for vertical farming, from construction and equipment to management and (Grow Wizard) software. On top of that, they have customer service available that provides full training and mentorship for new growers. Their two products are the Smart Crop and Plantainer. Both products come with proprietary crop management software (monitoring- and algorithm controls for cultivation) and training in operation. 

Smart Crop is suitable for farm sizes from 200 up to 2000m2. This system enables plants like lettuce or herbs to yield a productivity range of 13 to 125 tons of fresh produce annually and is easy to scale. The Plantainer is designed for aspiring growers that don't have the proper infrastructure. Both products 

Cultivation opportunities
So what can be grown inside? Currently, Hydropolis has developed algorithms for salads like butterhead, romaine, corrugated, herbs, such as lemon basil, Thai basil, bonanza basil, thyme, coriander, and mint. 

By constantly expanding growing recipes with plants like flowers, micro-herbs, and medicinal herbs, the team wants to be ahead of the market. “We are also working on a cultivation recipe for strawberries. On top of that, we can develop a special growing recipe at the customer's request.” 

Target markets
Targeting local farmers and food producers in the EU as a main, Hydropolis also offers systems for restaurants, hotels, research centers, NGOs, and schools. Soon, the Middle East market will be in the books as well. 

“We receive a significant number of inquiries from the food industry seeking our expertise and solutions to mitigate growing resource challenges. On top of that, we’re also approached by retail chains and food wholesalers who want to switch to more local and sustainable food production. Another group of clients is investors who frequently reach out to us, seeking a long-term investment opportunity,” Wojciech shares. 

“We’re really aiming to scale our business. Yet, developing cultivation recipes is a challenging and time-consuming process. We have to keep repeating and improving this process. We aspire to create recipes that are compatible with a diverse range of plants, including those that bear fruit,” Wojciech concludes. 

For more information:
Wojciech Krajewski, CEO
[email protected]