“You cannot compare our products to our competitors, as we deliver everything cut and ready to use, with very little food waste, high quality, and delivered in boxes that we bring back and reuse,” says Sebastian Dragelykke, co-founder of Nabo Farm.
Sebastian Dragelykke and David Døssing
Nabo Farm is a vertical farm in Copenhagen, Denmark that was founded in 2018 and sells leafy greens directly to consumers. Its name “Nabo” means neighbor and demonstrates the company’s commitment to improving local food systems. The company estimates that 95% of its production is sold before it is even planted, with clients adhering to a subscription-based model.
The farm harvests four times per week and delivers the products by bike within the city or via electric vehicles for consumers outside of the city. Thanks to its proximity to clients, Nabo Farm also takes back and re-uses all the delivery packaging.
As Sebastian explains, “We want to make the biggest positive impact on the earth. Since we are close to customers, we can have return packaging and everything delivered by bicycle, all things which large-scale farms cannot provide.”
As far as Sebastian knows, Nabo Farm is the only of its kind to use this production model. In its 250-square meter farm, Nabo Farm produces 250 kg per month. The farm focuses on the production of microgreens due to the crop’s high value and quick cycles, making it easier to generate revenue.
Introducing farm management software
Nabo Farm developed its NaboOS to run the farm and the entire business from one, easy-to-use platform. The platform connects the sales side to the production side so that growers always know exactly how much of a product they can offer to a client. The company is talking about commercializing the software, which would entail a major shift in the company to encompass both the production and software pieces.
“Our software makes it really easy by using various production recipes. It’s like a factory, so we know what resources we are putting in at one end and the amount that we are getting out of the other,” says Sebastian. “If a customer wants specifically 200 grams of 4 cm cut radish microgreens, delivered every Monday morning, our system will tell us what we need to do and when we need to do it, to make sure we deliver exactly that on time every time.”
Aside from developing NaboOS, Nabo Farm has also supplied entire growing systems to customers, including a canteen in a conference center that wanted to emphasize sustainability. For this, Nabo Farm delivers pre-sprouted trays to the canteen where they are then grown until harvest. Similarly, Nabo Farm has collaborated with the municipality of Copenhagen to set up two small production systems to work with youth with autism.
Given its success with developing NaboOS and growing systems, it is possible that Nabo Farm will move to include both of these in its operations to become both a food-producing and service company. In the meantime, Nabo Farm will continue focusing on finetuning NaboOS for its own use, developing automation where appropriate, delivering microgreens to Copenhagen and potentially adding farms to its network.