São Paulo-based vertical farm Pink Farms has finalized their Series A round funding and received just shy of 2 million dollars for the implementation of their second farm, which is now in its final phases, and a new addition with mushroom production in a third farm.
“The full area of our second farm is around 5000 square meters and will consist of an 1800 square meter warehouse used for production. We expect to produce at least 35 tons of lettuce and leafy greens per month. The current farm will be changed to the cultivation of high-value crops like micro greens and edible flowers. The third farm is already producing, and we are aiming for close to 20 tons per month of a large mushroom portfolio,” says Geraldo Maia, founder and CEO of Pink Farms.
Thanks to the excellent weather in Latin America, most cultivation is done in the open ground. However, this isn’t possible everywhere in Brazil and brings its own set of problems.
“In Brazil, we don’t have greenhouses like they have in the USA since the Latin American climate and land are good enough to produce. However, this does make for a gap in technology. That’s a downside of having good weather. Furthermore, it rains a lot during summers in São Paulo, which hurts the supply of crops. Every year for the past five years, I’ve seen disclaimers at retailers saying they don’t have any lettuce. So it’s common for us to get orders for 2 or 3 tons of lettuce right away from new clients because their suppliers can’t deliver. In terms of product availability alone, vertical farming is a worthwhile endeavor in Brazil.”
80 products in 2024
The next funding round is already in the making since there are a few more farms on Pink Farm’s agenda. “Two of our retailer partners wanted to have a farm specifically for them. In the later stages of 2024, we want to have at least three farms operational and two more in the final stages of construction in Brazil.”
Product-wise, the goal is to produce 80 different crops by the end of 2024 as well, a big step up from the current 15 crops. One of the products they have looked at, for instance, mushrooms being produced at the same farms as leafy greens since they could work well with the CO2 the farm is already emitting.
“Synergy like this is something we really tend to look at when finding new crops to grow. What crops work well together, and what facilities can the crops share to reduce costs and improve production? We still have a lot of challenges ahead of us, but we’re sure that we will be able to face them head-on. I think there is a bright future ahead for us as a country in vertical farming,” Geraldo concludes.