“Over the last few years, we have been focusing on introducing consumers to microgreens. This is because they are healthy”, says Avner Shohet from Teshuva Agricultural Projects Ltd. (TAP). “This is our main strategy. It is a combination of what is good for the business but also what is good for the people.”
These microgreens are produced for us by the Israeli company, 2BFresh, which is a subsidiary of TAP. TAP, also based in Israel, has many years of experience developing soil-less substrate and hydroponic growing methods, along with state-of-the-art technology in fresh produce logistics.
“We have developed a POST-HARVEST process which enables us to send products in such a way that the products still arrive in good shape, even after 48 hours. Because we sell the microgreens cut, we have less volume and are more efficient regarding logistics. The products’ shelf life is also better”, explains Avner. “We do not even use special packaging or any artificial ingredients. It is just a very precise post-harvesting process.
According to Avner, 2BFresh is doing very well. “We are the only company that flies microgreens all over the world. We sell our products all over Europe and Russia. We are also starting to sell limited quantities in Canada and the United States. In fact, one of our oldest clients, who has been with us for seven years, is in Hong Kong. Canada is only two or three hours further by air, so it is not a major challenge for us.“
2BFresh is following the trend of more microgreen farmers popping up all over the world. “We have had a farm in Switzerland for two years now. We are also working on establishing farms in other locations. We believe in local produce, and we also need higher volumes of microgreens”, he says. “Another trend we've noticed is that more and more people are consuming microgreens because of the health benefits.”
“In fact, in the oncology departments here, in Israel, they recommend that their patients eat micro-broccoli. This product has active cancer-fighting ingredients. All microgreens are preventative. Broccoli, in general, fights cancer. Now, in micro-broccoli, you have ten times more sulforaphane. This is the active ingredient that fights cancer”, Avner continues.
2BFresh also grows sunflower sprouts and pea shoots in the sun. “This means they have more chlorophyll which makes them healthier”, he says. “There is also less chance of bacterial contamination when these microgreens are grown in the sun. We also export these products all over Europe.”
“About 60% of our turnover is from abroad. In Switzerland, our products are available at 350 of Coop’s selling points. The majority of 2BFresh’s microgreens grown in this country is sold in Switzerland, itself”, says Avner. However, sales are slowly increasing in Israel as well.
“Not booming, but growing by five to ten percent every year. We prefer not to work with the supermarket chains in Israel, so we do not have access to this mass market. In the last year, we have started to work with a few small, high-end chains. We are seeing the results.”
Anver says 2BFresh will shortly be introducing a new packaging for microgreens. “We are planning on launching a new, surprising product at the upcoming Fruit Logistica”, he concludes.
For more information:
Avner Shohet - MBA
T.A.P / 2BFresh