InspiraFarms is specialised in post-harvest solutions for fresh produce. The company designs, develops and delivers best in class pre-coolers, cold rooms and packhouses for agribusinesses, exporters, 3PL and food distributors in emerging markets, with a strong focus in Africa, where it has delivered over 100 projects in 10 countries and where data and aftersales services are currently offered. InspiraFarms offers financing solutions for its clients, from smallholders to large companies, maximizing affordability of assets and services.
"Our solutions minimise waste along the chain, maximise shelf life, reduce OPEX and give access to data on quality and performance, to maximise customers’ bottom line. Our products include cold rooms, precoolers and packhouses, based on crop-specific cooling and cold chain needs. For each room we consider over 100 variables, among which temperatures, relative humidity, pressure, airflow, to maximise the freshness of fruit and vegetables and allow bringing to final consumers a much higher fraction of the harvested volumes," said Michele Bruni, Chief Commercial Officer, InspiraFarms.
"We take great pride in serving the African market, as we see massive opportunities in supporting the growth of both export and domestic fresh produce supply chains, as well as helping reducing dependency on import with long term storages. For our products we focus on efficiency and affordability, competing with cheap and cheerful solutions is not always easy, but we keep growing fast delivering next generation products with enhanced digital and sustainability features."
InspiraFarms assists its customers with very competitive after-sales and maintenance, and data solutions to maximise their return on investment. They also offer flexible asset finance solutions, accommodating a 1 to 5-year repayment period.
"For our clients this means they can repay the assets with the positive cashflows resulting from losses, rejections and OPEX reduction. We are trying to experiment on service-based cooling models, which we hope to bring to the market in late 2022 in selected geographies. Currently, only less than 4% of agri-businesses across Sub Saharan Africa have access to an effective cold chain. We increase their bottom line and market accessibility by increasing shelf-life, helping them get better prices for each harvested unit, reducing their OPEX and allowing them to monitor their performance through data. This places them in a radically different position than the ones loosing 40% on post-harvest losses. Our cold chain solutions are supporting farms and agribusinesses that are trying to increasingly capture three key opportunities: increase of export towards high value markets, the fast-growing modern retailing servicing African urban middle class, and import replacement.
"For each one of these drivers, we have dedicated technical and business model solutions, serving very different needs, from the fast extraction of field heat to maximise shelf-life and quality in preparation of long-distance shipments, to long term storage to replace off-season import of tubers and onions, or refrigerated logistics centres to serve African urban demand."
InspiraFarms' solutions integrate energy-efficient cooling technology and construction methods allowing customers to have reduced energy cost. Most cold rooms in Africa are still made of polystyrene, while we use high-density polyurethane. It might seem trivial, but a producer treating 50 tons/day on a 600 square meter facility, can loose over 100kWh of electric energy only on that difference, keeping all other conditions identical.
"The use of electronics to manage and monitor the cooling machines allows us to reduce the energy used and with data we put customers in the position to have more knowledge, to make informed choices about their operations. In addition, we provide grid-tied solar systems to reduce the energy cost. In the past we focused a lot on off-grid, but energy storage prices are still too high to make it affordable enough. We will pilot further off-grid solutions in 2022 to decide whether to bring those features back to the market in 2023."
At this year’s Fruit Logistica, InspiraFarms will be presenting a new range of forced air precoolers, cold chain monitoring hardware and data packages that can be used on existing cold rooms as well and new aftersales services in key markets. The company will be looking for European importers, wholesalers and retailers as partners to pilot new supply chain data services and OPEX-based model for deploying cold chain assets.
InspiraFarms' engineering, manufacturing and sourcing is in Italy, while the commercial operations are run from Kenya. They have over 100 projects delivered in 13 emerging markets (Ethiopia, Kenya, Rwanda, Tanzania, Mozambique, Zimbabwe, Zambia, Benin, Ghana, Côte d’Ivoire, Senegal, Mexico, Guatemala) and are currently focusing on Africa.
InspiraFarms will be in Hall 26 D18