“Our passion is driven by the desire to make a difference, not chase a market opportunity. It is and continues to be about developing passionate leaders and creating a positive impact. We go after the most difficult challenges in our industry using science, math and engineering” says Pierre Sleiman, founder and CEO of Go Green Agriculture.
Go Green Agriculture is a high-tech greenhouse company producing and processing leafy greens in three facilities in California. Despite being in the salad bowl of the United States, Go Green Agriculture has found success in its 13-year history by tackling unique challenges in the industry, such as growing full-sized romaine hearts in a controlled environment.
“Most greenhouse lettuce producers grow teen or baby leaf lettuce, whereas we grow full-sized romaine hearts. No one has been able to do that commercially in greenhouses,” explains Pierre.
The “Google meets agriculture” of company culture
At Go Green Agriculture, innovation goes beyond lettuce production and into the company’s every fiber through its focus on company culture. As Pierre explains, the company is oriented towards attracting passionate leaders and creating a space that celebrates failure as part of the innovative process.
“We create a disruptive setting for yourself so that you can flourish. It is about having fun but yet really pushing personal boundaries and limits. We are weird on purpose. For example, we have a nightclub sound system through our facilities playing music all the time, etc.” Pierre says.
Go Green Agriculture’s team takes a three-pronged approach to greenhouse production, the prongs being software, hardware and genetics. The company has been intensively breeding its own varieties for almost a decade to target desired traits while weeding out the undesirable ones.
Finding success in North America’s salad bowl
Located in California, Go Green Agriculture may seem like a small player next to the state’s Salinas Valley, which is a major lettuce-producing region in North America. However, the company is driven by the food quality challenges seen in field-grown lettuce and aims to bring the safest, highest quality, organic produce to the masses rather than focusing on niche markets.
“We are not the niche or premium-priced model that consumers need to pay more for. We want to create mass access to high-quality, organic products and only implement the highest food safety standards,” explains Pierre.
Attracting the best industry talent
The Go Green family recently grew larger with the addition of their new Chief Operating Officer, Nicholas DaCosta. DaCosta previously served as the COO of Taylor Farms Retail. “I am excited about the opportunity to work with the Go Green team. Their breakthrough technology allows for an industry changing solution to how fresh produce is brought to market. The Go Green team has solved one of the biggest industry challenges: whole head romaine. This disruptive technology will help mitigate the challenges romaine has had. Layer on processed romaine and we believe we have a product portfolio that meets the retailers and consumer’s needs” DaCosta shares.
Go Green Agriculture is currently in expansion mode and is in the midst of a national rollout plan. As Pierre notes, “if we can be successful in California, we can be successful anywhere.”