Unlocking agribusiness success: 4 Key wins for fresh produce exporters with InspiraFarms Cooling
With a remarkable presence across 15 countries and the deployment of multiple refrigerated solutions, InspiraFarms Cooling has emerged as a trusted partner for African agribusinesses, exporters, 3PL, and food distributors for cooling solutions to combat food losses, reduce energy costs, and access higher-value markets. From herbs to fruits, vegetables and flowers, our clients have witnessed remarkable outcomes, including energy efficiency resulting in reduced power bills, as well as vastly improved cooling efficiency that has elevated the overall product quality.
This article delves into the noteworthy customer success numbers accomplished by InspiraFarms Cooling Clients, highlighting the transformative influence of its state-of-the-art cooling solutions within the agricultural industry.
1. Revolutionising energy efficiency in on-farm cooling systems
InspiraFarms Cooling has garnered impressive energy efficiency results, significantly reducing power bills for its clients while operating in larger cooling areas. Instaveg LTD a prominent fresh produce aggregator in Kenya, experienced a remarkable reduction in power bills by 30% compared to their previous cooling solution, despite cooling a larger area. Kakuzi PLC, the leading avocado producer in East Africa, benefited from InspiraFarms’ chiller-based cooling system, which provided them with energy storage systems and eliminated the need for diesel generators. This reliable and efficient cooling infrastructure resulted in reduced energy consumption and increased power efficiency, surpassing other cold rooms in the market. Bloom Growers, a grower and exporter specializing in exporting culinary herbs, achieved an extraordinary cost reduction by adopting a 25msq solar-powered cold room. Compared to their previous cooling solution, their energy costs dropped to zero during daylight hours, eliminating the need to spend between KES 50,000 and 60,000 (356 to 427 USD) per week to fuel the cooling operations.
These success stories exemplify InspiraFarms Cooling’s commitment to energy efficiency and its transformative impact on reducing costs and increasing sustainability in the agricultural industry.
2. Enhancing pre-cooling efficiency for exporters
InspiraFarms Cooling has revolutionised the pre-cooling process for its customers, significantly reducing the time required to achieve optimal temperatures. Bloom Growers, a renowned Kenyan based exporter of culinary herbs, experienced a remarkable shift in their pre-cooling operations. Previously, it would take them around 6 to 7 hours to pre-cool their herbs before processing. However, with the implementation of InspiraFarms’ advanced cold room, they achieved a remarkable transformation. Today, their herbs are pre-cooled in under an hour, sometimes even in less than 30 minutes, enabling them to swiftly reach the desired packing temperature. Similarly, Wiserow Enterprises a Zimbabwe-based producer and exporter of blueberries, witnessed an extraordinary improvement. Previously, without blast chilling facilities, it would be hard to bring down their cold room temperature consistently to below +8 to +10°C. So, they would often dispatch fruits with pulp temperatures of 6-8°C. This is unideal for long transit periods by sea, as their fruits would often soften in transit. In hotter months, it would take them a staggering 48 hours for their pulp temperatures to reach the desired range of +8 to +10°C. However, with the adoption of InspiraFarms’ cutting-edge cold room, the process now takes between 30 minutes to an hour, depending on the harvest volume and heat periods.
These exceptional time reductions highlight the immense value and efficiency that InspiraFarms Cooling solutions bring to the post-harvest phase, ensuring enhanced product quality and quicker access to market opportunities.
3. Increased quality and customer satisfaction
The impact of InspiraFarms’ cutting-edge cold storage solutions goes far beyond energy efficiency and cooling durations. InspiraFarms Cooling Clients have witnessed remarkable improvements in quality control, customer satisfaction, and reduced losses. Instaveg LTD achieved an outstanding 50% reduction in customer complaints and 50% in claims since adopting a compliant packing facility. Similarly, by leveraging the efficiency of InspiraFarms’ cold room, Wiserow successfully decreased their customer claims from 15 to just 2 per year, translating into substantial savings of approximately 120,000 USD on claims, meaning their upgrade in high-value cooling assets paid for itself within one year.
Bloom Growers, specialising in the export of culinary herbs, experienced a significant change in their rejection rates. With their older cold room, rejection rates ranged between 40% to 60%, resulting in substantial quality losses and diminished profitability. There were instances where they would ship 600 kgs of an herb, and they would get rejection of 400 kgs because of quality losses. However, after implementing InspiraFarms’ advanced cold storage solution, Bloom Growers achieved near-zero rejections. They not only witnessed a remarkable reduction in losses but also noted an extended shelf life of fresh herbs by up to 4 days, meeting and exceeding their customers’ expectations.
These exceptional success stories highlight the pivotal role of InspiraFarms Cooling Clients’ state-of-the-art cold storage solutions in elevating product quality, minimizing losses, and delighting customers throughout the agricultural industry.
4. Empowering growth, sea freight and fresh produce quality
Bloom Growers, once limited to cooling 600 kg of produce per day, now boasts a remarkable capacity of up to 4 tonnes in their upgraded cold room. This exponential increase in cooling capabilities has fueled their growth and enabled them to meet expanding market demands.
Similarly, Kenya Horticultural Exporters (KHE), an exporter of fine beans, extra fine beans, and runner beans, an InspiraFarms client since 2020, has witnessed a reduction in logistical challenges and a substantial decrease in transit losses. By implementing grading and de-husking processes at the farm level, they have achieved operational efficiency and improved the quality of produce delivered to their processing facility. This optimisation not only reduced their produce waste during transportation, but also translated into substantial energy savings of 30 kWh per day.
In Zimbabwe, Lauetta Enterprises, benefiting from InspiraFarms’ advanced post-harvest systems, has gained total control over crucial cooling parameters such as temperature and humidity. As a result, they have successfully reduced their operational expenses (OPEX) by 40% by shifting from airfreight to the more cost-effective alternative of sea freight. This strategic shift has allowed them to optimise their supply chain, ensuring reliable and efficient delivery of produce to their destination.
With similar impact, Wiserow has 30% of its produce still utilizing air freight and 70% transitioning to sea freight, leveraging InspiraFarms’ blast chilling solutions to maintain optimal fruit quality throughout the extended transit period. By ensuring robust precooling and a seamless cold chain, the business has mitigated the quality challenges associated with longer sea freight journeys, with their fruits spending approximately 25 days in reefer containers. This meticulous attention to quality preservation has enabled them to meet market demands and achieve desired fruit quality upon reaching the shelves.
Similarly, in Zimbabwe, by investing in InspiraFarms’ cutting-edge cooling solutions, blueberry exporter, Lauetta Enterprises experienced a surge in its cooling capacity, leading to a significant expansion in production operations. Their confidence in the efficiency and reliability of InspiraFarms’ technology fuelled this growth, allowing them to increase their production capacity by an impressive 20 hectares. The enterprise has not only achieved outstanding performance and minimal claims but has also enjoyed the confidence and trust of its customers due to the consistent quality of its products. This success has propelled their expansion plans, reinforcing the vital role that InspiraFarms’ cooling solutions play in driving growth and sustainability within the agricultural industry.
The success stories showcased in this article highlight the significant achievements in energy efficiency, cooling efficiency, quality control, operational improvements, and revenue growth experienced by InspiraFarms Cooling clients. By reducing power bills, enhancing cooling durations, minimizing customer complaints, expanding cooling capacities, optimizing logistics, and increasing revenue, InspiraFarms Cooling has revolutionized the way agribusinesses handle their post-harvest cooling.