Global LEAP announces InspiraFarms Cooling as a winner at the 2022 Off-Grid Cold Chain Challenge

The Efficiency for Access Coalition is pleased to announce the 2022 Global LEAP Awards Off-Grid Cold Chain Challenge (OGCCC) results, and we are pleased to share that InspiraFarms Cooling emerged as the winner under the category of AC Powered Solutions. The OGCCC promotes solar-powered cold storage solutions based on energy efficiency, design innovation, sustainability, commercial viability, and potential impact. It is an international competition that identifies and promotes the most effective technologies designed for use by smallholder farmers and producers, to help them meet their cold storage requirements for fresh fruits, vegetables, fish, and dairy products.  

After field testing performance assessment and an evaluation by a panel of cold chain expert judges, InspiraFarms Cooling was selected as the AC-powered Cold Chain unit’s category Winner. Specifically, the winning product is one of our client’s cooling solutions, a first-mile mobile pre-cooler unit, that deploys best-in-class forced air pre-cooling, designed to rapidly cool fresh produce, to enable clients to receive better product quality and longer shelf life. The winning product will be featured and published in the first 2022 Global LEAP Field Testing Buyer’s Guide for Cold Chain Units. 

Impact of cold chain on the environment and livelihoods

Cold chain technology is a critical component of modern agricultural systems. It has the potential to significantly improve livelihoods for smallholder farmers and small traders by opening new markets for high-value crops, reducing post-harvest loss and increasing farmer profits. Yet, only 5% of African fresh produce enters the cold chain, compared to Europe’s 94%. This lack of cooling excludes many producers and farmers of global markets by missing food export standards on quality, size and food safety. Furthermore, such technologies are often out of reach in off-grid areas across the Global South due to their cost and a lack of access to reliable electricity. Therefore, to be viable in off- and weak-grid settings cold chain solutions must be considerably more affordable, sustainably designed and operate on less energy than most conventional cold chain solutions. This is the case for the InspiraFarms Cooling winning solution, a demonstration of quality, energy efficiency, affordability and value to the fresh produce industry.  

Speaking of this recent success, CEO Julian Mitchell said, “This award presents such a proud moment for us at InspiraFarms Cooling. It is an additional stamp of approval from CLASP, and all the other partners involved in the testing, nomination and selection of winning solutions. This win presents us with an opportunity to continue making such a positive impact in the fresh produce industry and demonstrating the value of pre-cooling close to production, as we see the improvement in the quality and consistency of our client’s cooling. Beyond this, we look forward to deploying similar technology, including cold rooms packhouses, precoolers, freezers, slaughterhouses and long-term storage solutions, to more agribusiness. I particularly want to thank the Shell Foundation and PREO, both of whom supported the development process of the unit.”  

The 2022 competition received 24 product nominations from 20 companies, and 17 products from 14 companies were announced as preliminary finalists after a diligent shortlisting exercise. Ten entries in Nigeria (1), Kenya (5) and India (4) completed their field-testing stage of the competition, which was concluded in September 2022.

About the awards.  

The Global LEAP Awards is an initiative of the Low Energy Inclusive Appliance (LEIA) program under the Efficiency for Access Coalition. It is an international competition that identifies and promotes the world’s best, most energy-efficient appliances for off-grid and weak-grid areas where grid connections are intermittent and of inconsistent quality. The 2022 Global LEAP Awards Off-Grid Cold Chain Challenge is supported by the DOEN Foundation, Good Energies Foundation, IKEA Foundation and UK aid.

About Energy For Access  

Efficiency for Access is a global coalition promoting energy efficiency as a potent catalyst in clean energy access efforts. Since its founding in 2015, Efficiency for Access has grown from a year-long call to action and collaborative effort by Global LEAP and Sustainable Energy for All to a coalition of 20 donor organisations. Coalition programmes aim to scale up markets and reduce prices for super-efficient, off- and weak-grid appropriate products, support technological innovation, and improve sector coordination. Current Efficiency for Access Coalition members leads programmes and initiatives spanning three continents, 62 countries, and 34 key technologies.  

About InspiraFarms Cooling  

InspiraFarms Cooling is a leading provider of advanced and sustainable cooling solutions, for high-value fresh produce across Africa, serving exporters, agribusinesses, 3rd party logistics service providers and food supply chains in emerging markets. Founded in 2012, InspiraFarms Cooling has served the flower, fruit, vegetable and meat sectors, providing agribusiness in the developing world with tools, technology, data and expertise to significantly reduce food losses, energy costs, and access higher-value markets. The company has designed its cooling solutions (cold rooms, packhouses, freezers, slaughterhouses, and pre-coolers) to minimise food loss, maximise shelf life, reduce OPEX and give access to cooling data.