Bloom Growers benefits from on-farm, energy-efficient cold room for herbs
Bloom Growers is a fresh produce exporting company located in Nanyuki, Kenya. It was started in 2019, to specialise in the growing culinary herbs’ export industry in Kenya.
Their herbs of specialisation are rosemary, thyme, lemon thyme, basil, tarragon, sage, and mint. On a 6-acre land, they have put up multiple greenhouses, and grow other herbs on an open field. Currently, their markets are in the Netherlands, France, the United Kingdom, and the United Arab Emirates.
The client challenge
Bloom Growers initially used an AC-powered makeshift cooler to cool their fresh herbs before transit. The system maintained temperatures of between 8-10°C. However, the system kept breaking down and would even shoot to unideal temperatures of 18 °C, causing long yet ineffective pre-cooling of between 7 to 8 hours. The maximum capacity of that cooler was also low for their production and capacity needs. This system was powered by a diesel generator, and they would spend between KESH 50,000 to 60,000 (428 – 480 USD) per week on diesel. Their produce rejection rates of between 40 to 60% drove a massive loss of revenue.
The InspiraFarms solution
To optimise cooling efficiency and capacity, they acquired an on-farm, energy-efficient 25sqm cold storage facility to decrease pre-cooling duration and help them to retain quality, increase shelf-life, and respond to their increasing cooling requirements. The facility integrated a remote monitoring system that allows the supervision and consistent measurement of storage conditions, energy consumption, and machinery performance. Bloom growers acquired a separate solar system with a 15kw capacity, that powers all their on-farm activities, including the InspiraFarms cold room.
The success story
Bloom Growers’ capacity to cool has increased from 600 KGs per day to up to 4 tonnes for their cold room. They have managed to cut down their rejections from 40 to 60% to almost zero. They have drastically cut down the cost of power by adopting a fully solar power system for their cold room. Today, their herbs pre-cool in under an hour, compared to the previous 7 hours.
With client rejections cut down, their order volumes have increased, and are in the process of expanding production and building a packhouse to meet the growing herb demand in Netherlands, France, the United Kingdom and the United Arab Emirates.
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