&Ever Middle East, a joint venture between Kuwait’s NOX Management and German company &ever, in partnership with German engineering companies SAP and Viessmann, has opened the first commercial indoor vertical farm in the Middle East.
Kuwait, a country that previously relied on European and overseas imports for most of their leafy greens and herbs, can now locally grow up to 250 varieties of greens and herbs using Dryponics technology. The facility, with approximately 3,000 sqm growing (or faming) space, has a daily output capacity of up to 550 kg of salad, herbs, and cresses. The products are available in all leading retailers and coops under the brand name &ever Kuwait.
The farm produces high-quality and sustainable crops indoors, which increase the nutritional quality and decrease environmental impact. The cutting-edge vertical farming method uses 90 percent less water compared to traditional farming, 60 percent less fertilizer, and zero pesticides. Using a sustainable “farm to fork” model, the technology is able to preserve the plants’ nutritional value until the produce reaches the customer.
“Previously, Kuwait’s restaurants imported all of our greens and herbs, mainly from Europe,” said Faisal AlMeshal, Director of Strategy and Business Development, NOX Management. “Our JV with &ever and the partnership with SAP and Viessmann on this indoor farm is enabling the local farming supply chain to save on costs and logistics, to minimize waste, and to make a better choice for the planet. Our customers have enhanced experiences with tastier and fresher produce.”
This knowledge exchange complements Germany and Kuwait’s trade ties. Bilateral trade is €1.3 billion, and Germany’s private sector invests €14.6 billion in Kuwait, according to Germany’s Federal Foreign Office.
“Germany and Kuwait – strong partners in politics but also in business,” said His Excellency Stefan Möbs, Ambassador of the Federal Republic of Germany to Kuwait, who recently participated in a virtual media roundtable about the farm’s success hosted by the German Business Council Kuwait. “I welcome the innovative business idea of German company &ever specifically here in Kuwait. Both countries are seeking new ways in difficult times. Even better to work together!”
Standing on the shoulders of “German Engineering” giants
The farm has partnered with Viessmann Refrigeration Solutions to develop highly efficient climatized rooms which are used in its indoor vertical farm. The technology is 40% more energy-efficient than other indoor vertical farming systems when it comes to energy use for climatization.
&ever built its operating system, &ever Cloud, using the SAP Business Technology Platform — SAP HANA in-memory platform and SAP Cloud Platform. Farmers can monitor, analyze, and adjust hundreds of data points on plant health, airflow, light, carbon dioxide levels, humidity, and temperature in real-time.
“Technology is the foundation for transforming customer experiences in restaurants and agricultural production in Kuwait, and for fostering diversified economic growth and sustainable agriculture worldwide,” said Andy Froemmel, Managing Director, SAP Kuwait. “Digitally transforming Kuwait’s agricultural sector supports New Kuwait 2035 goals, and helps to foster the local innovation economy and job creation.”
&ever is ready to roll-out globally
Building on the global deployment capabilities of its key partners, &ever will scale its operations quickly and globally. “Our vision is to bring better tasting greens with high nutritional value to more and more people,” says Mark Korzilius, Founder of &ever. “We have an interesting pipeline of opportunities around the globe,” adds Dr. Henner Schwarz, CEO of &ever. “We hope to be able to travel internationally again soon to get our next farms live as quickly as possible.”
The German Business Council Kuwait is a non-profit organization and business platform, founded in 2005, in order to promote and cultivate relations between German speaking individuals and companies with their counterparts from the host country and the region.