2nd PIC 2015 Sundrop Farms: Agriculture, renewables

Sundrop Farms: Agriculture, renewables

To be a leader in sustainable horticulture for the arid world; growing high-value crops using seawater and sunlight.

Our products

Sundrop Farms grows high quality produce in greenhouses. Sundrop Farms’ proprietary technology connects to a greenhouse to supply fresh water, heat, cooling and electricity - thus allowing for production of a broad array of fresh fruits and vegetables.

Plans for future development

Sundrop Farms is actively evaluating expansion opportunities globally. Geographically, Sundrop Farms sees interesting market dynamics in the Middle East (where we opened an office in mid-2014), Asia (particularly via export from Australia for specialty products) and the United States. Sundrop Farms is a significant producer of tomatoes in the Australian market but is actively looking at other product categories, such as berries.

Key achievements to date

  • Developed, proved and refined Sundrop Farms’ proprietary technology (the “Sundrop System”) to desalinate seawater and run a commercial scale greenhouse using solar energy.
  • Created a long-term partnership agreement with leading Australian supermarket Coles to supply the market with tomatoes.
  • Backed by leading global private equity firm KKR.

About the market

Market description

The global horticulture industry supplies fruits, vegetables and other products, both fresh and processed, to wholesalers, supermarkets and other consumers. Greenhouse horticulture is an important subsector of this industry and enables production in significantly higher yields, with greater consistency and complete control over the climate.

Market figures

Greenhouse horticulture is a USD 160bn+ sector that has grown rapidly over the prior two decades (CAGR of ~8%). There is significant fragmentation in the industry with the top 15 greenhouse growers controlling less than 1% of the market.

Main competitors

Greenhouse production of fruits and vegetables is fragmented amongst a wide range of smaller growers that often have a limited presence outside a given domestic market. Both in Australia and globally on a market-by-market basis, Sundrop’s competitors range from other field producers, greenhouse growers (e.g. Houwelings, Village Farms, Costa Group) and importers, to supply supermarkets, wholesalers and others.

Market trends

Consumers - Aware of product environmental impact and yet seeking high quality produce year-round.
Retailers - Beginning to take a strategic approach to fruit and vegetable procurement and looking to partner directly with corporate & professional farming organizations that can provide supply and price stability.
Growers - Using more sophisticated technology to overcome input scarcity and shifting to locations that are not suitable for growing produce using traditional agriculture methods.

Four questions to Philipp Saumweber, CEO

What is your vision for your company?

To strengthen Sundrop Farms’ market position in Australia and expand in selected markets globally, leveraging the company’s proprietary technology and knowhow. To bring high quality, sustainably produced, and affordable fruits and vegetables to consumers and retailers on a year-round basis.

Who is your target customer?

Sundrop Farms forms long term partnerships with leading retailers and supermarkets. Ultimately though, the end consumers of Sundrop Farms’ products are seeking consistent, high quality and environmentally friendly food products.

What benefits does your company offer its customers?

Production consistency – We grow superior produce year-round and plan production to fill supply gaps.
Price consistency – We minimize operating cost volatility and offer stable prices to retailers under long-term contracts.
Sustainability – We produce fruits and vegetables using renewable inputs close to consumer end markets.

How do you think your company is different from the rest?

Sundrop Farms is the world’s first company to sustainably produce fruits and vegetables, at scale, using only renewable inputs - the sun and seawater. This model reduces volatility in supply and production costs enabling Sundrop Farms to offer a superior product, at stable prices, to retailers year-round.