Given the rise in importance of Latin America for CO2 GRO’s business operations, all of the CO2 GRO executives have committed to learning Spanish to enable better communication with customers, partners, and other stakeholders in that market and other Spanish-speaking countries. Aaron Archibald, VP of Sales & Strategic Alliances, talks us through the developments they see in the Colombian greenhouse market.
CO2 GRO provides greenhouse growers with aqueous carbon dioxide solution technology, wherein the carbon dioxide is first dissolved in water. It is then misted on plant leaves for only minutes per day. Due to high greenhouse venting requirements in tropical climates, using gaseous CO2 enrichment in the greenhouse atmospheres is unfeasible as it would simply be blowing the gas out of the vents. Latin America has seen rapid adaption of the CO2 GRO solution in multiple crops in multiple countries, says Aaron.
Colombia Rose Market
“The rose market in Colombia is huge. They’re the second largest global exporter of roses. This particular customer exports roses by cargo plane daily to Canada, USA, Europe, Australia, and even the Middle East. There are over 2,500 hectares of greenhouse rose growers in the country, with one group operating over 500 hectares. Because of the climate in the country, none of the growers are able to use CO₂ gassing. As a result, they’re all perfect candidates for CO2 GRO’s technology”, he says.
“Our team recently visited a rose grower in Colombia who is running a Technology Adaptation Project (TAP) at their facility there. Between January and October this year, they’ve seen more than 30% higher production thanks to our technology (in the treatment v control group). This TAP will continue until March 2024 and serve the customer through the prime season (Christmas & Valentine’s Day). Once that wraps up, we’ll be looking to negotiate a commercial roll-out contract. “
Serving a thriving cannabis market
Cannabis production has been legalized in Colombia. The CO2 GRO Colombia cannabis TAP concluded this year in the Summer. “Their TAP focused on evaluating our technology alongside natural sunlight as well as our technology alongside artificial lighting (LEDs). They then compared the results to their baseline historical yield data and saw 30% more production (bud weight) thanks to our technology”, Aaron explains.
“Growing Cannabis is legal in Colombia, and most growers send their produce to markets overseas, especially to Germany. We are working with three other Cannabis growers in Colombia, all in different parts of the country with varied climates. We expect these TAPs to start by the end of the year.”
Working with greenhouse vegetable growers
CO2 GRO is also looking to work with some potential greenhouse vegetable growers, such as pepper and tomato producers in Colombia. “These customers produce for domestic consumption as well as for export. Given our commercial success with Hidroexpo (El Salvador) as well as TAP successes with greenhouse customers in Mexico, we believe we’ll soon start TAPs to serve more greenhouse vegetable producers in Colombia and other Central America countries.”