Growing pesticide-free, non-GMO fruit and vegetables in shipping containers in the heart of the city, for a fraction of the usual resources.
Agricool: they grow food where you live
Whether it’s beans from New Zealand, strawberries from Spain, or tomatoes from Morocco, fruits and vegetables travel more than you. But unlike you, they don’t enjoy it. It means pesticides inside and pollution outside. Agricool aims to be super-local, even in urban centres, and provide fresh, healthy produce using minimal resources and renewable energy. What’s not to love?
Hello from the founders!
“As we’re both sons of farmers, our childhoods were full of excellent fruits and vegetables. When we moved to the city, we didn’t want to lose the ability to eat great food. That’s why we invented a system that lets us grow tasty fruits and vegetables locally and without pesticides, at a price that everyone can afford.” — Gonzague & Guillaume
The whole story
Time to cobble something together
Their taste buds started celebrating as they planted strawberries in an apartment belonging to Gonzague’s uncle. Doubling as the children’s playroom, the growing room was pretty basic, but it worked!
First strawberries were amazing!
They managed to grow strawberries, and they were good. It was an encouraging first step. Now they needed to find their own place to play.
Hunting for the right Lego
At that time, there was an old container sitting in the courtyard of Gonzague’s parents’ farm. And it struck them as the ideal solution. It was like a Lego: recyclable, transportable, and able to be placed anywhere! It was time to turn those 33 m2 into a fruit and vegetable paradise.
Source & Images: Agricool
Growing in a container, really?
See? It’s possible
They worked day and night for a few months. Eventually, they had created their paradise for fruits and vegetables. It was time to present their solution to the world.
Goodbye Localocal, hello Agricool
Before the big reveal, they needed a fresh look. At first, they had decided to call themselves Localocal. Why? They thought it was simple, clear, efficient and international. But really it was impossible to spell and nobody got it. With the help of The Family, they created a new identity. It was the beginning of Agricool.
First site in Paris
Their prototype took to the highway with hundreds of strawberries on board, headed for its new home at the Parc de Bercy. Once there, production really started. They were producing 1 carton of strawberries each day. It wasn’t much, but it was a start and the taste was incredible!
The idea proved popular with the media and fundraising alike
Let’s meet with the media
The media started showing up, and they had over 1000 visits in just 3 months. They had won their first bet: proving that it was possible to produce tasty food in a Cooltainer. Initial fundraising proved to be very successful.
Time to speed up
A first round of money allowed them to hire their engineering and agronomy leaders. At the time, there were 4 of them: Gonzague, Guillaume, Guillaume and…Guillaume. So they re-baptized their new recruits (pleased to meet you, George and Will) and everything started moving faster.
The new workplace
After a few months in the family basement, they moved to their own offices in Paris’s 20th arrondissement. There they pushed their tests further: density, species, humidity, temperature, light…
They raised about 4 million euros, and moved into their 1500 m2 factory (below) in the Parisian suburb of La Courneuve, with a now full-sized team of talents.
What does the future hold?
One team, one mission
Their mission is ambitious. To complete it, they need the best, those who are able to reinvent agronomy and engineering as we know it. Those who can challenge the status quo, reinventing the system of food production. They received more than 700 applications, and went from two founders to a team of 30 in just one year.
Research & development
After two years of R&D, they managed to invent a new way of growing food. They are now able to be 120 times more productive, without pesticides or GMOs, while using 90% less water and nutrients, and consuming only renewable energy. Most importantly, it’s a method that brings taste back to the food, produced 100% locally.
An optimistic future?
Today they grow incredible strawberries in the center of Paris. Tomorrow, they say they’ll be producing all kinds of fruits and vegetables in large cities all over the world. That’s a vision we can all get behind.
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