“Fortunately, there is continued interest in next-generation, modern agriculture globally. The problem is clear. The Philippines is chronically dependent on food imports. One of my goals is to have every refrigerator in the Philippines stocked with Future Fresh products. We want to build the largest agricultural network in the Philippines, starting with at least 15 sites across the country. A site will be a combination of a vertical indoor farm center and shelves of greenhouse growers and partner farms,” says Derya Tanghe, co-founder of Future Fresh, a Manila-based vertical farming company.
Future Fresh has two indoor farms in Metro Manila which contain a total of 24 containers which are transformed into indoor vertical farms. Their modern farming technology has seen four system evolutions, as Derya explains, while their bespoke cultivation has more than 12. The total cultivation area of these two sites is around 1,250 m2.
VerticalFarmDaily was invited to take a look at their Manila farming site, of which we created a photo report. Click here to see it.
The company currently supplies 50 different products. From its vertical farms, they supply lettuce, leafy greens, herbs, microgreens, salad mixes, fresh mushrooms, as well as mushroom powder and greenhouse grown produce from of melons, varieties of tomatoes, varieties of peppers and eggplants.
According to Derya, more and more customers are looking for locally grown ingredients and foods. One of the advantages offered by Future Fresh is accessibility, enabling a wider market to be reached through omnichannel distribution from retail and supermarkets. In addition to its own direct-to-customer website, online partner sellers who combine products with their own, F&B and restaurants. On top of that, big buyers and big companies. “The priority is same-day harvest, and customers are always shocked that the product lasts for weeks.”
Derya Tanghe and Aaron Qui
Food hub: collaborating with farmers
“We work with greenhouse growers to supply a wide range of products through our hub. These hubs will make fresh produce and vegetables less susceptible to supply chain disruptions and reduce food waste and food miles. Vertical farming is a response to the resilience that needs to be built in agriculture and food production. However, there are talented greenhouse growers and farmers all over the Philippines. They are passionate producers. As fellow farmers, we understand the difficulties they are going through best and are the partner they were looking for,” says Derya.
The hub will be centered in metropolitan areas with high population and high economic activity. Future Fresh will set up an interconnected network of farms – locally sourced through talented greenhouse growers as partner farms and spokes, to deliver direct to the hub for same day sorting and delivery to customers.
A range of products available through the Future Fresh hub
Expansion of a farm in the Philippines
Not only is it the largest and most populous metropolitan area in the Philippines after Manila and Davao, but Cebu also offers an opportunity to expand the Future Fresh brand and modern agriculture. Derya doesn’t believe there is another modern indoor farm there, and so Future Fresh wants to be the first to move there. “Cebu Farm will be our latest innovation, moving from container farms to a plant factory format. In terms of size, the entire farm site will be less than 1,000m2,” he adds.
So far, Future Fresh has raised approximately $3 million. Today, they are going through a pre-Series A funding round that will allow them to move forward with a new growth strategy of inclusive agricultural modernization in the Philippines.
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Derya Tanghe, co-founder