Indoor #verticalfarming is complex

There's a lot of trial and error, requiring manpower + capital

Labour efficiency is key to thriving. Farms can report a whopping 100% improvement over several years


Let's breakdown the 5S that can kickstart lean transformation 👇 1/
整理 (Sort):

Separate needed tools, parts, and instructions from unneeded materials. Remove the unneeded ones.

Everything you keep has a cost, even if it's not obvious. Every time you wash, step over, stash or even think about an item - that's a cost.

Action: Red-tag area
Red-tag area:

It's not easy to identify unneeded items. We like to cling to what we have.

Tag an item every time you wonder:
• Is the item needed?
• How many do I need?
• Does it need to be located here?

Move these items to a 'red-tag room'. Relocate, reduce or discard.
整頓 (Set in order):

Arrange and identify parts and tools for ease of use.

Every tool needs a home.

The tool should ALWAYS be in the hands of the worker, or in its place.

Store tools:
• Where used most
• Where they can be seen
• According to the frequency of use
Action: Organise tools so that a 9-year-old can find them.

Use hooks and magnets to hang tools at eye level and within reach.

For job-specific tools, invest in mobile tool carts and tool belts so tools are always within arms reach.
清楚 (Shine):

A bright clean workspace helps you see waste.

Cleaning helps:
• Motivate workers to KEEP it clean
• See what needs doing
• Prevent contamination

- Light up your farm to help you spot dirt
- Paint your floor with epoxy paint to make mopping easier.
清潔 (Standardise):

Conduct the above daily.

The task should be performed the same, no matter who or when.

This means keep it simple stupid (KISS).

• Restore the farm to default every day
• Visualise it rather than write/speak it (photos, labels, whiteboards)
躾 (Sustain):

Setting up the 5S pillars is one thing, sustaining it is another!

Overcleaning can be a form of waste.

The goal is not aesthetics, it's creating flow and making the farm lighter and more efficient.

Action: Conduct regular audits to help instil discipline.
Every week, make a worker go around the facility with a clipboard to give a numerical rating based on cleanliness.

Make it a goal to get a higher rating each week.

Rewards are given to the cleanest spaces.

Quick audits will prevent waste creeping in.
5S unclogs the pipes of your farm primed for labour efficiency improvements.

Now that farming can embrace precise levels of control indoors we can apply manufacturing concepts.

Check out more lean principles applied to vertical farming here:…
You can also check out The Lean Farm by Ben Hartman, which provides inspiration for my work.…

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More from @francisbaumont

Jun 1, 2021
Finished watching Hiroki Koga @ Oishii's webinar on #verticalfarming strawberries and I'm blown away.

They're selling $50 boxes of 🍓 and are sold out weeks in advance.

They're growing rare varieties from Japanese Alps. I must say I'm intrigued.

Here's what I learned 👇
Global market for 🍓 is $27.4B

Three main drivers for strawberries are:

- people will pay a much higher premium for fresher/sweeter strawberries vs lettuce

- due to long R&D cycle, the first mover advantage is significant!

- strawberries are delicious and therefore memorable
But aren't fruiting crops less profitable in vertical farms? 💸

Oishii claims the extra cost can be outweighed by higher premiums.

Without being specific, they said strawberries are roughly 5x the profitability of mature leafy green VF players
Read 10 tweets
Mar 11, 2021
#VerticalFarming is innovative and risky. Access to capital is a large hurdle as reported in 2020 CEA Census and firms are hesitant to invest with a lack of proven business models, low margins and scarce data.

Here are things they look for that can help you raise funding 👇 Image
1/ Show market growth potential

Investors are looking for companies that have found their product-market fit with high growth potential.

How big is the local market you’re serving now? How about potential nationally and internationally?

Ability to scale should be obvious
2/ Highlight your talent

The technology works ⚙️

It’s the acute risk in operating the farms that is complex. ≈50% of founders have no Agricultural experience and there's a lack of workforce for GH/VF. Investors like to see teams experienced in sorting+producing food products.
Read 16 tweets

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