S6E71: Consolidation, Hybridization & Regenerative Agriculture with Agritecture’s Henry Gordon-Smith
Vertical Farming PodcastOctober 28, 2022x
71
55:2450.73 MB

S6E71: Consolidation, Hybridization & Regenerative Agriculture with Agritecture’s Henry Gordon-Smith

Episode Summary

Henry Gordon-Smith is the Founder of Agritecture, a global leader in urban agriculture consulting services. Today, Harry welcomes Henry back to the show for Round 2 where Henry talks all about his recent travel and nomadic lifestyle, the importance of pushing yourself out of your comfort zone and the evolution of the overall AgTech industry. Henry expounds on the consolidation and hybridization he’s seen in vertical farming, Agritecture’s growth strategy and why he is so passionate, outspoken and steadfast about his belief in Controlled Environment Agriculture.

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Key Takeaways

07:13 – Harry welcomes Henry Gordon-Smith back to the show to talk about travel, his current status as a nomad, and how he is scaling appropriately with his company, Agritecture

11:05 – Pushing outside of your comfort zone

13:22 – Agritecture’s growth strategy

15:54 – Voltaics, mushrooms and regenerative agriculture

18:57 – How Agritecture’s mix of clients has changed throughout the years

22:29 – What has caused corporate clients and investors to pay more attention to vertical farming

24:06 – Partnering with WayBeyond and ‘Greenwashing’ explained

29:02 – Consolidation and Hybridization in the Controlled Environment Agriculture (CEA) industry

33:00 – The 1st Annual Generation Fest, AgTech Week & Edible Planet Summit

39:21 – An unapologetic, outspoken advocate for CEA

41:17 – Henry reflects back on what he’s built and speaks to who has inspired him along his journey

45:01 – Opportunities for young folks to learn more about AgTech and vertica farming

47:34 – A tough question Henry has had to ask himself recently

54:13 – Harry thanks Henry for joining the show and lets listeners know where they can connect with him and learn more about Agritecture

Tweetable Quotes

“I like being out of my comfort zone. I think the history of this company is, pun intended, very organic. I started a blog and then people started asking for consulting. I never planned to be a consultant. I thought, ‘I’ll start this blog, and I’ll get some cool interviews from it, and I’ll learn some things.’ And here we are. The blog is the brand. I think I’ve gotten very used to, even before Agritecture, just adapting, and listening, and being agile. It’s a key part of who I am as an individual and sort of what we have at the company. But definitely I think that you should be outside your comfort zone if you want to innovate or grow.” (11:05) (Henry)

“But also, our new software is a key aspect of our growth. We said, ‘Let’s go digital. If we go digital, we can help tens of thousands of new farmers, forget two hundred.’ That’s also part of the growth strategy. Of course, we translate that to the hiring needs we have, the kind of marketing we would need to do to get there, and the financial resources and returns on investment, and financial targets that we have. And that feeds into our growth plan.” (15:25) (Henry)

“ESG investing obviously is also pushing an interest in building portfolios of vertical farming, greenhouses and climate smart tech. But I think it’s also the shocks in the system like the pandemic - which reminded us of the risk to our supply chain and the need to localize - and the war in Ukraine. Vertical farming, despite its challenges, has really benefited from these multiple shocks to the system and this sort of long term trend.” (23:13) (Henry)

“Greenwashing is making a claim of sustainability or environmental impact, that is an exaggeration or inaccurate, and marketing that claim.” (26:55) (Henry)

“Vertical farming is such an exciting technology and it’s a piece of the food system. When we hype it up and we separate it and we say, ‘This is the future of food, not a part of the future of food, or a part of a sustainable food system,’ we actually create a problem where we remove ourselves from opportunities to find synergies. And those synergies are really important to get to our objectives of year-round, high- quality, local, pesticide-free, more sustainable food supply in the face of a changing climate .” (31:10) (Henry)

“In the end, the people I care about are the ones that are craving knowledge and have a passion like I do and are looking for a voice that encourages them.” (39:26) (Henry)

Resources Mentioned

Henry’s LinkedIn – https://www.linkedin.com/in/hgordonsmith/

Henry’s Blogs/Websites – https://www.agritecture.com/ & https://www.technologywater.com/

Agritecture Designer – https://www.agritecture.com/designer

Agritecture Event Link – http://www.farming.nyc/

Henry’s Instagram – @theagritect https://www.instagram.com/theagritect/

Henry’s Twitter – @TheAgritect https://twitter.com/TheAgritect

Thought for Food – https://thoughtforfood.org/

Generation Fest – https://thoughtforfood.org/generationfest/

AgTech Week – https://www.agritecture.com/events-listing/2022/9/26/nyc-agtech-week-2022

Edible Planet Summit – https://www.edibleplanetventures.com/summit

AmHydro – https://amhydro.com/seminar/

Sponsor Info

Cultivatd’s Website – https://cultivatd.com/

Cultivatd’s Instagram – https://www.instagram.com/cultivatdco/

Cultivatd’s Twitter – https://twitter.com/cultivatd

Cultivatd’s Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/cultivatd/

Netled - https://netled.fi/

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