We've asked our GreenTech exhibiting companies to answer questions on how the current Coronavirus pandemic had impacted their business.
Montel was founded in 1924 and is renowned worldwide for its high-density systems that maximise the use of available space, whether to increase storage capacity, free up room for production or other uses, or get rid of space you do not need to pay for. MONTEL's GREENRAK AND GROW&ROLL 8MA™, 8P™ were developed specifically for growing applications. GREENRAK™ mobile system is light-weight, rust-resistant, and simple in design which allows for easy installation, use, and maintenance. GROW&ROLL™ mobile system is the heavy-duty version of Montel's GREENRAK™ and can withstand a weight of 8,000 LB per bay (3630 kg). Montel's GROWRAK was engineered to free up space between frames at each level providing plenty of clearance for better airflow, ventilation system ducts, lighting fixtures, and enough spacing for oversize trays to pass through between frames. Montel's Vertical Farming Systems are painted with an antimicrobial powder coating finish that inhibits the growth of dangerous bacteria and mold; easy to clean fungal-resistant finish; outstanding durability and superior chemical, stain, and scratch resistance; FDA Compliant (Food and Drug Administration) and environmentally friendly.
How do you expect this current crisis will change your sector for the long term?
Before the crisis, it's been already accepted as a general consensus that we are facing a complex challenge: we will need inventive ways to feed the growing population but the potential and land availability for cultivation have almost reached its maximum capacity. Also rising before the crisis was the global trend of growing locally due to a variety of factors or needs: in regions in which climate is a challenge; in remote areas; where there is water or soil rarity; aiming at lowering the carbon footprint; increasing product short shelf-life; cutting down on transportation; etc. In the long term, we feel that the current crisis will accelerate tremendously and definitely crystallise the need to grow locally and/or inside cities and the need to grow in a controlled cleanroom environment which will result in a higher demand for our product and growth in our sector. With its mobile carriages, the GREENRAK Integrated Vertical Indoor Farming Solution is the ideal response to the current situation allowing both to increase yield while reducing the required surface by eliminating space wasting. Customers increasingly have groceries delivered directly to their homes seems to be also an underlying trend rising from this crisis and in the long term, this may also play a role in creating a higher demand for our high-density cold storage solutions.
What kind of institutions / organisations should become (more) involved to help the horticulture sector?
Speaking of helping specifically the Vertical Farming/Horticulture sector, any organisation working in the IoT or AI should become more involved in the future. The applications are endless and the progress is already seen in lighting technologies, irrigation technologies, and automation is probably only the dawning of what can be expected. Along with higher expectations for cleaner food with less carbon footprint might also rise, due to the current situation with COVID-19, the demand for better food safety and security along with food traceability. These areas would also benefit from advanced technologies. Also given the current crisis, it would be understandable to see the Food Supply Chain closely monitoring in order to help by adapting quickly as this sector may be drastically impacted.
What is the silver lining for either your company or the sector?
Given the fact that Montel's Vertical Farming systems have been implemented in numerous indoor high yield hydroponic vertical farms that utilise cleanroom technologies and automation as well as many medical or recreational cannabis facilities around the world, we feel our expertise will benefit this growing sector. We are expecting a very high volume of projects that will require the Montel GREENRAK Integrated Vertical Farming Solution. Our experience and knowledge allow us to rapidly assist the emerging needs in vertical farming and medical or recreational cannabis cultivation. By extension, we also foresee an increasing demand in the Cannabis Dispensaries market for our Light-duty drawer cabinet. We also expect a possible higher demand for our High-Density Cold Storage Solutions for the grocery delivery market and Buy Online, Pickup In-Store (BOPIS) market.