Pure Harvest and Richel Group partner in $150M CEA deployment

Strategic three-year partnership expands smart, local farming in Middle East and Asia.

by CEA inSight
Pure Harvest and Richel Group CEO handshake
  • The exclusive Pure Harvest-Richel Group partnership is slated to last three years.
  • The partners plan to deploy more than $150 million in smart growing systems.
  • Initial deployment efforts target the Middle East and Asia, with future expansion possible.
  • Partnership projects now underway in Singapore, Kuwait and Saudi Arabia.

Abu Dhabi-based sustainable agtech company Pure Harvest Smart Farms has entered into a three-year, exclusive strategic partnership with Richel Group, French provider of turnkey, mid- to high-tech greenhouse solutions. With an immediate focus on the Middle East and Asia, the partnership aims to deploy more than $150 million worth of smart growing systems, with the flexibility to expand the partnership into new geographies.

The new partners report their shared vision for the industrialization, standardization and professionalization of the Controlled Environment Agriculture (CEA) industry drives their efforts.  Richel will support the design and construction of smart farms across the Middle East and Asia, while Pure Harvest leverages its extensive experience in challenging climates. The partnership is currently working on projects in Singapore, Kuwait and Saudi Arabia.

Pure Harvest growing innovations

As innovators of the Middle East’s first commercial-scale, semi-automated high-tech hybrid growing system, Pure Harvest incorporates innovative growing technologies and horticultural best practices to enable local-for-local production of affordable, sustainably grown, clean, fresh produce anywhere. As a CEA pioneer in the Middle East, Africa and South Asia (MEASA) region, the company is harnessing technology to tackle some of the region’s biggest challenges, including food security, water conservation, economic diversification, and sustainability needs.

Sky Kurtz, Founder and Chief Executive Officer of Pure Harvest, commented on the new partnership: “Richel has distinguished itself as among the top CEA system integrators in the world demonstrating an openness to embrace an innovative, mutually exclusive partnership model — which will help us to achieve our long-term growth objectives while at the same time consolidating project timelines and working together to reduce build costs.

“We just completed our first-ever project together, executing a technically demanding, bespoke retrofit of the climate management systems of our 11-hectare Al Ain facility. Richel performed extremely well under a tight timeline and project budget and we have high hopes for our future together.”

Richel Group greenhouse solutions

Third-generation, family-owned Richel Group has developed, manufactured and installed complete greenhouse solutions in more than 95 countries since its founding in 1964. Headquartered in France, the company’s mission consists of delivering reliable, long-lasting and high-performance solutions, with a focus on human relations, long-term vision and sustainable agriculture.

Commenting on the new partnership with Pure Harvest, Richel Group Chief Executive Officer Benjamin Richel noted, “We believe Pure Harvest is truly unique in the CEA world in that they have collected talent from the horticultural industry and married it with best practices from both the technology and construction industries resulting in a company that is focused on creating value at each step of the chain.

“Six years ago, when Pure Harvest announced that they sought to grow sustainable and healthy fruits and vegetables in extremely hot and humid climates such as the UAE, it was hard to believe. Today, they are an uncontested leader that everyone admires, and we are proud to now contribute to its developments. Richel is very thankful for Pure Harvest’s trust in us.”

The collaboration promises to benefit both companies as well as the larger CEA landscape. Pure Harvest anticipates rapid growth within target markets, reduction of building costs and delivery timelines, as well as the delivery of custom, technologically demanding farming solutions. Richel aims to further increase its efficiency in designing, manufacturing, and building high-tech greenhouses in challenging climates and distant regions.

Image courtesy of Pure Harvest Smart Farms: (L-R) Benjamin Richel, CEO of Richel Group, and Sky Kurtz, CEO of Pure Harvest.

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