A Fresh Idea
Asia’s rapid-growth has led to sustained food shortages with really no end in sight. Fresh Grow’s proprietary farming techniques achieve the highest quality and highest agricultural yield.
- Increase in Global Middle Class by 2020 15% 15%
- Increase in Global Middle Class by 2040 40% 40%
Asian Middle Class Population Footprint by 2030
Global Consumption of Asian Middle Class by 2030
Relative Asian Consumption Expenditure on Food Versus Non-food
In early 2014, the Company exclusively licensed I.P. varieties from a specialty Dutch lab that had developed and tested over 700 varieties of tomato seeds specifically for Indonesia, to further optimise for Indonesia’s tough soil, climate and pest environments.
The Company recruited a member of the core team who successfully led the seed development and plant production at China’s largest indoor grower, Le Gaga Holdings, backed by Sequoia Capital, a leading Silicon Valley venture capital firm. As a result of his consultation, the “King Tomato” product was established to develop the three most-sought after gourmet varieties, the Roma, the Cherry and the Beefsteak.
In April 2014, the business identified additional land of 17 ha in Cianjur, a province of Jakarta – Southeast Asia’s largest city. Extensive due diligence concluded Cianjur offered near-perfect climatic conditions, as well as location – just outside of Jakarta, adjacent to one of the few modern highways. The Company made an offer for the land and subsequently purchased the property on 29 December 2014, thus, operating a land portfolio with both R&D and growing activities.
Seed development and production at the R&D facility continued until October 2015 in Almann (Bali). During this period, the business successfully test-marketed its products across major supermarkets (e.g. Pepito Supermarkets, et al.) and top HORECA brands (e.g. The Four Seasons, Garuda Airlines, et al.), confirming the existence of nearly continuous demand for such quality fresh vegetables, with the ability to forward-sell contracts. The business developed a clearer promotion, planning and strategy and engaged the services of Ms. Farah Quinn, a well-known Indonesian celebrity chef, as the brand Ambassador. On the production side, the business continued to test multiple growing scenarios using proprietary greenhouse systems and seeds specifically tailored to local conditions.
In late 2015, The Company began to attract investment interest from leading family-run corporate houses seeking an edge in their own agriculture businesses, as well as leading Private Equity firms and a few Development Finance Corporations (DFC’s). The Company leadership underwent due diligence and considered Term Sheets for investment; however, the Company decided to explore a listing, rather than raise capital from local players and cede control.
By 2016, Fresh Grow was actively receiving solicitations from interested parties from Greater China, Singapore, Israel and elsewhere to invest, buy or simply to franchise the growing model.
The company established growing operations in the Cameron Highlands, Malaysia area for export to fast-growing and more readily-supplied Singapore and Kuala Lumpur vegetable markets and refreshed senior management in preparation of listing: Australian commodities veteran, Michael Rapattoni was appointed GM to lead FGH team’s strategic growth, construction and business development. Mr. Rapattoni had held previous roles as CEO, CFO and Company Secretary for Harvey Beef and other large commodities companies across 20 years. The business also employed renowned Ag Tech expert, Luke Rania, to focus on advanced greenhouse applications, and Piet Keijzer, who grew LaGaga Holdings operations from initial investment in 30 hectares to over 2000 hectares, before taking the company public on NASDAQ at a valuation above US$350 million. On the corporate finance side, Tim Morrison and Chairman Peter Wall were added for their combined track records of ASX listings and experience overseeing corporate finance and operations.
With strong management in-place, successful testing at R&D facilities, key markets proven and land acquired, FGH is now positioned to scale-up and serve Asia’s larger market segments.
Board and Management
Mr. Rapattoni is a Chartered Accountant with 22 years experience in Public Practice, Chief Financial Officer and Chief Executive roles. Mr. Rapattoni has a vast experience in Agriculture and has been involved with business in Asia for some 20 years.
Mr. Wall has a wide range of experience in all forms of commercial and corporate law, with a particular focus on resources (hard rock and oil/gas), equity capital markets and mergers and acquisitions.
Chief Operating Officer
As the owner of Asian Perlite Industries Sdn Bhd and Greenhouse Solutions Asia, Mr. Runia has played a key role in establishing a number of businesses. Mr. Runia works closely with the University Wageningen Netherlands to develop technologies suitable for use in greenhouses in tropical climates in South East Asia.
Mr. Morrison has extensive capital raising and management experience across multiple sectors and has worked as CEO, executive and non-executive director for a number of ASX listed companies. Mr. Morrison has an MBA from the University of Western Australia.
Demand for fresh food continues to rise…
Asia’s fast-growing middle-class is consuming healthier, fresher foods, as well as adopting new tastes with more western influences.
FGH’s independent analysis strongly suggest double-digit annual growth is achievable for fresh produce consumption, driven by a growing population and higher spending power per capita.
Local players are ill equipped to develop and deliver in the ways FGH’s tech-enabled model can.