Cibus Capital says one of its portfolio companies, UK berry grower The Summer Berry Company (TSBCo), has extended its partnership with Tortuga AgTech, a provider of commercial harvesting robot fleet.
TSBCo has deployed 52 Tortuga robots in its 26 ha of glasshouses and 140 ha of polytunnels in Southwest England to harvest strawberries, provide forecasting on yields, plant health as well as providing support to their agronomists in fighting pests via UV light application.
Cibus Capital advises on investments that support sustainable agricultural production and the incorporation of disruptive technologies into its portfolio companies is pivotal to its mission.
Through Cibus’ partnership with TSBCo, the international berry grower has made significant strides in reducing its plastic waste and GHG emissions, improving the biodiversity of its growing sites and reducing chemical applications for pest and weed control.
Collaboration with a robotics innovator, such as Tortuga, is another demonstration of TSBCo’s sustainability credentials.
Labour availability is an increasing risk to agriculture. With wide fluctuations in seasonal labour demand, increasing wages and mobility challenges for overseas pickers from geopolitical issues, such as Brexit, Tortuga presents a cost-effective, reliable solution.
The further advantages to be gained from the robots’ data collection and berry growth forecasting will differentiate TSBCo’s operations.
Jeremy Alun-Jones, chief operating officer of Cibus Capital and TSBCo board member, says: “Incorporating technological solutions into our portfolio companies’ operations to combat issues around supply limitations, regulatory pressure and climate change are at the heart of Cibus’ strategy.
“We are pleased to see TSBCo developing their partnership with Tortuga, which will continue to ensure TSBCo is leading the way among berry growers in the agri-tech revolution.”
David Sanclement, CEO of The Summer Berry Company, says: “We are looking forward to working more closely with Tortuga to increasingly incorporate automated solutions into our operations in the UK.
“Cibus has been immensely supportive of our efforts to future proof our farms whilst protecting our workers and the environment.”
Eric Adamson, co-founder and CEO of Tortuga, says: “The Summer Berry Company has been our partner and first customer since 2019. We believe their operations are some of the very best in the world, and we are proud to be their partner in innovation.
“Cibus has been a fantastic and visionary supporter of TSBCo’s efforts to lead the world in technological solutions, and we are grateful for their support.”