Giving Shipping Containers a Second Life

View inside an Agricool cooltainer. © Agricool
View inside an Agricool cooltainer. © Agricool

By The Maritime Executive 01-20-2019 02:06:30

CMA CGM is supporting the financial and industrial development of Agricool, a young company specializing in urban agriculture, in order to enable it to launch its industrialization phase.

Founded in 2015 in Paris, Agricool aims to create urban farms in recycled containers. With its agricultural model, the young company wishes to produce fruit and vegetables without pesticides, picked and sold on the same day. Several containers are currently being tested.

In Paris, Agricool grows strawberries and saves on water and nutrients by 90 percent compared to classical agricultural methods. The system uses renewable energy only. The strawberries contain an average of 20 percent more sugar and 30 percent more vitamin C more than retail store strawberries.

In the Fall of 2018, the CMA CGM Group provided its first concrete support to Agricool by offering technical and logistical support for the delivery and installation of a "cooltainer" in Dubai.

In December, Agricool completed a €25 million ($28 million) fundraising campaign to finance the industrialization of its innovative project. At the time, CMA CGM acquired an equity stake in the company through its investment fund, CMA CGM Ventures.

In parallel, CMA CGM wants to support Agricool's development by providing it with its industrial and logistics expertise. The Group thus becomes the main supplier of containers and the primary logistics and supply partner for the company.

The collaboration is part of the innovation support strategy implemented by Rodolphe Saadé, Chairman and CEO of the CMA CGM Group. The strategy involves equity investments and commercial partnerships with start-ups with strong entrepreneurial values and innovative industrial projects. In line with CMA CGM's commitment to sustainable development, this solution allows the company to recycle containers and give them a second life.