Vertical Farming Can Be Profitable
With over 20 years of experience in manufacturing, Tseng Jin-Mei has managed teams of more than 1000 factory workers, and is highly skilled at implementing SOP and motivating teams. Since taking the reins at YesHealth iFarm in 2018, she has elevated the vertical farm's efficiency by more than 100 percent! In this short Q&A, Jin-Mei discusses YesHealth iFarm’s business growth and what lies ahead in the future.
1. How has YesHealth iFarm grown under your management?
When I began operating YesHealth iFarm in 2018, we weren't yet operating at one-third capacity, which would mean producing 300kg of leafy vegetables per day. The following year, between December 2019 and 2020, our production volume grew to two-thirds capacity providing 1000kg of leafy vegetables per day. Our annual turnover also increased by 25%. All of this contributed to our growth curve increasing significantly. As of July 2021, we've already increased our annual turnover by a further 25%. YesHealth Group's technological advancements have enabled the business to grow rapidly at YesHealth iFarm.
2. What is your best-selling product currently? And what new products do you plan to grow in the future?
Currently, our Taiwanese consumers' favorite product is kale. Winston (founder and CEO of YesHealth Group) started testing how to grow blueberries and strawberries last year. The light spectrum and temperature still need to be studied. Growing conditions are tricky for fruits, especially berries. For example, blueberries grow best at very low temperatures. This is one of the things we discovered during research and development last year.
3. Can you share what's in store for the future at YesHealth Group?
One of our latest innovations is the YesBase edible plant gel substrate. It is a massive breakthrough, as it notably improves plant health and sustainability at our vertical farms. Our other future developments will be in automation.