How a South African medical cannabis grower weathers the harsh winters

"As the oldest family business in the country, the Boplaas group has been farming since 1743," says Carl van der Merwe, Managing Director of ChroniCo. "I'm part of the tenth generation in the business. Originally, we have been farming apples, pears, and more for a few hundred years now." Now, the South African company ChroniCo has been growing medical-grade, THC-potent cannabis for the international market since 2019. "Sustainability is a very important part of our business. The solar panels that we introduced in 2019 were the first floating solar panels in Africa."

Click here to see Fluence's visit of ChroniCo's facility

James Simpson, Director, mentions that changing from HPS to LEDs was an important step towards being as sustainable as possible. "We wanted a light that was already in the market and proving itself in the market. Therefore, we went with Fluence lights." According to Seth Copans, Head of Quality, the lighting has helped affect the overall quality and production cycle. "The LEDs obviously increase our energy efficiency, but the spectrums also improve our quality of product, the density of the flowers, and the trichome production. It's been a noticeable difference."

According to the company, the goal at ChroniCo is to produce flowers that are comparable to any in the world. "Quality is key for us. So as we scale up, we'll make sure that the quality stays in line as well. We want to be at the forefront of putting the technologies and cultivation techniques together, leading the way for the rest of the cultivators in Africa."

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