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Scots firms combining to tackle world food crisis

Crops being grown at the research centre at Invergowrie on the outskirts of Dundee. (Photo courtesy of Intelligent Growth Solutions)

INTELLIGENT Growth Solutions (IGS), the Scottish-based vertical farming business, has appointed ethical marketing specialists Zebra Growth as it steps up its bid to deploy its systems to customers across the globe and help tackle the world’s food crisis.

Launched 2013, the agritech innovator designs and builds award-winning vertical farms for farmers and growers in food, pharmaceutical and fragrance markets around the world.

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IGS’ vertical farms give growers complete control over every element of the growing environment  and the systems save around 95% of water usage compared to traditional farming. The company is revolutionising the indoor growing market and the past 12 months in particular have been hectic, with soaring sales and the conclusion of a Series B funding round in November raising £42.2m.

As it continues its strategic expansion, IGS sees the collaboration with Edinburgh-headquartered Zebra Growth as key to its ongoing progress. 

With its lean and ethical approach, Zebra Growth provides expert branding and growth marketing solutions to brands that are impact-focused and enjoys a global reach with clients in USA, Dubai and Germany as well as the UK. 

As well as a worldwide client base, the company benefits from a global and multilingual team and partner network.

Welcoming the partnership, IGS chief marketing officer Andy Penfold said: “It became very evident early in the interview process that not only did Zebra Growth have the skills and knowledge we were looking for but that they really cared about the business.” 

“They are the right cultural fit for us. We are a very fast-growing business striving to do great things in the world. Zebra Growth fit with how we want to do business and how we want to interact with people and build relationships.”

“The team at Zebra Growth will work with us to build a comprehensive account-based marketing strategy. Drawing on their experience in the market, Zebra Growth will then help execute that strategy in Europe, while providing support to allow it to be executed elsewhere in the world.”

Founded by Lisbon-based Moh Al-Haifi in 2020, Zebra Growth has since built on its European origins and established a Scottish HQ in Edinburgh in January. Staff numbers continue to rise, with team members also located in East Lothian, Northern Ireland, England, Dubai and Amsterdam.

Managing director Lee Fitzpatrick is delighted with this latest partnership and said: “IGS is looking to help solve a global food crisis in the most sustainable and renewable way and we are delighted they have chosen Zebra Growth to help them achieve that goal.”

“Our expertise in account based marketing aligns the sales and marketing process and combined with our Growth Hacking methodology this will allow targeted personalised messaging to help IGS establish important client relationships in its next phase of growth.”

“We fully buy-in to what IGS are doing and share the same values and mission. We exclusively work with impact driven organisations that prioritise doing good above all else. This laser focus allows us to apply our resources and expertise to the brands that are going to lead the way in shaping what business can look like over the next decade.”

“We are exploring what ethical marketing is and how it can help growing impact businesses expand more effectively within a well-defined ethical framework and are delighted to be working with IGS at such an important time.”

Mr Al-Haifi added: “We’re facing a huge food crisis around the world and we are honoured to be partnering with IGS to help them scale up as effectively as possible so they can make the biggest impact when it comes to food systems change.”

“There are billions of people unable to eat properly without access to healthy fresh produce and that is getting worse as the population grows. The effect of food on climate change is a big issue at the moment which is going to become a catastrophic problem and we are very proud to be playing our part in helping IGS tackle that situation.”

“From concept to completion, we put an ethical lens on everything we do for clients. Unlike many agencies around the world, we combine our Growth Hacking expertise with social impact objectives. Our purpose is to bridge the gap between social impact and the next generation of conscious leaders like IGS, who are focused on the planet and its people.”

IGS launched its Crop Research Centre in Dundee in August 2018 and has since opened an Engineering Innovation Centre in Inverkeithing, Fife. The business is headquartered in Edinburgh, with additional offices in Glasgow, Chicago and Singapore.

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