The pictures show some of the steps in the production process:
Trainees receive hands-on instruction in the selection and proper sorting of harvested mugwort.
Afterwards, the mugwort is gently dried slowly at below 40 degrees in special drying houses powered by solar energy. Slow drying is crucial for the active ingredient content.
After drying, the mugwort is sorted again and then ground into a fine powder.
The finished powder is filled into bags or buckets and delivered to a food factory for further processing.
PV generator energy (AC grid) 11,092 kWh
Direct self-consumption 3.325 kWh
Battery charging 2.320 kWh
Grid feed-in 5,446 kWh
Own consumption share 50.8 %
Avoided CO₂ emissions 5,279 kg/year
1. Biofertilizer from fermentation residues:
Development of a solar-powered process to process digestate from biogas plants and produce liquid biofertilizer
2. PV cooling mat:
Solar power generation by cooling PV modules using innovative cooling mats and combined use of heat potential (PV cooling mat)
3. Artemisia annua cultivation:
Sustainable cultivation for ecological and economical cultivation of Artemisia Annua in partially shaded agri-solar systems
4. Aquaponics in PV plants:
Development of an energy sustainable and resource efficient aquaculture cycle system under the partially shaded areas of Agri-Solar plants
Development of an autonomous agro-robot for efficient Artemisia cultivation in Agri-Solar facilities
The total complex consisting of a skylight dome hall, 2 shed roof halls, 2 x light weight halls, 2 Food & Energy facilities and a social building has 730 kWp of installed PV capacity with an energy production of 690 MWh per year.
Thies Schrum will be responsible for expanding the digitalization of processes and will be heavily involved in the structuring of the sales teams. As a business economist, Thies Schrum has been working at a leading international strategy consultancy since 2017, most recently as a project manager, supporting national and international clients in the areas of strategy development and due diligence as part of M&A projects.
"Through his consulting work, Thies brings experience from extensive strategy and transformation projects with international medium-sized companies and corporations. This will help us enormously to further structure and advance our chosen growth course. We are very pleased that Thies is now on board," says Martin Tauschke.
"I am very happy to join our family business and to help shaping the exciting path we have taken. I look forward to working with the team and our partners," says Thies Schrum, son of Peter Schrum.
During the two-year project period (2021/22), 28.8 million packs of Vitality Porridge will be distributed to over 10,000 school children and 50,000 family members, 40 school gardens will be created and more than 1,260 unemployed people will receive training to empower them to become self-sufficient.
In 2020 SUNfarming successfully carried out the DeveloPPP project "Vitality Porridge" to combat the consequences of Covid-19 with the help of DEG in South Africa. Over 10,000 school children and their families were directly supplied with high-energy, healthy food (SF Vitality Porridge). In certified training courses, teachers and unemployed relatives of school children were taught theoretical and practical knowledge about ecological, water-saving vegetable growing and healthy eating. As a result, numerous vegetable gardens for self-sufficiency were created in the townships.
Despite the success of the Vitality Porridge Project, there are still major problems providing school meals for the children from families in need. We are therefore pleased to now work with DEG on a significantly larger training and supply project in South Africa with a total volume of almost 10 million euros.
The SUNfarming DeveloPPP project is supported by the June & Andrew Mlangeni Foundation, the non-profit association Food Education Energy and Development e.V. (FEED) of Hamburg, and the F.E.E.D. NGO of South Africa. The non-profit association FEED of Germany and its sister organization in South Africa collect donations from international donors, companies, and foundations to further expand the urgently needed and sustainable development aid in South Africa and that is in addition to the projects through DEG.
The SUNfarming COViD-19 Response Program, which is geared towards sustainability and helping people to help themselves, is divided into three program parts:
SF Vitality Porridge Food Aid Program:
More than 40 schools, 10,000 children and 50,000 of their family members will take part in this sustainable project aimed at helping people to help themselves. Also, 28.8 million packs of high-quality & healthy Vitality Porridge produced by SUNfarming will be delivered and distributed over a period of 18 months.
Vitality Porridge contains not only multiple vitamins and nutrients but also medicinal herbs such as artemisia (African mugwort), turmeric, and ginger to enhance the immunity of the human body.
Training courses on all aspects of organic vegetable growing and healthy eating will again be part of the program.
“The medicinal herbs for the Vitality Porridge are already being grown, dried, processed and bottled by trainees as multiple cultures (intercropping), together with various types of vegetables, in our Food & Energy Training Centers. The extruders provided on the Food & Energy plants for the production of Vitality Porridge have been technically enlarged so that they can produce up to 200,000 food portions per day, ”explainsPeter Schrum, SUNfarming founder and main shareholder.
"We would like to extend our sincere thanks to DEG for the renewed support without which we would not be able to implement this Covid-19 Response Program," continues Peter Schrum.
“We are very pleased to have a reliable partner at our side in Sunfarming, who has been assuring its corporate responsibility in a number of countries for many years. This is anything but a matter of course, we very much appreciate the constant, reliable commitment of Sunfarming to the implementation of the project, ”says Manuela Marques, Head of Customer Solutions at DEG.
The courses offered are monitored by the South African authority SAQA (South African Qualification Authority). The successful candidates are awarded certificates at the end of the program in a small ceremony to symbolize its national recognition of the qualification that facilitates them to enter into the skilled labor market.
Rural parishes support the project comprehensively by encouraging the participation of communities and also by providing their plots of lands for the practical training courses. As a result, such lands owned by churches should continue to be cultivated by parishioners and serve as a source of food for the needy in those communities.
The Covid-19 Response Program offers immediate aid against hunger and, at the same time, sustainable help for self-help through certified training courses in vegetable growing and healthy eating for the local population. Labor is required for production in the Food & Energy centers. Accredited Agri-SETA trainers in organic vegetable cultivation trained by SUNfarming South Africa take on the training of these workers. In this way, new jobs are also created on site.
The theoretical and practical training includes everything necessary for a successful harvest, from soil preparation to sowing, irrigation and pest control. Those plots laid out by the first group are expanded and maintained by subsequent groups. In the course of the growing season, the following groups can learn practically how to control pests and how to prune. Intercropping with medicinal herbs, the use of organic fertilizers, and the efficient use of water resources are covered during the training courses.
The produces, mainly vegetables are sold to the school on favorable terms for the consumption of students & staff. As such, this program has been successful in ensuring multiple benefits such as healthy food, skills development on organic farming, and also it creates enthusiasm and passion for farming. All these benefits are to ensure much sustainable culture towards the well-being of the next generation in the country.
“With the COVID-19 response program for South Africa, which is co-financed by DEG, we are in a position to bring our valuable and long-term experience with food & energy technologies, especially for school children, and approx. 60,000 people daily for 18 months with SF Vitality Supply porridge. We give people a new perspective for life, ”explains David Morr, Project Manager International of the SUNfarming Group.
Daniel Alex, DEG project manager, explains: “This project is very unusual in terms of its size and the effect it will achieve. We rarely reach so many people on different levels - this is made possible by the enormous range of activities. Thanks to the two-pronged approach, we are able to combine short-term food support with the development of sustainable structures for the permanent improvement of living conditions in the areas in South Africa severely affected by Covid-19."
Martin Tauschke, CEO of SUNfarming GmbH: “We are proud that in 2020 we were once again able to demonstrate our earning power despite the effects of the pandemic. We are just as happy about the positive start into the 2021 financial year and the successful full placement of our listed debut bond. We will do everything in our power to live up to the trust of our investors and to establish ourselves as a reliable issuer on the capital market over the long term."
SUNfarming GmbH recorded a successful 2020 financial year based on preliminary figures. SUNfarming was able to increase earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA) by 29.4% from EUR 1.7 million to EUR 2.2 million. This corresponds to an improved EBITDA margin of 7.9% after 4.7% in the previous year. The annual surplus increased by 87.5% from EUR 0.8 million to EUR 1.5 million. The positive development is also reflected in the equity ratio, which rose from 24.7% to 34.9%.
For the 2021 financial year, SUNfarming expects to improve both sales and earnings. In the 1st quarter, projects with an installed capacity of approx. 5 MWp and in Poland of approx. 3.9 MWp were successfully implemented. In Germany there were seven roof-top projects with a total output of 3.5 MWp and two ground-mounted systems with an output of 750 kWp each.
For the rest of the year there are currently around 27.3 MWp of new projects being planned and implemented. More than 60% of these consist of free-field PV projects that are subject to tendering with a capacity of over 750 kWp, around 20% consist of classic EEG-compensated free-field systems with an output of up to 750 kWp and around 20% roof systems with a total output of over 100 kWp. In addition to the new projects, around 29 MWp of project expansions are being implemented, of which the first two projects will be completed in the second quarter. In addition, several major projects of 20 MWp and more are in development for 2022.