Bonbio as a Company

Who Are Bonbio?

Bonbio is a turnkey provider operating in the field of circular farming and crop production. We take a positive view of the future and believe that research and innovation will result in a more positive situation for the environment, companies and people.

We offer attractive solutions and products to companies and consumers that, like ourselves, want to create a more sustainable food supply chain and reduce environmental impact.

Bonbio has developed a unique proprietary circular farming concept where we make the most of waste food, refining it into organic plant nutrients – Bonbio Nutrients. We then use these plant nutrients to grow crops of various kinds Bonbio Greens – in farming containers that can be positioned directly adjacent to customers’ operations and near to end consumers. This closes the circular farming cycle.

Who Owns Bonbio?

Bonbio is part of Peas Industries which operates in the fields of large-scale wind power, decentralised energy solutions and biogas production. Bonbio and Peas Industries are driving the transition towards a renewable energy sector and circular economy by increasing access to renewable energy and improving the recycling of organic waste.

What Does Bonbio Offer, and to Whom?

Bonbio offers a circular farming concept for crops and plants where we reduce the environmental impact of food processing by dealing with and processing waste food and other organic waste and then refining it to produce plant nutrients. These organic plant nutrients are then used to grow new crops – Bonbio Greens. This closes the circular farming cycle.

The Bonbio solution is ideal for anyone who wants to reduce the environmental impact of their own food wastage and make the most of their organic waste while also implementing sustainable production of their own ingredients. This solution is particularly well suited to supermarkets, restaurants and catering establishments that wish to use or sell locally produced crops grown using their own food waste and other organic waste.

At the heart of our circular farming system are the organic plant nutrients – Bonbio Nutrients – created by Bonbio from food waste and other organic waste. These plant nutrients are a result of several years of research and development and are produced at one of the biggest biogas plants in Sweden, which is run by Bonbio’s sister company Biond. Bonbio Nutrients can be used for both domestic cultivation and large-scale production of plants and greens.

Bonbio’s Circular Farming

What Is Circular Farming?

Bonbio’s circular farming involves dealing with waste food/organic waste and turning it into organic plant nutrients at biogas plants. These organic plant nutrients are then used to grow new crops.

Waste food and other organic waste from supermarkets, restaurants, catering establishments and households are recycled and received at biogas plants run by Bonbio’s sister company Biond. In the first instance, biogas is produced that is then used as a fuel for use in urban traffic and the transport sector. When producing biogas, Bonbio takes advantage of the nutrient-rich residual product generated by the process and turns it into organic liquid plant nutrients – Bonbio Nutrients. These plant nutrients then provide a foundation for growing new crops – Bonbio Greens. This closes the circular farming cycle.

What Are the Advantages of Using Bonbio’s Circular Farming Rather Than Conventional Farming?

Our circular farming allows us to economise on resources in an optimised
way:

  • Bonbio and Bonbio’s sister company Biond use waste food and other organic waste, turning them into biogas and plant nutrients
  • The biogas is used in the transport sector for urban buses, for example
  • The plant nutrients are then used to grow new crops
  • Bonbio cultivates its crops vertically and hydroponically in cultivation containers for more efficient use of important resources such as space and water
  • Water consumption is 90% lower than with conventional cultivation
  • No soil or pesticides are needed
  • This is a high-tech form of cultivation, controlled by horticulturalists that optimise quality and production
  • Cultivation containers allow crops to be grown close to areas where customers operate (e.g. supermarkets and restaurants) and close to end consumers, which reduces the need for long-distance transport
  • Customers can become entirely self-sufficient all year round when it comes to lettuce, herbs and leafy greens
  • The crops are fresh, untreated and grown locally
  • Renewable energy is used for cultivation

What Is a Farming Container?

This is a technical solution that makes it easier to grow crops and plants while making efficient use of space, usually in an urban environment (known as circular urban farming). The cultivation container is a high-tech cultivation environment in a forty-foot container (about 13 m long) that produces local crops all year round.

The crops are grown vertically (in order to utilise the space and make room for a large crop over a small area) and hydroponically (growing the plants directly in water with Bonbio’s organic plant nutrients).

Water, light and carbon dioxide levels are being controlled effectively by Bonbio horticulturalists in order to give us the best possible harvest and the best possible flavour. Our cultivation container can be placed more or less anywhere, it does not take up much space and it can be moved as well. All you need is somewhere to put it, plus a supply of power and water.

Are There Any Disadvantages with Growing Crops in Farming Containers, Rather Than Growing Them Using a Conventional Farming System?

Although there are many advantages when it comes to growing crops in closed vertical and hydroponic systems, there are of course certain elements that need to be developed and taken into account. For plants to develop, they need enough light for enough of the day. As the farming container does not allow any daylight to penetrate, this means we have to provide all the energy ourselves – and we do this using LED lights. As plants use a lot of light, the fact that a lot of energy is required for each farming container is a disadvantage. However, Bonbio only uses renewable energy.

What Is Vertical Farming?

Vertical farming involves growing plants over several levels, maximising the farmable area. This requires less space, which makes this farming method particularly well suited to towns and cities. Growing crops closer to end consumers reduces the need for transportation and allows recently harvested crops to be offered to consumers.

Bonbio currently uses a farming container 30 square metres in area, which is equivalent to a conventional growing area around 80 square metres in size thanks to the vertical structure of the system – farming takes place on four levels. There are 45 gullies in each level, and each gully can accommodate 20 baskets in which the crops grow.

We are also examining our options for implementing a large-scale hydroponic vertical cultivation system, which will be able to provide larger enterprises and whole cities with sustainable leafy greens and herbs grown locally.

What Is Hydroponic Farming?

Hydroponic farming involves growing plants with water and plant nutrients instead of soil. Our horticulturalists make sure that the plants and their roots receive all the oxygen and plant nutrients that they need. This also allows us to avoid various plant diseases that otherwise spread in the soil and require energy-intensive and-or chemical-based treatments.

Hydroponic farming means that no soil is needed or that the soil in parts can be replaced with something else, such as hemp seeds from fibre production or residual products from the forest industry. As a result, land that would otherwise have been used for intensive cultivation of lettuces and herbs, for example, can be used to recreate high levels of biodiversity with perennial plants and living soil in nature. In today’s society, where fertile soil is in short supply, hydroponic farming is considered to be the future for sustainable cultivation and an efficient way of growing plants.

Is everything recycled in the Bonbio farming process?

We reuse and recycle everything to the best of our abilities and are working to devise solutions for elements that are not reused or recycled at present. For instance, we are looking at how we can make the most of the small amount of water released from our farms by means of further treatment and outdoor cultivation of larger plants. We are also looking into how to best utilise some of the heat released by our farms. Otherwise, all organic material is reused by collecting it and processing it at a biogas plant, before turning it into plant nutrients that once again can be used to grow more flavoursome crops.

What Can Be Grown in Bonbio Farming Containers?

Bonbio is able to grow many different plant types; both for consumption, as well as for decorative purposes. However, we have initially chosen to focus our growing efforts on leafy greens and herbs. There is at present huge market demand for the production of more nutrient-rich, sustainably grown edible crops.

How Long Does It Take to Grow a Crop?

Hydroponic farming allows crops to grow in considerably less time than is the case with growing in soil, as the growing environment can be optimised in terms of plant nutrients, access to oxygen, carbon dioxide, temperature and humidity. The growing time can be reduced with as much as 30-50% compared with conventional farming.

How Much Can Be Produced?

Production will vary enormously depending on what is grown, but on average a farming container has enough capacity to produce between 10 and 18 kg a day, depending on the crop.

Bonbio Greens

What Are Bonbio Greens?

Bonbio Greens are lettuce, herbs and other leafy greens grown in a circular system using our own proprietary organic plant nutrients produced and refined from waste food and other organic waste. The crops are grown vertically and hydroponically in our high-tech farming containers, which are controlled by horticulturalists. Bonbio Greens grow without consuming vast quantities of water, depleting our fertile soil or having to be transported all around the globe in order to fill our stomachs.

Are Bonbio Greens Tastier and More Flavoursome Than Crops Grown Conventionally?

We think Bonbio Greens are tastier, yes, and we are absolutely certain you will agree. Following close cooperation with chefs, we have received some extremely positive feedback with regard to flavour. We will be performing a sensation test in 2019, where we will be challenging other producers of leafy greens and herbs via independent test panels.

Are Bonbio Greens Organic?

To be certified as organic, the farming process and handling of crops must meet certain criteria, including growing in the soil. Bonbio’s circular farming system uses the hydroponic method, with water and plant nutrients instead of soil, so our crops cannot be certified as organic. That said, our crops are untreated, grown locally and produced using a circular method through recycling and refinement of waste food and other organic waste to produce plant nutrients. Moreover, no pesticides or herbicides are used during the production and all our crops are farmed using renewable energy.

Where Can I Buy Bonbio Greens?

In the long term, Bonbio Greens will be available from supermarkets near you, or you will be able to order them online on our website. In the meantime, we will be helping supermarkets, restaurants or catering establishments to reduce the environmental impact of their food processing by farming crops using a circular system and plant nutrients made from their own waste food and other organic waste.

Bonbio Nutrients

What Are Bonbio Nutrients?

Bonbio Nutrients are our organic plant nutrients produced by recycling waste food and other organic waste. This is at the very heart of circular farming and provides the foundation for revolutionising conventional growing.

Food and other organic waste from supermarkets, restaurants, catering establishments and households are recycled and received at biogas plants run by Bonbio’s sister company Biond. In the first instance, biogas is produced that is then used as a fuel for use in urban traffic and the transport sector. When producing biogas, Bonbio takes advantage of the nutrient-rich residual product generated by the process and turns it into organic liquid plant nutrients – Bonbio Nutrients. These plant nutrients then provide a foundation for growing new crops – Bonbio Greens. This closes the circular farming cycle.

Bonbio Nutrients can be used at home, in your garden or with pots, as well as large-scale production of plants and greens.

What Is the Difference between Organic Plant Nutrients and Mineral-Based Plant Nutrients?

Organic fertilisers are natural products originating from living animals or plants, e.g. compost, manure and poultry manure. Organic fertilisers can also be refined from various residual products left over from the production of oil, vegetable oil and biogas, for example.

A mineral fertiliser is produced industrially by means of energy-intensive processes that are implicated in the production of greenhouse gases and help to bring about climate change. They can also be produced by means of mining.

Organic fertilisers have a positive impact on animal and bacterial life in the ground, and generally, continue working for longer than mineral-based fertilisers. The latter is due to the fact that the nutrients provided by organic fertiliser are bonded more effectively into the soil.

Are Bonbio Plant Nutrients Organic?

Our plant nutrients are not organic at present, but we are working towards a quality label. We are also looking at possibly producing our own label in order to ensure openness and fairness on the market for our plant nutrients produced using a circular system. If the organic plant nutrients currently available on the market are version 1.0, Bonbio’s plant nutrients produced using a circular system are version 2.0.

Where Can I Buy Bonbio Nutrients?

In the long term, Bonbio Nutrients will be available from retailers or garden centres near you, or you will be able to order them online on our website. In the meantime, we will be helping supermarkets, restaurants or catering establishments to reduce the environmental impact of their food processing by farming crops using a circular system and plant nutrients made from their own waste food and other organic waste.

Other Information

What Is a Circular Economy?

A circular economy involves recycling or reusing materials over and over again. This is a cornerstone of sustainable development, and the opposite to current ways of producing and consuming goods. In a linear economy, materials are extracted and then used to manufacture products which are subsequently discarded or incinerated. In a circular economy, humans can economise on the Earth’s resources while also reducing the amount of waste we produce. (Source: Swedish Society for Nature Conservation).

Why Is It Important to Reduce Food Wastage? How Can Unavoidable Food Wastage Be Recycled Sustainably?

Global food wastage is the world’s third largest producer of greenhouse gas emissions, after China and the US (FAO 2015). The food that goes off and is discarded globally could feed three billion people (FAO 2013). In Sweden, we threw away 1.3 million tonnes of waste food in 2016, not including waste food from primary production (agriculture, fishing, fruit farms and horticulture). Households are responsible for most of this. Waste food from shops, restaurants and households in Sweden fell between 2012 and 2014 (Swedish Environmental Protection Agency 2014b, Swedish Environmental Protection Agency 2012). Waste food from households and the food industry fell between 2014 and 2016 (Swedish Environmental Protection Agency 2018). Bread, dairy products, fruit and vegetables are some of the most commonly discarded foods. In general, animal products have a greater environmental impact per kilogram than vegetable products.

The UN’s 17 Global Sustainable Development Goals (Agenda 2030) was adopted in September 2015. Interim goal 12.3 relating to food wastage in Agenda 2030 involves halving global food wastage per person in stores and at the consumer level and reducing food wastage throughout the entire food supply chain, including losses after harvesting, between 2015 and 2030.1 Sweden has subscribed to these goals and is working to help attain them.

From a resource perspective, waste should be prevented rather than dealing with it once it has been generated. Therefore, action should be taken early on in the food supply chain in the first instance. Food donations or recycling are important for any food for which no market can be found earlier on in the food supply chain. Encouraging increased utilisation of unavoidable waste food for biogas production is one of the goals adopted by the National Food Administration, the Swedish Board of Agriculture and the Swedish Environmental Protection Agency. With our circular farming process, Bonbio can help to attain this goal and make the most of unavoidable food waste in a sustainable way.