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Sunday Wrap Up: Lighting the Future of Agriculture - Acuity Brands' Strategic Moves and CE-Line's Sustainable Innovation

Discover this week's latest development from the world of Controlled Environment Agriculture.

Special thanks to this edition’s sponsor, Artechno Growsystems, for keeping this edition free.

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This Week in Indoor Farming: Acuity Brands' Horticultural Lighting Acquisition and CE-Line's Sustainable Tech Investment

Acuity Brands, a leader in lighting solutions, has acquired the Arize® family of horticulture lighting products from Current Lighting Solutions, LLC, signifying a major expansion into the controlled environment agriculture market. Set to be finalized by January 2024, this acquisition positions Acuity Brands to significantly broaden its market presence in this rapidly evolving sector. In a parallel move, Acuity Brands has cemented a crucial partnership with Hort Americas, LLC, securing their role as the exclusive distributor of these horticulture lighting products across North America, which includes the United States, Canada, and Mexico. This partnership is instrumental in ensuring widespread distribution and availability of the Arize® products. Tony Gineris, Vice President and General Manager of Industrial and Outdoor at Acuity Brands Lighting and Lighting Controls, highlighted the acquisition’s potential to transform their horticulture lighting portfolio, leveraging the company’s expertise to improve productivity and energy efficiency in the agricultural sector.

The deal with Current Lighting Solutions is a significant step for Acuity Brands, enhancing its stance in the horticulture industry. The integration of the Arize products into Acuity’s VerjureTM series post-acquisition reflects a deliberate effort to offer a comprehensive range of solutions to growers. This move aligns with the company's commitment to providing scale, exceptional customer service, strong warranties, and high-quality products, which are crucial for success in the horticulture market. Chris Higgins, President of Hort Americas, expressed his confidence in the partnership, acknowledging the company's history of developing innovative products for commercial greenhouses and controlled environment agriculture. He sees this partnership as an opportunity to continue building upon their success, further driving forward the horticulture industry with Acuity Brands' enhanced product offerings and market reach.

Horticoop and AgriTech venture capital firm Yield Lab Europe have invested in CE-Line, a company specializing in real-time laboratory analysis technology for monitoring nutrients in irrigation and drainage water. This technology, which promises sustainable water management and efficient nutrient control, aligns with Horticoop’s mission for a sustainable horticultural sector. CE-Line’s innovative ‘plug-and-play’ system enables autonomous and optimal nutrient dispensing based on real-time data, minimizing the need for human intervention. This investment marks a significant move towards innovative, sustainable, and efficient agricultural practices.

CE-Line’s technology offers significant advancements in crop management and water conservation by allowing growers to control the nutrient composition of their greenhouse water flows in real time. The automation of nutrient measurement and dispensing could greatly enhance crop management. Simon Meijer, CEO of CE-Line, is excited about the transition from research to commercial production, emphasizing the importance of the investors' expertise in scaling the company. Wilco Schoonderbeek from Horticoop and Daan Wilms van Kersbergen from Yield Lab Europe have commended the potential of CE-Line's solution to automate water and nutrient testing, which supports closed water systems and enhances both crop management and environmental sustainability. These advancements are in line with the goal of fostering a sustainable and profitable agricultural industry.

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