World Tree Agriculture
World Tree Agriculture is a Food and Health based social enterprise. Founded by Ian Fraser, World Tree Agriculture is a food technology social enterprise which aims to revolutionize the UK agricultural sector.
Ian aims to do this by using modern hydroponic systems, which are able to grow relatively unknown fruits and vegetables. The hydroponic agricultural systems, which involves growing plants without soil, used alongside solar panels and LED lights, are carbon negative. Not only this they provide an offer to the agricultural market that otherwise would require over 11 billion tonnes of CO2 in international shipping.
With extensive experience behind his belt, Ian aims to use these farming techniques to bring new produce to Scotland, and provide more nutricious foods to foodbanks and establish their own healthy eating food parcels to distribute to the worst affected communities across Scotland.
We caught up with Ian to get some insight into his social enterprise ambitions.
What was your social enterprise inspiration?
When I started to realise the potential of my business, I didn’t want to work to see money build up in a bank account. I wanted my business to have an impact on people’s lives. During my degree I was reliant on food banks and living in Shettleston I knew that my location gave me the lowest life expectancy in all of Europe. That made me determined to see active sustainable change within the communities in Glasgow that need it.
What’s been the most challenging element for World Tree Agriculture?
Our project required a higher than average start-up cost which limited our ability to produce samples and hence achieve letters of intent. We were stuck in a bit of a feedback loop during that time and it was difficult to remain motivated when experience that kind of rut.
You must have some big plans for the future?
World Tree Agriculture has a lot of potential. We have aims to grow some extremely interesting grows that I know a lot of people are going to love and we have plans to start producing our own food and drinks range. But, that is just the beginning, I don’t want to give too much away.
Surround yourself with good people to support you and have a team of people that offset your weaknesses. And the better you are at identifying your weaknesses, the better you’ll do. The people you do anything with will determine your success.
Firstport have helped me from before we even wrote our first business plan. They have been a vital ally in getting World Tree Agriculture to where it is today. I would recommend to anyone that is even thinking for starting their own business to not underestimate how much they can help.