Produce Grower: How can Jiffy help the CEA market?
Matt Miller: We offer a broad portfolio of solution for CEA. For about 95% of all operating systems we have the perfect solution. We offer everything from a peat-based substrate to wood fibers to a coco-based substrate, including anything that’s compressed or bonded or anything loose. We might be a little bit less known for some of the finishing parts of our system, but we are very highly focused on young plant production. Anything that is geared towards young plant production, we have — what leads to healthy, mature plants — and that’s exactly where we position ourselves in the marketplace. Remember: If you start off weak, you’re not going to grow the best plant you can.
PG: How does Jiffy find solutions for customers?
MM: The initial conversation would be finding out what kind of system they have in place, what equipment they are using, what crop or crops they are growing and what they are familiar with. Jiffy has a solution for every type of grower who grows inside. We borrow from the traditional horticulture industry and use a lot of the same products as a plug-and-play operation, but catered a bit towards indoor options. I need to know what they know. And if they ask for something different, or in my mind I think they’d benefit from something new, I will start simple and match their needs to what we have, save their money and help them grow better plants. We work to innovate as well, including with new products such as Flexistart.
PG: What can growers do to maximize success with substrates?
MM: We’re always working in advance. I think one of the biggest things I do on a day-to-day basis is looking at the next order and forecasting properly and getting everything lined up that a customer is going to need. And I think that COVID has put a very big magnifying glass on the supply chain and how important it is to be ahead. I tell my customers I’d rather be ahead and have to dial back an order than the opposite to that because you can’t go from zero to 100 very easily. I think everybody is feeling that pain, but we can help avoid that.
PG: What are the biggest challenges for substrates in CEA?
MM: It's a balancing act as this market grows and focuses on food safety. We believe in creating a balance between our clients' needs and the environment, which is why we are committed to a set of sustainable principles and requirements on which we lay the foundation for our commitment to continual improvements in Occupational Health and Safety, working environment, Quality, Food Safety, and Environmentally-friendly solutions, services and products.
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