20 Jan Meet a Tenant: Sustainable Farming With ALVÁTECH
Elstree tenant and CEO Zac Gazit recently spoke to us about his sustainable, award-winning, water technology company, ALVÁTECH. He tells us how the more they work, the more they see that individuals can play a big role in making a change to our planet…
Can You Tell Us About ALVÁTECH?
I’m the CEO of ALVÁTECH water technology which is an innovative technology to help farmers and governments around the world tackle climate change. Our technology allows them to grow with saline water and in saline soil.
It allows them to grow in a greener way and save around 20% of the irrigation water, which is a massive amount.
How Does This Impact Farmers?
It’s a sustainable, affordable, and powerful solution. Not only is it just game changing, but also life changing for millions of farmers. I came to this from the world of high-tech and investment, and this is completely different because you directly see results on the ground and the impact it makes on the lives of individuals, families and entire communities .
You see trees that could hardly bear fruit before and now you have an impressive amount of apples, mangos or avocados, and you see the smiles of farmers. It’s very rewarding.
We’ve created a wall of smiles here. We capture the smiles of farmers the first time they see results. It is the best thing to see when you enter the office everyday.
That Sounds Incredible. How And Why Did The Company Start?
We started two and a half years ago, and we now operate in twenty-four countries around the world. It’s a fabulous thing.
You read every day about the need to be environmentally friendly and care for the planet. You see more and more people are taking action and not just using the idea as a slogan.
It’s also the right thing to do as a father. My boys have come to me and said, in a nice way, your generation messed up the planet and you need to take action. I’m very proud that they now take pride in what I do.
“Cutting travel time [to work] both improves their quality of life and reduces emissions.”
Where Were You Before The Brentano Suite?
We used to work in the city centre and then began working from home during lockdown. When it was time to go back to the office, we needed to think about where we wanted to be.
We took several things into consideration. First, most of our senior management lives near the Brentano Suite. Cutting travel time both improves their quality of life and reduces emissions. It’s about acting sustainably in all areas of our work.
The other aspect is that serviced offices provide a more efficient way of working. A serviced office can provide resources to more people in a smaller place than almost any other alternative.
Once you have those two elements together this was the best option for us.
We’re growing and we’ve already taken a second office in here. We moved straight away, and the team were very helpful. We’re very happy.
It Sounds Like A Great Fit For Your Company Ethos. How Is ALVÁTECH Growing Here?
Most of our team is outside the UK, everywhere from Africa to Latin America and the US. We’re constantly expanding. We’re growing globally and into areas such as hydroponics, vertical farming and livestock, so that means we need more UK-based team members.
I expect our head office alone could double this year, which we’re looking forward to.
The ability to scale up and be flexible is very good at The Brentano Suite. It’s great for growth.
How Does The Environment Here Help Your Business?
It’s convenient and also very friendly. One of the main questions when you take a serviced office is “who are our neighbours going to be?”
The neighbours are really nice, and the staff are welcoming and that allows my team to focus on work. We have quite an intense working style at times.
Tell Us More About That Working Style…
We have to support twenty-four different countries, including everyone from individual farmers to international NGOs and governments, across different time zones. It means we need something flexible.
The Brentano Suite is open 24/7. You can always come here. It’s simple and accessible which is so important.
“Not many people know that more than 50% of farmers in Africa are women.”
So, What’s Next For ALVÁTECH ?
Growth! When you see results, farmers in different areas start to say “ok we have great results in field crops, can you now help us with our cattle/greenhouse/hydroponics?”. From there, the business starts evolving. It’s like a ripple effect.
Our technology is quite versatile and sophisticated in the way it uses water which has allowed us to expand our product line.
The more we work, the more we see that individuals play a big role in making a change. We run various social and environmental campaigns in parallel to our business work, as we believe business and social responsibility must go hand in hand.
For example, we support the empowerment of women in agriculture. Not many people know that over 50% of the farmers in Africa are women. If we don’t provide them with solutions to deal with the impact of climate change, they will have to close down their farm and will no longer be able to lead their family businesses.
Can You Tell Us About Other Campaigns?
We also work on food waste. We support campaigns around imperfect vegetables, and I would encourage everyone to go to the supermarket and add them to your basket. They’re exactly the same, they taste great but they don’t look perfect! So what?!
Then, there is a big campaign around soil biodiversity. Healthy soil is the number one factor in the world for absorbing C02 emissions. It has more impact than stopping all cars emitting C02 around the world and it is a resource we have less of every year even though we need it to feed the growing global population.
If anyone is interested in finding out more, there is a link to series of research-based blogs on our website.
To find out more about ALVÁTECH, head to their website here.
Here at The Brentano Suite, we offer serviced office suites for companies across North West London and Hertfordshire, including meeting room hire, mail handling, and more. Have a look at our video tour to see inside our offices.