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the demand for home farming technologies

Report on export household plant growth chambers to China
Name
Abstract: Due to the COVID-19 outbreak, the demand for home farming technologies and
machines is growing rapidly in the Chinese market. This report provides three types of
intelligence necessary for Conviron in their business venture to export vegetable growth
chambers to China: market intelligence, competitive intelligence and product intelligence. It
suggests that Conviron could benefit from the huge demand in China if they seize this
opportunity.
Keywords: market intelligence, competitive intelligence, product intelligence, plant growth
chamber, smart agriculture, food origins, food safety, China
Introduction
China is one of the largest economies in the world and Canada’s top export market. China
continues to pique the interest of foreign businesses attributed to its sizable domestic market
and globally linked supply chains (Export Development Canada, 2022). After China signing
the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) in November, 2020, liberalizing
trade rules in the Asia-Pacific, China’s trade environment becomes more friendly (Export
Development Canada, 2020).
China is
Canada’s second largest trading partner, with a total Canadian export of nearly 2
billion dollars in May 2022 (Statistics Canada, 2022). In addition, China’s launching of
Made
in China 2025
in 2015, an economy-wide industrial policy, shows China’s interest in
developing advanced agricultural machinery and equipment, which aligns with Canada’s
strength and initiatives in smart agriculture (The Canada West Foundation, 2019).
Reach-in plant growth chamber Walk-in plant growth room
Photos: Conviron, 2022
2
As its industries move up the value chain, and the government encourages the deployment
of
advanced manufacturing, it presents new opportunities for Conviron. Conviron is the
largest designer and supplier of plant growth chambers, rooms, and controls (Global Affairs
Canada, 2019). The company owns a technology calls Argus Control System, which mimics
outside conditions and changing seasons over time through the automated control of
temperature, light, humidity, irrigation, and nutrients (Conviron, 2022). The plant growth
chambers of Conviron can be divided into two types,
reach-in and walk-in, both allows
customers grow their own food indoors.
1. Market intelligence: High-tech greenhouse boom in China indicating market potential
for Conviron, with a need to identify consumers’ preferred shopping channels
In March 2022, Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada announced an investment of over $860,000
in six projects under the Innovative Solutions Canada program, projects including
vertical
farming
(Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, 2022). This once again strengthens Canada’s
advantage and policy preference in
smart agriculture. As people’s interest in food origins
develops, technological advancements will open up new possibilities (Mascaraque, 2021).
In the meantime, coronavirus outbreak spurs
high-tech greenhouse boom in China (Chow,
2021). Since the Chinese governments is holding series of strict restriction policies, people
spend a lot of time home during the lock downs. They started to seeking new options for
grocery shopping. Exporting indoor plant growth chambers to China has great market
potential, and Conviron should consider such opportunity and determine which
shopping
channels
targeted customers usually use to buy the products.
2. Competitive intelligence: Current chamber suppliers focusing on middle- and lowend customers, leaving an opportunity for Conviron to cater to high-end customers
Existing products in the Chinese market are mainly for the middle- and low-end customers.
If Conviron launches relatively high price of high-end vegetable growth chamber, it is
necessary to polish and improve some features that customers value, mainly including the
easy to use, product appearance, and vegetable yield.
According to Lefsrud (McGill University, 2022), one of the country’s foremost authorities in
greenhouse technology and urban agriculture, a perfect storm of circumstances has recently
given the vertical farming business fresh life. These prerequisites include the creation of more
affordable and effective lighting and hydroponic tools, which are the result of R&D in the
legal cannabis sector (Cardwell, 2021), therefore it will be possible for Conviron to develop
excellent products with the above three features at a lower cost and
a relatively higher retail
price
to enter the Chinese market.
3. Product intelligence: Catering to high-end consumers with products that are easy to
use, good appearance and high vegetable yield

3
China has a high-tech greenhouse boom due to a corona virus outbreak (Chow, 2021). During
COVID-19, Chinese customers found it difficult to do the grocery shopping since the
restrictions, and their requirements for
food safety increased because of the concerns about
their health and immune systems.
The trend among Chinese consumers is to prefer easy-to-use methods to grow vegetables and
fruits at home. Conviron can reduce the learning cost of users and increase the success rate of
users’ using the vegetable machine to grow vegetables and fruits. Because Conviron has
industry-leading technology, and they are the largest designer and supplier of plant growth
chambers, rooms, and controls (Global Affairs Canada, 2019), the company has the
technologies to mimics outside conditions and changing seasons over time through the
automated control of temperature, light, humidity, irrigation, and nutrients (Conviron, 2022).
Conclusion
The report has provided the intelligence in terms of market, competition and product for
Conviron, which helps identify an opportunity for Conviron to export plant growth machines
to China. Due to the COVID-19 outbreak, the demand for home farming technologies and
machines is growing rapidly in the Chinese market. This report suggests that Conviron could
benefit from the huge demand if they seize this opportunity. The huge purchasing power and
sustainable development potential of the Chinese market (National Bureau of Statistics of
China, 2022) will make the Chinese market an important business layout for Conviron to
open up foreign markets.

4
References
1. Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada (2022, March 15). Government announce funding
through the Innovative Solutions Canada program
.
https://www.canada.ca/en/agriculture-agri-food/news/2022/03/government-announcefunding-through-the-innovative-solutions-canada-program.html
2. Cardwell, M. (2021, August). Vertical farming on the rise. Food in Canada.
https://www.foodincanada.com/features/vertical-farming-on-the-rise/
3. Chow, E. (2021, June 4). Modern farming: Coronavirus outbreak spurs high-tech
greenhouse boom in China
. Financial Post. https://financialpost.com/pmn/businesspmn/modern-farming-coronavirus-outbreak-spurs-high-tech-greenhouse-boom-in-china
4. Conviron (2022). Plant growth chambers & rooms. https://www.conviron.com/
5. Export Development Canada (2022). Country information on China.
https://www.edc.ca/en/country-info/country/china.html
6. Global Affairs Canada (2019, February 27). Winnipeg company’s “weather in a box”
technology helps feed the world
. https://www.international.gc.ca/world-monde/storieshistoires/2019/CPTPP-conviron.aspx?lang=eng
7. Mascaraque, M. (2021, August 11). From Farm to Fork: Food Tech, Origins and
Security
. Euromonitor. https://www.euromonitor.com/article/from-farm-to-fork-foodtech-origins-and-security
8. McGill University (2022). Mark Lefsrud. https://www.mcgill.ca/bioeng/faculty-andstaff/academic-staff/mark-lefsrud
9. Murchie, B. (2021, June 30). How technology is changing agriculture. The Globe and
Mail
. https://www.theglobeandmail.com/events/article-how-technology-is-changingagriculture/
10. National Bureau of Statistics of China (2022). National Economy Got Off to a Generally
Stable Start in the First Quarter
. http://www.stats.gov.cn/english/PressRelease/202204/
t20220418_1829688.html
11. Statistics Canada (2022, July 7). Merchandise trade: Canada’s 10 principal trading
partners – Balance-of-payments basis, seasonally adjusted, current dollars
.
https://www150.statcan.gc.ca/n1/daily-quotidien/220707/t001a-eng.htm
12. Taylor, C. (2020, May 19). Coronavirus and the indoor farming revolution. Mashable.
https://mashable.com/feature/indoor-garden-farming-grow-your-own-food
13. The Canada West Foundation (2019, January 25). What Now? Strong Signals: China’s
changing trade direction and what it means for Canada
.
https://cwf.ca/research/publications/what-now-strong-signals-chinas-changing-tradedirection-and-what-it-means-for-canada/

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