We Buy Black and SheaMoisture have teamed up to bring the culture the Black Business Relief Fund. After reviewing 3588 applications carefully, we have settled on 20 awardees, each awarded a $5,000 grant. The 13th business is Re-Nuble, an excellent business that is totally worthy of this honor.
Re-Nuble enables farms to transform food waste into plant-based fertilizer, for soilless cultivation. Soilless farms represent the future and a promising, new pathway forward for sustainability on planet earth, if they can be made viable. While soilless farms can produce up to 11x more produce with 13x less water, they have high production costs and 20% of those costs are on nutrient inputs. In addition, they cannot cultivate organic produce without investing in additional labor and tools to monitor food-safety risks. It is also true that, to date, no cost-competitive organic fertilizer exists. Soilless farms typically rely on synthetic mineral salts as fertilizer, which is mined and shipped from overseas and thus have high environmental costs. All of that is changing, thanks to technological advances from this Black owned company.
Re-Nuble’s nutrient delivery system for soilless farms consists of its unique plant-based, pelletized fertilizer formulation and its patent-pending dissolution device, together enabling soilless farms to produce more profitable organic food at half the price of mineral salts. This device rapidly decomposes pellets and unlocks nutrients for a faster uptake, compared to existing slow-release organic inputs. Farms receive non-manure based, sustainable inputs that last longer in their systems and have a longer shelf-life. Re-Nuble’s pellets are cheaper to ship and store, while also allowing farms to recycle nutrients back into the soil. The work Re-Nuble is engaged in is critical, for sustainability: 40% of all food grown in the USA is wasted and 20.2 million tons of it goes unharvested, at the farm level. $218 billion is spent on all wasted food in the USA and food waste is the 3rd highest global source of potential CO2 emission reductions.
COVID-19 has impacted businesses on every level, including financial institutions. The unstable environment this pandemic has fostered is leading some banks to pull back on extending capital, something Re-Nuble has felt the sting of. The freezing of a working capital loan has led to Re-Nuble’s CEO, Tinia Pina, freezing her own salary so that her workers wouldn’t be impacted. Other projects and customer orders are also hanging in the balance, during this time. Even so, Re-Nuble is determined to find a way because their mission is one that impacts us all: without a pathway to a more sustainable agricultural system, our children’s future simply won’t exist. With this in mind, an investment in Re-Nuble is an investment in our collective future and wellbeing.