Brandon Gottsacker Discusses Regenerative Agriculture Investments, Innovations, and Expansions
NORTHFIELD, WI - Save the planet. Feed the world. These two ambitious goals are the driving philosophies behind Superior Fresh and its aquaponic ecosystem and vision for progressive and regenerative agriculture. With a sustainability rebrand and a new SKU igniting change across its retail investments, I took a beat with President Brandon Gottsacker to discuss some of the thriving elements of the Superior Fresh business model and how they are generating unique value for the company.
“We have an incredibly rare sustainability paradigm at Superior Fresh and a key component of this strategy is using the nutrients from our Atlantic salmon farm—our fish house—to grow superior organic leafy greens,” Brandon says. “Our nearly 600,000 fish thrive in a closed-loop water system that feeds our organic leafy greens. To complete the cycle, our greens purify the water that is then returned to our fish. The system provides a vital equilibrium that we believe comes across in all of our products.”
Talk about a delicate balance and an incredible value-added benefit to an already stellar portfolio of innovative organic leafy greens, medleys, and mixes. Oh, and, by the way, Superior Fresh salmon is also on its product menu. Superior Fresh sold its first salmon at retail on the 4th of July in 2018, and since then it has increased production nearly tenfold. A new expansion is just wrapping up and will see harvestable fish this June, to boot.
“Most land-based aquaculture facilities choose to treat their water before they send it to the river, the ocean, or even pump it into the ground. This is not an easy thing to do and it can be very costly. Superior Fresh chose to find solutions to create value out of this nutrient-rich water and grow another crop, such as our certified organic leafy green vegetables,” Brandon adds. “Our customers have come to rely on us for such innovation, especially in an environment where the consumer’s desires, demands, and buying behaviors are shifting toward more sustainably sourced food.”
Superior Fresh’s sister company, Superior Fresh Family Farms, is also generating excitement across consumer and retail demographics as it also focuses on the regenerative agriculture side of the story—and with a delicious product I can vouch for 100 times over: maple syrup. But, that is just one of several diverse elements of its program.
“Superior Fresh Family Farms is coming up with unique, sustainable methods to show the dedication we have as a company to change how we treat our land and grow our food. We believe that regenerative ag has many ways to be expressed. Maple syrup, honey, native flowers, and mushrooms are just scratching the surface of the cool work Superior Fresh is doing to help reshape the land and its resources,” Brandon adds.
So, what’s next on the sustainability front for Superior? The company will continue to invest in ways to achieve greater sustainability with its packaging to start. In the near future, Superior Fresh salads will be housed in resealable trays that work to cut the amount of post-consumer recycled plastic use by almost one-half.
“We are excited to be at the forefront of technology that supports our environment,” Brandon shares with me as we wrap up the conversation.
And, I must say, I am quite excited about Superior Fresh, too.