The collaboration combines White Lion Holdings CEO Cornel van der Watt’s 29 years of global experience that he is now investing in his home market with Fluence’s horticulture expertise to serve the potential $1.7 billion developing South African cannabis industry
23 Nov Fluence partners with White Lion Holdings to provide crucial LED lighting solutions in developing South African commercial cannabis market
ROTTERDAM, Netherlands (Oct. 22, 2021)—Fluence by OSRAM (Fluence), a leading global provider of energy-efficient LED lighting solutions for commercial cannabis and food production, announced today it has partnered with White Lion Holdings, the leading consultant providing complete solutions for new and aspiring cannabis growers in South Africa.
Fluence’s South African partners include local distributor The Lamphouse, the largest supplier of specialized lamps in Africa with more than 40 years of experience in numerous specialty lighting sectors, and White Lion Holdings, a company offering complete cannabis growing solutions and consultancy, led by CEO Cornél van der Watt. Van der Watt has served at the forefront of developing cannabis markets in the U.S., Canada, the Netherlands and Lesotho, and has consulted extensively in Australia.
“Local partnerships are a key factor in delivering fast and reliable solutions to growers. Our stellar partners know the choice of lighting supplier is crucial to delivering consistent, high-quality yields premium clients in the northern hemisphere require,” said Timo Bongartz, Fluence’s general manager for Europe, the Middle East and Africa (EMEA). “Van der Watt chose to partner with Fluence and our local partner The Lamphouse based on his experience with Fluence’s superior LED products and valuable support in various jurisdictions where he has historically consulted cannabis growers.”
According to Prohibition Partners’ African Cannabis Report™, by 2023, Africa’s legal cannabis industry could be worth more than $7.1 billion annually, with South Africa alone contributing an estimated $1.7 billion per year. The South African government’s recognition of the industry as a key to economic revival mirrors Prohibition Partners’ assessment—the cannabis industry represents the potential to create between 10,000 -25,000 job opportunities in a country with the highest unemployment rate in the world.
“The African cannabis market holds incredible potential and we know we’ve found the right partner in White Lion Holdings. We’re proud to collaborate with such a trusted brand and to support the growers who are revolutionizing the South African cannabis market,” Bongartz continues.
As the cannabis industry continues to gain traction throughout the country and continent, White Lion Holdings suggests growers will not only need innovative technology at their fingertips, but evidence-backed cultivation practices that yield high-quality crops, improved yields and consistent growth patterns.
“We’re thrilled to partner with Fluence and its local partner The Lamphouse,” said Van der Watt, who is currently consulting and managing four commercial operations throughout South Africa with other operations in the pipeline. “The cannabis plant is highly photosensitive. We prefer natural lighting and South Africa has an advantage in this regard with ample, good quality natural light. By choosing the location of the greenhouse well, one can get up to 11 hours of natural light for free. Then, we integrate supplemental lighting into the facility to optimize crop yield.”
The South African market is still in its infancy. Through its partnership with White Lion Holdings, Fluence lighting solutions have been implemented at pre-licensed and licensed cannabis greenhouse and indoor facilities throughout the country.
“I am testing various lighting solutions all the time, but those tests only reaffirm my partnership with Fluence and its local partner The Lamphouse given each company’s superior quality and valuable support. Thanks to consistent lighting, I have been able to surpass production targets. That is only possible with superior lighting,” Van der Watt added.
To achieve longevity in an industry that can quickly become crowded with new technologies and cultivation solutions, investors and growers must ensure they partner with experts in their respective fields who are purpose-built to support cultivators for the long-term.
“The Fluence system all but eliminates lighting as a variable and delivers a high return on investment. Optimizing the correct lighting strategy for the correct application and layout is one of the critical components to successful crop,” said Glenn Morris, CEO of The Lamphouse.