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
ROTTERDAM, Netherlands–(BUSINESS WIRE)–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 Cornel 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.
For more information on Fluence, visit www.fluence.science.
About Fluence by OSRAM
Fluence Bioengineering, Inc., a wholly-owned subsidiary of OSRAM, creates powerful and energy-efficient LED lighting solutions for commercial crop production and research applications. Fluence is a leading LED lighting supplier in the global cannabis market and is committed to enabling more efficient crop production with the world’s top vertical farms and greenhouse produce growers. Fluence global headquarters are based in Austin, Texas, with its EMEA headquarters in Rotterdam, Netherlands. For more information about Fluence, visit www.fluence.science.
About Cornel van der Watt and White Lion Holdings
With over 29 years of international, large scale cannabis cultivation experience under his belt, the White Lion Cornel van der Watt is in a class of his own. His knowledge of all aspects of the cannabis industry and his connections in the global cannabis community are unparalleled. He has also been at the forefront of the cannabis movement in South Africa since inception.
Every path he has walked in his professional and personal life has led him back to the cannabis industry. This path traces back to his qualification in chemical engineering, experience in scientific glassblowing, expertise in cultivation abroad and locally, studies in tissue cultivation, cloning and genetics, his community upliftment work as well as training and consulting.
While Cornel has become a scientist, a geneticist, a businessman and Cannabis Supremo, at the heart of his consultancy lies a deep and spiritual connection with the cannabis plant. For more information about White Lion Holding, visit https://www.whitelionholdings.co.za.
About The Lamphouse
Established in 1976, The Lamphouse is the largest supplier and distributor of specialized lamps in Southern Africa. Over the past 40 years, The Lamphouse has developed strategic relationships with suppliers and customers alike, providing lighting applications for horticulture, medical solutions, stage and studio, airfield, navigation and more. The company is headquartered in Johannesburg, South Africa, with additional offices in Cape Town and Durban. For more information about The Lamphouse, visit https://www.thelamphouse.co.za.
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