In addition to microcapsules cultivated in a closed environment, Dakoté also produces and sells wheatgrass juice and hemp-derived products. This helps the startup be part of the new consumer trends that have been accelerating since the start of the Covid pandemic.
“Our company was developed around 3 pillars. The Urban Farms for Micropods was initially about offering production units the size of a container and selling these solutions to producers or people in professional conversion. The various lockdowns stalled this development, “because we wanted to promote this product first through the food service industry, before turning to organic stores and mass trade.” But the arrival of the pandemic and the closure of restaurants forced Dakoté to change its roadmap.
Aymeric Jahan, Guillaume Duvignac and Michel Darguy, the three founders of Dakoté / © Dakoté
Wheatgrass Juice: Detoxification and Athletic Recovery
Rich in vitamins A and C, chlorophyll, enzymes and no less than 92 trace elements, wheatgrass is a real “superfood”. “In its raw form, wheatgrass is high in fiber, so 95% of the fiber is extracted to obtain just a pure juice, which is then frozen to avoid loss of nutrients or bacterial growth.” Sold in ice cube form , whose nutrients are equivalent to 1 kg of green leafy vegetables.
A “super booster” that, according to Aymeric Jahan, has interesting benefits for consumers, but also for athletes, thanks to its “detox” effect on the liver. “Wheatgrass has a significant impact on performance and recovery.” These arguments allow Dakoté to progressively integrate the professional sports structures. “We had the opportunity to accompany Montois Stadium last year and many players still work with us today. We also integrated the French championship.”
Development of a range of products made from hemp
Hemp has many recognized benefits including muscle recovery, stress, focus and anti-inflammatory properties. Products derived from hemp are becoming more popular and legislation is evolving. “Two months after Dakoté was created, the Court of Justice of the European Union declared the ban on CBD illegal in France.” Great news for Dakoté, as the company planned to develop and sell hemp-derived products, specifically phytocannabinoids. “We approached the Nouvelle-Aquitaine region because we wanted to be involved in structuring the sector in France. The region sent us two people who worked with us to set up the Nouvelle-Aquitaine Hemp Association, which has a dozen founding members.” The association now brings together almost 100 actors: from producers to processors and traders. The aim is to structure the sector, adjust prices and promote French know-how from land to processing. This structuring also requires writing specifications that are “as organic as possible” for a clean and sane sector in France. Hemp has many properties for the body, but also for the soil “which it cleans by attacking heavy metals”.
Dakoté multiplies its partnerships
This year, the three founders of Dakoté multiply their partnerships. And growing hemp goes beyond cannabinoids. Hemp is known for its use in textiles, but it can also help in the production of oil and flour. “We are currently working with municipalities, restaurants and caterers on a regional level because these products are not always easy to process.”
Through Dakoté’s collaboration with the regional university (7 students in IUT biochemistry this year), the startup works in a new partnership with Biolandes, specialized in plant extraction. Another new partner is Agrolandes, a company nursery supported by the region and the department, which carries out tests on new plants and new technologies. In this context, Dakoté joined a photovoltaic pilot project to offer local farmers different harvesting specifications.
2022 also marks the acquisition of an industrial building of several hundred square meters in Mont-de-Marsan with production and processing units for microcapsules and wheatgrass, as well as another part dedicated to the research and experimental development of new methods of growing hemp. The harvest is attracting more and more local producers, “the Dakoté Farmers”, who are asking the company to support them in this new production. Dakoté also helps individuals and professionals by providing advice on installing attachments.
Better accessibility of the products
“We don’t have all the extraction and processing capabilities on-site, so we’re collaborating with French laboratories that are in contact with ANSM to obtain pharmaceutical sublicenses.” The collaboration allows Dakoté to continue his research and make his products more accessible . “We communicate with the Endofrance association, which fights against endometriosis and will soon receive CBD oil tests. We’re also trying to reach out to associations dedicated to arthritis, osteoarthritis and Alzheimer’s.”
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