ASTATULA, Florida – Sustainable Green Team has entered into an exclusive partnership with Australia-based VRM Biologik Group to bring its world-leading soil moisture technology to the U.S.
HumiSoil® and XLR8 Bio® are soil treatment products that rebuild soil hydration on a cellular level, improving the soil and the vegetation and agricultural products it supports.
Sustainable Green Team, which has mulch production facilities and several sawmills, will make HumiSoil and XLR8 Bio available for home gardens and lawns throughout the U.S. to help relieve water use in cities and also to help VRM Biologik Group in its mission to restore productivity in depleted topsoil in 25 percent of the world’s arable land.
“Healthy soil is where the innovation and current cutting-edge technology is happening within the wood industry and sustainability,” said Tony Raynor, founder, president and CEO of Sustainable Green Team. “This market for healthy soil has grown into a larger market than even mulch manufacturing…Our vision is growing, and we are pleased to have created this partnership with the VRM Biologik Group. Their technology has been 30 years in the making.”
Tony founded Sustainable Green Team after starting several successful tree and green waste processing businesses in Florida. That background led him to launch National Storm Recovery, doing business as Central Florida Arborcare, in 2017; the company has provided services to clean up wood debris from storms and to process and recycle the wood material. The company acquired Mulch Manufacturing, an Ohio-based producer of mulch products, and a subsidiary, Nature’s Reflections, which makes mulch dyes, colorants, and mulch coloring equipment, in 2020.
Sustainable Green Team now operates seven mulch production facilities in Florida, Washington, Georgia, and sawmills in two of the states. It also has a network of more than 30 co-packing partners and distribution centers. The two principal businesses, National Storm Recovery and Mulch Manufacturing, are organized under the Sustainable Green Team, a publicly traded company.
The VRM Biologik Group technology uses any vegetative green waste or compostable material, including wood material such as sawdust or chips or grindings from wood material. A catalyst is applied to the material to stimulate natural reactions that manufacture and store soil moisture and sequester and accumulate nutrients. The organic material is converted into HumiSoil, a valuable soil amendment. VRM Biologik Group also produces the companion product, XLR8 Bio, which is derived from processing waste food and similar material.
When added to dry soil, HumiSoil and XLR8 Bio work together to stimulate the natural processes that capture carbon and nutrients inside the soil to form humus – the dark organic layer of soil that is formed by decaying plant and animal matter. As humus builds within the soil, it reduces the need for fertilizer. In a world breakthrough, HumiSoil and XLR8 Bio also trigger the amazing natural reactions in soil that manufacture additional water in the soil independent of rainfall or irrigation.
According to VRM Biologik Group, HumiSoil is a low-cost, scalable soil additive that reverses topsoil damage and significantly increases yields and profits for farmers. Case studies have shown it reduces the need for fertilizers and chemicals while at the same time increasing production of agricultural products, including livestock grazing on pasture land improved with HumiSoil. The process unleashed by HumiSoil creates better, richer, healthier soil that in turn increases crop yields and even crop quality or nutritional value.
Only one cubic yard of the final HumiSoil product, rich in nutrients and with the process of hydrosynthesis ‘switched on,’ is needed to treat one acre of land, and it can be spread mechanically or by hand.
The technology has the potential to make a huge impact on the environment for healthy, fertilizer-free plant growth, improved human nutrition, water filtration, more resilient landscapes and less storm damage, and more.
(For more information about VRM Biologik Group and HumiSoil, visit www.vrmbiologik.com.)
The process of producing HumiSoil is somewhat similar to composting, but there are important differences. The technology creates a circulation of water hydrolysis, allowing the breakdown and re-composition of organic material without losing the nutrient values or releasing methane or carbon dioxide into the environment.
“This is completely opposite to the traditional methods of composting, which releases large volumes of water, CO2, and other gasses as the material breaks down,” noted Tony. In addition, the space requirements to produce HumiSoil are not large, and the energy cost for production is much lower than traditional compost.
The benefits to the mulch industry and forest products industry are “immense,” said Tony.
“The process uses the byproduct of production and the leftovers. These materials are perfect for making HumiSoil but are currently waste materials of the forest products industry. By utilizing this material our industry’s mills and mulch yards can create a beneficial, sustainable product for agriculture and homeowners that will not be added to a landfill or other waste facilities.”
“And the end product is significantly more valuable, having retained both nutrients and the capacity to make water in soil,” continued Tony. ”Best of all, this process significantly reduces or eliminates the carbon emissions associated with processing organic wastes.”
The Sustainable Green Team has the capacity to produce millions of cubic yards of HumiSoil annually and, with partnerships in the industry, plans to increase that ability. “We handle millions of cubic yards of tree debris per year due to storms and basic tree care,” noted Tony. “We have a lot of business across the nation through our government contracts as well as the contracts we have in Florida.”
The company’s production facilities “will be the backbone of the industry,” said Tony. Sustainable Green Team expects to produce several million cubic yards of HumiSoil by year’s end – a quantity that could be used to treat an equivalent number of acres of land.
In addition VRM Biologik Group has other licensed production sites in the U.S.
Tony described the company’s mission as utilizing every part of the tree – roots, trunk, and top – for its best value. The mission goes beyond only manufacturing mulch or any other wood product. It encompasses cutting-edge technology, a synergistic and environmentally beneficial solution to avoid the carbon emissions associated with disposing of tree and storm waste material, which historically has created a burden on landfills and waste disposal sites.
The forest products industry has been in a “kind of slump” with everyone just “racing to the bottom,” observed Tony. “Something has to turn the wood industry around. Our global environment is being adversely affected by continuing to do things as we always have been. We all have to change for better future outcomes. Future generations are depending on us to do better for them.”
“We’re a company that’s looking to revolutionize the way our industry works with trees and the way that we work with each other,” said Tony. “I am all about learning from others and educating the industry about sustainability. I’m not about being number one about anything in this industry. I am excited about our innovations, and we don’t hide them. I think it’s an exciting time to be a part of this industry. We can make such a huge difference in the environment.”
VRM Biologik Group had been seeking a partner in the U.S. with a shared vision that could reliably deliver its product to the home and garden market. The two companies, VRM Biologik Group and Sustainable Green Team, were brought together by mutual financial advisors.
Mulch Manufacturing Inc. is the Sustainable Green Team’s second subsidiary. Mulch Manufacturing, which includes mulch production operations, the sawmill in Georgia, and Nature’s Reflections, their division for colorant and equipment manufacturing, has given Sustainable Green Team a significantly larger footprint in the mulch industry. The acquisition of Mulch Manufacturing included national and international distribution agreements, an increase in production and packaging capacity, and sales contracts with numerous big box retailers.
Mulch Manufacturing, an Ohio corporation, is a 35-year-old industry leader and innovator with 20 trademarks for its revolutionary mulch production, including its ‘next-generation’ mulch product, Nature’s Reflection’s Softscape®.
With its acquisition by Sustainable Green Team, Mulch Manufacturing now has production facilities in Florida, Georgia, and Washington, and Nature’s Reflections manufactures colorants in Florida.
Sustainable Green Team has transformed Mulch Manufacturing’s sustain-ability efforts to include more products produced from tree debris. “Before, 100 percent of Mulch Manufacturing’s product was produced from forest cuts,” Tony said. “Now 35 percent of their product is from vegetative debris. We’d like to see that increase even more in the future.”
“Sustainable Green Team also is moving into the West coast,” said Tony. “And we’re opening up unique opportunities, putting people back to work, bringing life back to the West…So much of our wood has been shipped overseas when we need it here in our country. It’s time to change that.”
“Our process of growth is by acquiring other companies to join our team, but it’s not necessarily about rebranding them at all,” explained Tony. “They’re already doing great things. We think it’s important to keep their same name and to help bring the technology and the resources needed to help them grow with the sustainability efforts that they’re already doing or want to be doing.”