SoilFixer creates and produces additives to make soil the best it can be. Based in the South East of England, the company is run by a passionate and driven team whose vision is to improve horticulture and gardening by making soil productive and nutrient rich.

The Product

SoilFixer makes two products – a super compost (SF60) and a composting humification agent that allows others to make their own version of the super compost. The super compost has multiple benefits designed to improve the quality of soils and composts based on extensive knowledge and experiments. Their ongoing trials indicate that it provides a 30% crop yield increase. The SF60 also increases the long-term soil organic matter significantly faster than that achieved using compost. These products, which can be used for all gardening purposes, include ingredients biochar, colloidal humus, plus proprietary micronized powders.

All SoilFixer products are made using sustainable resources and great care is taken to ensure that waste is minimised and forests and natural habitats are preserved. It makes sense for SoilFixer to target horticulture with higher end crop values, but the goal is to establish a viable farming option. The vision is to improve horticulture and gardening by making soil the best it can be.

Relocation to the Farm491 workshop unit, combined with access to the business support services, is an ideal mix to help SoilFixer continue developing products. The business has a workshop to undertake trials and tests and they have access to a range of start-up support services.

On working with Farm491 and the RAU

SoilFixer originally launched the business in Morpeth in the North East of England and had to relocate for family reasons.

Tony said; “The move to the South West meant I had to say goodbye to the colleagues who helped me to launch SoilFixer. Of course, I was naturally sad to leave, but the move also presented the fantastic opportunity to locate to Farm491. I’m especially pleased to have the support on offer to help my business grow. In addition to the practical working space, I also have access to 491 hectares of farmland, business support, professional experts, investors, farmers and farming data – valuable assets to help my business progress.”

Main challenge of being an entrepreneur

Sourcing and securing early stage funding has been an obstacle. Although Tony had a lot of proven composting expertise, in an agritech sense, SoilFixer could be perceived as the ‘man in a shed’ with no formal qualification in soil and composting!

Proving that their offering is ‘real and valid’ is the biggest hurdle. This hits home when they need to secure funds to undertake more in-depth testing. Most traditional investors want a fully-proven product that is ready to scale up. SoilFixer is currently in a catch 22 situation where they can only scale up once they have enough evidence for someone to want to buy large volumes. And this requires evidence to justify the risk!

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Meet the Founder: Tony Callaghan

Soil scientist, Tony Callaghan, set up SoilFixer in 2016 to fulfil his ambition to transform the world of horticulture and gardening. An inventor at heart, Tony’s passion for environmental science has also seen him successfully create the patented hot bin composter, which is now one of the UKs top selling compost bins.

Prior to this, Tony spent a decade in sales and management in the IT sector at QA in Cirencester followed by seven years with Sage accounting software looking after the training side of the business.