Richard Branson Makes Virgin Water Bar With Israel’s Strauss

virgin pure water branson ofra straussNo more bottled water, no more Brita? Virgin’s Sir Richard Branson and Strauss Group’s Ofra Strauss pose with Virgin Pure, a new dispenser now in the UK

There is no shortage of ideas on how to filter drinking water, from filters in plastic beverage bottles, or by creating water from air conditioning units.  Some water filtration devices have included technology that use specially formulated “beads” of bacteria that actually eat nitrates often found in untreated water supplies. Due to dire necessity, Israel has become a world leader in water filtration and treatment, including treatment of waste water. The country’s food and beverage empire Strauss has now forged a deal with Richard Branson and Virgin to make an on-demand water filter that sits on your counter. The aim is to provide filtered hot or cold water on demand, while reducing the need for plastic bottled water.

Water filtration devices especially home water bars are now commonplace in many Israeli homes, especially the TAMI filtered water bars upon which the new UK-Israel partnership is based on.

These water bars began appearing in homes and offices about ten years ago and became so popular that the company TAMI was later purchased by the giant Strauss – Elite food products company in 2009. The success of the TAMI home water filtration units were brought to the attention of British billionaire/entrepreneur Sir Richard Branson, who became impressed with these devices during a tour last of Israeli technology innovations.

This later resulted in Branson’s Virgin group of companies reaching a deal with the Strauss Group to market these water bars in the UK under the name Virgin Pure in a 300 Million Pound deal that he hopes will rival the Hoover vacuum cleaner as being the gadget that changed British homes.

Says Sir Richard after seeing one of these water bars demonstrated to him by Strauss CEO Ofra Strauss : “Ofra showed me the machine in Israel and I wanted to buy one for our family. I realized how few homes in the UK had one of these.”

Water bars and other water filtration devices have been competing for years in Israel against the use of bottled or “mineral” water that is commonly sold in supermarkets. The country’s Mekorot national water company has claimed that purified tap water is safer to drink than bottled mineral water; and this water is now said to be even tastier than bottled water with the use of water filtration units like the TAMI 4 water filter that is being used more and more in restaurants as well as in private homes.

This reality may have helped convince Branson to enter into this agreement with the  Strauss Group. Branson also appears impressed in the amount of international investment in Israel’s technology enterprises. He was  quoted as being impressed that the Strauss Group began its business “with two cows” and compared it to his own business origins that began with “a phone box at school”.

He added that increased international investment will result in more job opportunities for both Israelis and Palestinians.

::Strauss Group

Read more on water filtration and production projects:
Waste Water treatment Plant in Israel Wins UN Recognition
Water Filter Uses Bacteria Beads to Eat Nitrates
Time to Drink Water From Air Con Units
The SODIS Makes Light – and Water – of Plastic Bottles

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