Canadian vertical farming company, GoodLeaf Farms, has announced that it will open a climate-controlled indoor farm in the Montréal suburb of Longueuil by the middle of 2023.
The new farm is backed by a CAD 7 million loan ($5.2 million approx.) from the government of Québec and several smaller grants from economic development agencies. GoodLeaf says that the 100,000-square-foot vertical farm will produce 1.9 million pounds of microgreens and baby greens for grocery stores and the hospitality sector across Québec, with capacity to also supply Atlantic Canada.
GoodLeaf’s system is said to be free of pesticides, herbicides and fungicides, and uses 95% less water than the same crops in an open-field farm. The plants are grown in a complex hydroponics system that provides them with nutrient-rich water, while LED lights are engineered to replicate the spring sun.
Barry Murchie, CEO at GoodLeaf Farms, said: “GoodLeaf is building a national network of vertical farms, ensuring Canadians from coast to coast have access to fresh, sustainably and locally grown leafy greens year-round. Our new farm in Longueuil is perfectly located to support all consumers across Québec via retailers and foodservice operators.”
He continued: “We are excited to work with the visionary partners in Québec who have astutely created a provincial strategy recognising the need for innovative new approaches to agriculture. In the near future, Québec and Canada will gain greater control of our food security and dramatically reduce the dependency on imported produce.”
Alexandre Lagarde, vice president of foreign investments at Montréal International, commented: “Thanks to its strategic geographical location, its supply of green energy and a large pool of ‘locavores,’ Greater Montréal is a very fertile ground for companies such as GoodLeaf”.
Lagarde added: “Vertical farming technology brings to our plates fresh and sustainable food that is grown, manufactured and produced within our region, which is perfectly aligned with a very popular tendency. It also helps reduce carbon emissions and other pollutants, another important objective for Montréal International as we seek to develop a green, sustainable economy.”
The project is anticipated to create more than 70 new employment opportunities.
© FoodBev Media Ltd 2022
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