Goodleaf is using the funding to build farms to serve the whole of the country

McCain Foods has increased its total investment in GoodLeaf to more than C$65 million.

After closing the new funding round, Guelph, Ontario-based GoodLeaf Farms said it will build a national network of vertical farms to produce nutritious and locally grown leafy greens.

GoodLeaf opened its first commercial vertical farm in Guelph in the autumn of 2019. By the end of the year the firm said it aims to have two more indoor vertical farms – one to cater to grocery and food service networks in the west of the country, and the other to service the east.

Barry Murchie, chief executive of GoodLeaf, said: “We want to be a global leader in vertical farming. Our first step to accomplishing that is ensuring we have a strong footprint in Canada, giving Canadians access to top-quality, nutrient-dense, sustainably grown and pesticide-free leafy greens, 365 days a year.

“It is our intention to build farms that support the Canadian grocery store network, food service industry and consumers. We want to change what people are eating by providing a fresh, healthy and local alternative that, until now, hasn’t been available in Canada. We are driving a new way to grow food, with disruptive technology that brings consumers leafy greens from their own backyard. This is a fundamental game changer.”

GoodLeaf’s vertical farm grows produce on hydroponic trays stacked in multiple horizontal levels. A system of specialised LED lights immitate the spring sun, giving plants the light they need for photosynthesis. There are no pesticides, herbicides or fungicides used and the environment is immune to weather extremes.

At its 45,000-square-foot Guelph farm, GoodLeaf is harvesting microgreens (spicy mustard medley, Asian blend, micro arugula, micro radish and pea shoots) and baby greens (Ontario baby kale, Ontario baby arugula and Ontario spring mix) for Ontario grocery stores, ensuring an all-year round local supply of fresh, nutrient-dense leafy greens.

Date published: 26 February 2021

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