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December 6, 2021

McCain Foods-backed GoodLeaf Farms plans second Canadian site

GoodLeaf Farms already has a leafy green facility in Guelph, Ontario.

By Simon Harvey

GoodLeaf Farms, the subsidiary of McCain Foods-backed Truleaf Sustainable Agriculture, is planning another vertical farm in Canada.

Described as Canada’s “largest commercial vertical-farming company”, GoodLeaf’s new 74,000 square-foot site will be located in Calgary and is expected to be completed by the end of next year. The company, which counts frozen-food supplier McCain Foods as its largest shareholder, already has a leafy green facility in Guelph, Ontario.

It also plans to expand into Quebec next year to reach wider distribution of indoor-farmed kale, spinach, Arugula, radishes and pea shoots. The project in Calgary will create 70 jobs.

GoodLeaf CEO Barry Murchie said: “Setting up in Calgary is a huge step forward for GoodLeaf to establish a truly national footprint as Canada’s largest commercial indoor vertical farm. With Canada’s limited growing season, climate-controlled indoor farms offer Canadians access to fresh, locally grown leafy greens year-round.”

The Calgary hydroponic farm will produce more than one million pounds of leafy greens a year and will be on retail shelves early in 2023. Current retail customers include Loblaws and Whole Foods Market and also independent local grocery stores.

GoodLeaf, founded in 2011, has been provided with a CAD2.7m (US$2.1m) grant from the Alberta government’s Investment and Growth Fund to develop the Calgary farm.

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McCain Foods ploughed more than CAD65m into GoodLeaf earlier this year to become the majority shareholder, three years after making an undisclosed strategic investment in the business.

Just Food analysis: Indoor farming and the prospects for profitability

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