- Ontario, Canada-based vertical farming company GoodLeaf Farms has raised $150 million in equity capital.
- Canadian frozen food giant McCain Foods led the round, joined by agrifood private-equity investor Power Sustainable Lios.
- GoodLeaf will use the new funds to expand across Canada, with plans for new farms in Calgary and Montreal.
Why it matters:
While Canada has a significant amount of indoor greenhouse production, lettuce remains one of the country’s top imports from the US.
“The traditional sourcing of leafy greens in Canada from California and Arizona is a problem now, and will continue to be a problem,” GoodLeaf Farms CEO Barry Murchie said in a statement.
He added that lengthy transportation routes increase the risk of food spoilage and waste — to say nothing of supply chain emissions and the current mega-drought in the US.
GoodLeaf, a fully owned subsidiary of TruLeaf, hopes to alter this by placing its automated vertical farms through more of Canada. The company notes that with the completion of the Calgary and Montreal farms, it will be able to supply Canadian consumers from coast to coast.
Currently, GoodLeaf operates a fully automated, 50,000-square-foot farm in Guelph, Ontario.
The Calgary and Montreal farms will be “highly automated” and add 200,000 square feet to GoodLeaf’s production capacity. The company says this will result in about 2 million pounds of leafy greens annually.
Both farms will grow leafy greens starting in late Q2 and early Q3 of 2023.
Founded in 2011, GoodLeaf is quite an old guard in the vertical farming realm with an evolving business model and focus. McCain’s involvement in the company goes all the way back to 2018, when the CPG initially invested.
“McCain is at its core an innovative agricultural company and a leader in sustainability, which makes GoodLeaf a great fit with our values,” Peter Dawe, chief growth & strategy officer at McCain Foods, said in a statement.
Vertical farming should be one instrument in a farmer’s toolbox, not the whole operation or the farmer’s competition