GoodLeaf Farms announced this week it has raised more than $65 million from food manufacturer McCain Foods and is set to embark on “an aggressive growth and expansion plan” for its network of vertical farms, according to an email sent to The Spoon.
Based in Ontario, Canada, GoodLeaf grows leafy greens inside a controlled-environment vertical farm via hydroponics and its own proprietary tech setup that controls light, temperature, and humidity levels, as well as other elements on the farm. The company opened its first farm in 2019 in Guelph, Ontario. According to this week’s press release, two more farms are slated to open in Canada 2021: one in the Eastern side of the country and one out west. Exact locations will be announced soon.
“It is our intention to build farms that support the Canadian grocery store network, food service industry and consumers,” GoodLeaf CEO Barry Murchie said in a statement sent to The Spoon. Currently, the company provides greens to a number of brick-and-mortar as well as grocery stores servicing Ontario, including Fortinos, Whole Foods, and Bondi Produce.
One of GoodLeaf’s goal with its farms is to produce greens closer to where Canadian consumers actually shop for food, rather than these consumers having to buy produce shipped from the U.S. and Mexico. It’s a goal echoed by other Canadian control ag companies, including Lufa Farms, which is growing greens on Montreal rooftops, and Elevate Farms, which is bringing vertical farming to food-insecure areas in the country. Bringing production closer to consumers also means fewer miles to transport the food, which is better for the environment.
With its forthcoming farms, GoodLeaf will serve more grocery outlets as well as foodservice businesses beyond Ontario and across Canada.