McCain foods invests in vertical farming company TruLeaf Sustainable Agriculture
McCain Foods, the world’s largest manufacturer of frozen potato products, has made a strategic investment in local produce provider and agri-tech company TruLeaf Sustainable Agriculture.
Founded in 2011, the Canadian agri-tech firm has developed a “proprietary indoor vertical farming technology” which allows the company to grow leafy green vegetables in a sustainable way, without the use of pesticides.
The technology can be utilised 365-days a year and may be used anywhere such as urban centres or remote communities with harsh climates.
McCain Foods says that the investment is in direct support of its innovation strategy.
Vertical farming has become a growing trend in the agri-tech sector and is hoped to be a sustainable solution to the planet’s growing demand for food.
By 2050, the world's population is expected to be almost 10 billion and due to urbanisation we are using more arable land every day therefore many believe vertical farming could be the answer to this growing challenge.
According to some studies, vertical farming is almost 30 times more efficient than traditional agriculture, uses up to 95% less water, and takes up less square footage of land on average.
- Quebec dairy producer Fromagerie Bergeron receives $3.9mn investment from Canadian government
- Monsanto invests $125mn in Pairwise to work on gene-edited produce made with Crispr
- Comment: Digitisation is Key to Averting the Global Food Crisis
TruLeaf currently sells its products in Atlantic Canada under the GoodLeaf brand, in both the retail and food service markets.
Commenting on the partnership, Max Koeune, President and CEO of McCain Foods Limited said, "McCain has a 60-year track record of advancing agricultural practices to the benefit of crop quality and environmental standards.
"Over this time, we have worked closely with many research institutions, technology partners and of course, our global network of growers.
He added: “We remain committed to this approach and as such are always looking to partner with innovative businesses like TruLeaf to continue to set new standards for environmental care and efficient crop production, through advancing agricultural technology".
The financial sum of the investment was not revealed and McCain was the only investor in the funding round.
Gregg Curwin, TruLeaf Founder and CEO noted: “We are extremely pleased to be entering this next phase of development and growth with such a strong leading global food company as McCain Foods.”
“We believe this partnership will accelerate TruLeaf’s farm build-out, providing high quality, local, fresh produce to more Canadians while also expanding our reach to other countries around the world.”