Vertical strawberry farm launches in Quebec

30-11-2021    15:52   |    Greenhouse Canada

The largest controlled-environment vertical strawberry farm in Canada has launched in Vaudreuil, Que.

After launching its innovative concept a year and a half ago, Quebec company Winter Farm is inaugurating its first industrial unit in Vaudreuil. With a total area of 1,150 m2, the project carried out in two phases in partnership with Les Serres Vaudreuil becomes the largest controlled-environment vertical strawberry farm in Canada.

Every year, between October and June, over 180,000 kilograms of strawberries will be grown, which is the equivalent of production yielded by more than 2 hectares of traditional greenhouse area.

This inauguration is an important milestone for the company that works together with local produce growers in order to deploy its technology on a large scale.

“The Winter Farm solution is a 100 per cent made in Quebec innovation and a powerful lever to stimulate local off-season production. In addition to increasing the production capacity of market gardeners, our units emit no GHGs and significantly reduce those emitted by greenhouses. This first industrial installation is another step towards our food autonomy,” says Alain Brisebois, president and Chief Executive Officer of Winter Farm.

Fraise d’Hiver strawberry sold at IGA

Under its commercial agreement with Sobeys, Fraise d’Hiver strawberries will make its progressive market entry in 15 IGA stores in the west end of Montréal and in the Montérégie during the winter of 2021-2022.  Grown locally, in an eco-responsible manner and without chemical pesticides, the strawberries offer an alternative to imports from California and Mexico.

“At IGA, supporting local production and cooperating with local entrepreneurs like Winter Farm is a priority for us and for our merchants. Winter Farm has successfully brought together innovation and boldness by creating a unique and responsible farming concept. We are proud to be the first distributors of Fraise d’hiver strawberries and to be able to bring them to our customers exclusively at IGA, thanks to this association,” says Francis Bérubé, head of fruit and vegetable marketing for Sobeys.

Feeding Quebec and America

In order to reach its goal of replacing 10 per cent of strawberry imports to Canada and produce over 13 million kg by 2025, Winter Farm is integrating its units into the existing agriculture ecosystem and supporting the development of Quebec expertise in optimized interior growing.

 “For Winter Farm, the ambition is to create an agribusiness hub for off-season produce growing. Our aim is not only to contribute to the development of our food autonomy, but also, to serve an export market across North America,” says Yves Daoust, founder and head of operations.

“The pandemic has stressed the importance of buying local products, especially in the food sector. As it inaugurates its first controlled-environment vertical farm, Winter Farm is reaffirming that its technological solution has the potential to increase Quebec’s agricultural autonomy. This key project embodies our vision for developing a sustainable and local agriculture,” says Pierre Fitzgibbon, Minister of Economy and Innovation, and Minister Responsible for Regional Economic Development.

Read more on Greenhouse Canada.


Image by Fonthip Ward from Pixabay

Comments (1)

Hassan Houssami at 02.12.2021

Interested in following all Strawberries nursery and new variety

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