26-Feb-2021 - McCain Foods Limited

McCain Foods ‘Upping’ the Stakes in Vertical Farming with GoodLeaf

McCain Foods Limited has made a substantial investment in TruLeaf Sustainable Agriculture and its wholly owned subsidiary GoodLeaf Farms, Canada’s largest commercial vertical farming operation, to help drive the company’s growth and expansion plans. 

With a focus on driving innovation in Canada’s agri-food sector, McCain has invested in excess of $65 million in GoodLeaf, making it the single largest shareholder in the company. The investment will help GoodLeaf establish a national network of sustainable vertical farms that will bring fresh, nutritious and delicious locally grown food to more Canadian consumers.

“At its heart, McCain is an innovative agricultural company,” says Peter Dawe, McCain’s Chief Growth and Strategy Officer. “This is why we’re excited to support the growth and scale up of this Canadian start up that lives at the intersection of food, agriculture and technology. GoodLeaf’s vertical farm technology creates spring and summer growing conditions in Canada year-round, growing local, fresh, healthy and tasty leafy greens instead of being trucked long distances into Canada. We are thrilled to contribute to bringing GoodLeaf’s delicious produce to Canadians across the country.” 

GoodLeaf’s first commercial farm is a fully automated 45,000-square-foot facility in Guelph, Ontario. Using a proprietary system of specialized LED lights and hydroponics, GoodLeaf grows five microgreens — Spicy Mustard Medley, Asian Blend, Micro Arugula, Pea Shoots and Micro Radish — and three baby greens — Ontario Baby Arugula, Ontario Baby Kale and Ontario Spring Mix — for the domestic market 365 days a year.

The indoor farm is not impacted by extreme weather events and is not exposed to pests — meaning the produce is grown without the use of pesticides, herbicides or fungicides. The result is a safer, more nutrient dense and sustainably grown food source, providing a local alternative in a produce aisle highly dominated by imports from the southern United States or Mexico.

McCain’s investment in GoodLeaf supports the continued growth and expansion of the company. Over the course of the next year, GoodLeaf is planning two more indoor vertical farms — one to serve the grocery and food service networks in Eastern Canada, and one for Western Canada.

Exact locations will be announced shortly.

“There are so many reasons why a partnership with McCain makes sense for GoodLeaf,” says Barry Murchie, Chief Executive Officer of GoodLeaf. “We share a keen interest in providing delicious food for Canadians while making farming more sustainable. Our vertical farm technology is a true game changer for Canadian food.”

GoodLeaf’s vertical farm is environmentally friendly, using 95 per cent less water than traditional farming practices with a significantly reduced carbon footprint due to shorter transportation routes between the farm and the consumer. Its scalable indoor vertical farms are incredibly versatile, and are one of the few options providing fresh, local produce in Canada all 12 months of the year.

“Investing in the growth of GoodLeaf as a made-in-Canada agriculture solution is directly aligned with McCain’s global sustainability plan,” says Mr. Dawe. “As a global leader in agri-food, McCain is committed to growing food smarter and in a way that’s better for our planet. That’s exactly what GoodLeaf is doing.” 

Facts, background information, dossiers
  • agriculture
  • Canada
  • transportation
  • sustainability
  • herbicides
  • microgreens
  • heart
  • fungicides
  • carbon footprint
More about McCain Foods
  • News

    McCain to expand local production network in China

    As a global company, McCain Foods operates in 160 countries around the world, with 51 facilities located in local markets to best serve our customers. Building on the Company’s 25 years’ presence in China and to meet the growing demand for our potato products, McCain has announced the inves ... more

    McCain Foods unveils Australia’s largest “behind-the-meter” renewable energy system

    McCain Foods Australia has announced today it has commenced construction on a renewable energy system that will reduce emissions from its Ballarat food processing facility by more than 27,000 tonnes of CO2 per year. The project, which will house Australia’s largest “behind-the-meter” renewa ... more

  • Companies

    McCain Foods Limited

    It's not surprising we're known for our fries. We prepare one in three eaten around the world. In fact, potatoes are central to our product ranges in almost every country in which we operate. And just like the farming families supplying us for three generations, we're passionate about potat ... more