Canada’s indoor strawberry growing specialist Winter Farm has raised $46 million. The CEA company will use the funding to build a vertical farm dedicated to strawberry production – the Vaudreuil site will produce around one million kilograms of Fraise d’hiver strawberries each year.
Founded in 2018, the company is aiming to replace 10% of Canada’s strawberry imports with vertically farmed domestic fruit. In order to realise this project in Vaudreuil, Winter Farm has also announced the acquisition of Les Serres Vaudreuil, formerly owned by the St-Denis family, who will now manage operations and production of Fraise d’hiver strawberries.
In the coming months, six 600 m² vertical farms will be added to two existing farms already in operation. These installations will allow Winter Farm to produce high quality strawberries year round in Quebec whilst using 20-25 times less space compared to open field production, recovering 90% of irrigation water used and generating minimal greenhouse gases.
“The arrival of new partners is a vote of confidence in favour of Winter Farm’s industrial potential and our ability to deliver superior quality fruit. Innovation is key to develop a more sustainable and competitive local agriculture that can challenge import markets. Our thanks to the St-Denis family for teaming up with us on this adventure. Their involvement will directly contribute to making Vaudreuil a world-class technology showcase for the vertical farming industry!“, said Alain Brisebois, President and Chief Executive Officer, Winter Farm.
This major milestone was achieved thanks to renewed commitments from the Quebec Government and Investissement Québec, and the addition of new investors (Desjardins, Farm Credit Canada, Financière Agricole du Québec and Capital Financière Agricole Inc., as well as two private partners).
“An agriculture based on a variety of production models is essential to increasing sustainable food autonomy in Quebec. We can be proud of being able to rely on an innovative and dynamic agricultural industry. Winter Farm is a good illustration of the creative spirit of our companies. Our government is pleased to support its efforts in providing consumers with healthy local products, year-round.” – André Lamontagne, Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food and Minister responsible for the Centre-du-Québec Region.
“Winter Farm’s vertical farming and smart lighting concepts are innovative and profitable for Quebec. In addition to promoting local production and encouraging the purchase of local Quebec products, they contribute to the development of a sustainable agricultural sector.” – Pierre Fitzgibbon, Minister of Economy, Innovation and Energy, Minister Responsible for Regional Economic Development and Minister Responsible for the Metropole and the Montréal Region