Why Vertical Farming

A brief history

Agriculture has been one of the forefront pioneers in the industrial revolutions that we have seen to date.

The first industrial revolution helped us move from agrarian society to one where more tasks were mechanized.

The second industrial revolution is tied to such advances such as telephones, light bulbs, diesel engines, airplanes, and the introduction of assembly lines.

The third industrial revolution, which is sometimes called the digital revolution, saw technology advancing from mechanical and analog to digital forms.

And finally, we are now at the start of the fourth industrial revolution, during which we are seeing advances in digital technology becoming embedded into day-to-day activities and businesses.

The future

In 2050 our global population will reach 9.8bn and it is projected 68% will be living in urban city centres, which would mean we would have to increase our agricultural output by 70%.  We will need to grow more food in the next 35-40 years than the previous 10,000 years combined. This means we would have to grow significantly more food using significantly less land.

Globally one third of all the food produced is wasted per year, equating to 1.6bn tons of food that spoils on the way to the market, expires in our refrigerators or are simply thrown out by supermarkets or restaurants at the end of the day.

Annually up to 600 million people will get sick eating contaminated food highlighting the challenge that we have of maintaining food safety.

Finally, the agricultural industry is the highest consumer of fresh water accounting for 70% of the global consumption.

Advancing the frontiers of Canadian agriculture

Fourth industrial revolution in agriculture

Vertical farming is considered by many to be part of the fourth industrial revolution in agriculture. There are a lot of benefits that come hand in hand with the implementation of the tools, methods and processes that come with these advancements.  Below we will list how this revolution in farming can benefit the host country and the consumers within that society, and how our proprietary company designs and know-how will be advancing the frontiers of Canadian agriculture and position Canada at the forefront of the International agricultural industry.

Vertical Farming is more “Green”

With the population of the earth growing at an exponential rate and reaching 9 billion in 2025 there will inevitably be a shortage of food if the world doesn’t change it’s current relationship with agricultural land use, as we only have a finite amount of agricultural land available for farming.  There are two possible solutions, either we deforest the already depleted natural land to make more room for agricultural land or we farm vertically.  Our solutions will produce at least 300 times more leafy green vegetable produce per square foot when compared to traditional outdoor farming, and in turn drastically reducing our ecological footprint in the process.

Vertical indoor farming allows for a vegetable production facility to be constructed in any part of Canada, whether in the South or the very North of the Country where access to year-round food production is impossible. Since this method allows for facilities to be built in every province or territory in Canada, food sustainability and the tremendous reduction on fossil fuel use and CO2 emissions makes it a much more ecofriendly method to farm and reduce the overall impact on the environment. Currently most leafy green vegetables sold in Canada are produced and delivered from the U.S.A or Mexico, which we will not need to do anymore.

Indoor farming can also be good for the environment because it greatly reduces the amount of fossil fuels needed for farming equipment which is not required anymore to sow, fertilize, weed or harvest crops.

Vertical farming also helps to improve biodiversity because it does not cause land surface disturbance, which helps the natural animal population living in and around farms to thrive.

One of the main vertical hydroponic farming benefits is that the hydroponic growing process uses 99% less fresh water, and as a result less nutrients and fertilisers, compared to traditional methods. Since the fresh water is clean after usage and also not lost into the ground or evaporated by the sun, it allows for the fresh water to be recycled and reused, reducing costs and minimising waste and therefore reducing the fresh water amounts needed for the same output of crops by over 99%. This leads to a cleaner and greener method of farming with much less impact on the environment. Fresh water consumption control and wastage has already become a serious global problem, and it will continue to be a major international dilemma in the coming years as the rate of consumption of fresh water by humans is much higher than what is being replenished by nature. We believe that by using vertical hydroponic farming methods, we are doing our part as a company to help tackle this problem and preserve more of the precious potable fresh water for use by the generations of Canadians to come.

Growing food in a vertical farming system, when managed correctly offers the opportunity to completely eliminate the need for pesticides – as pests cannot enter the controlled environment to cause crop damage, and fungal diseases struggle to gain a foot hold as humidity levels are managed.

Our LED lights have also been designed to be more efficient in regards to heat dissipation than other LED lights available on the market, and therefore more of the electricity that is used transforms into the required artificial sunlight than be transformed to heat. When less heat is generated as waste, less cooling load is in turn required to combat the heat produced as a by-product, which leads to less unnecessary usage of electricity and a greener lifecycle of energy consumption.

A consistent and precise nutrient formula is used in feeding the plants that is recycled and used to create an optimal feeding cycle. This nutrient solution is fed directly to the root zone resulting in a highly efficient plant growth. In comparison to field grown baby leafy greens we do not use manure that produces nitrous oxide which is a the most contributor to green house gases.  Nitrous oxide is 300 times more effective at trapping heat than CO2, hence a huge contributor to global warming.

These tools help monitor all factors contributing to the productivity, efficiency, consistency, health, and growth cycle of the plant.  Values that are important to monitor include but are not limited to, the level of nutrient mix in the fresh water, the climate of the surrounding environment, the wind levels blowing on the plant which helps harden the plant, the amount and levels of CO2 in the air, the amount of artificial light intake per day, etc. This has an added benefit that lets the grower produce food that is traceable and safe.

Economical Impact of Vertical Farming on Canada

The biggest vertical farming benefit is the fact that it’s not dependent on the weather, meaning you can achieve a consistent year-round crop production without worrying about the impact of adverse weather conditions on both the quality and quantity of the yield.  Farming in an enclosed, well-monitored and managed environment brings assurance and peace of mind for growers providing repeatable, programmable production.  By eliminating the effects of mother nature, there’s no such thing as a ‘seasonal crop’ and growers won’t suffer from yield losses as they try to push the production windows of ‘seasonal cropping’.  They can also successfully increase their harvest times, increase production cycles, and improve volumes without compromising on flavour or quality, which always remains 100% consistent. Additionally, the flavour and shelf life of the products have consistently been shown to be improved attributes when using an indoor vertical growing system, when designed and managed correctly.  This allows commercial growers to confidently commit to the delivery schedules and offtake agreements demanded by their customers.

Based on market research conducted by our distribution partner; the Oppenheimer Group, Canada imports approximately 1.3 billion USD worth of leafy green salads every year.  Food in general is one of the worst type of imports in terms of their functionality within the economy of a country.  Raw materials such as steel or machinery equipment can be turned into secondary products or placed within a process of a business to contribute to the economy by creating jobs and cash rotation.  Food on the other hand gets consumed and does not contribute long term to the economy and poses the risk of capital flight.  Additionally, the worst type of food is the type that is perishable and cannot be converted to dried or frozen by-products.   Salads and baby leafy greens are such produce as they have an extremely short shelf life and cannot be converted further.  Hence importing leafy greens is a very poor economic choice since the benefits are far less than other goods that are imported.  On the other hand if we grow these produce locally then the money stays within the Canadian economy and gets recirculated in our monetary system boosting the GDP, and most importantly creating Canadian jobs in each of the provinces having our greenhouses.

When it comes to food production, the last-mile delivery is usually the most expensive part of the supply chain. And it’s not uncommon for crops to be shipped across continents and oceans. Growing food closer to where the consumer lives is a massive vertical farming benefit as it can greatly reduce transportation costs, CO2 emissions and reduce the need for refrigerated storage – making produce fresher and more profitable.

Traditional farming has gained an unwanted reputation for being a workplace fraught with health and safety risks. With no heavy machinery or chemicals used for indoor farming, it obviously does not boast the same occupational hazards – significantly reducing the risk of injury. The health benefits are also greatly increased when working in a cooled and shaded indoor facility compared to working outdoors and continuously exposed to outdoor elements.

WILL I BE ABLE TO SELL MY PRODUCE?

Ask us about our produce buy back program.

If you reside in North America, we can offer you a guaranteed buy back program on the final produce.

  • Our technology has been developed to cater to all types of investors from large commercial productions which supply retail supermarkets, to small local farms in remote areas which help with self-sufficiency and food security.