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McCain Foods Limited makes strategic investment in Vertical Farming

McCain Foods Limited makes strategic investment in Vertical Farming

McCain Foods Limited has completed a strategic investment in TruLeaf Sustainable Agriculture, an innovative Canadian agricultural technology company that has developed proprietary indoor vertical farming technology to grow fresh and nutritious leafy greens.

April 12, 2018
McCain Foods Limited has completed a strategic investment in TruLeaf Sustainable Agriculture, a highly innovative Canadian agricultural technology company.

TruLeaf has developed proprietary indoor vertical farming technology to grow fresh and nutritious leafy greens of high quality and flavour, in an environmentally sustainable way, 365 days per year.

Since its inception in 2011, the Company has assembled a strong team of leading experts to develop and advance these proprietary growing systems, that can be located anywhere, from the heart of an urban centre to remote communities with harsh climates. TruLeaf currently sells its produce in Atlantic Canada under the GoodLeaf brand, in retail and food service channels.

McCain Foods is actively engaging with entrepreneurs in developing and commercializing agri-food technologies; the strategic investment in TruLeaf is in direct support of McCain Foods’ innovation strategy.

Max Koeune, President and CEO of McCain Foods Limited:

“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.”

“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.”
Gregg Curwin, TruLeaf Founder and CEO:

“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.”
TruLeaf, which last raised capital in an $8.5-million financing round in December 2016, will not seek more financing in the near future, according to Curwin in a statement in the Chronicle Herald.

The company now has 40 employees, which will rise to as many as 65 in the autumn with the opening of the Guelph farm. Curwin also indicated that the partnership with McCain will accelerate the build out of its farms.

For McCain Foods this latest acquisition fits a pattern of partnerships with start-ups focused on smart technologies.

Under the stewardship of startup and entrepreneurship program lead, Nestor Gomez, the company has been assembling a stable of startups that use digital technologies to improve food production and distribution. McCain has already invested in Fredericton-based Resson, which gathers and analyzes data from outdoor farms, and Moncton-based Fiddlehead Technology, which uses data to predict consumer demand for food.

McCain has also worked with Fredericton-based internet-of-things company, Eigen Innovations, and is now can add an indoor farming operation to its portfolio.

Financial details of the acquisition have not been disclosed.
Companies in this Article
McCain Foods Limited is an international leader in the frozen food industry and the world’s largest manufacturer of frozen potato specialities, employing approximately 18,000 people and operating 50 production facilities on six continents.
TruLeaf’s has developed 'vertical farming' systems that allow year-round cultivation of leafy plants to replace or enhance current sources.