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McCain Foods 'Upping' the Stakes in Vertical Farming with GoodLeaf

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.

Peter Dawe, McCain's Chief Growth and Strategy Officer:
"At its heart, McCain is an innovative agricultural company. 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.

Barry Murchie, Chief Executive Officer of GoodLeaf:
"There are so many reasons why a partnership with McCain makes sense for 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.

Peter Dawe:

"Investing in the growth of GoodLeaf as a made-in-Canada agriculture solution is directly aligned with McCain's global sustainability plan. 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."