Oppy and UP Vertical Farms cut ribbon on state-of-the-art facility
After spending nearly a decade researching and developing the latest technology to grow crops at 350 times the yield of conventional field-grown greens, UP Vertical Farms has launched its inaugural facility in Pitt Meadows, British Columbia alongside its sales and marketing partner Oppy.
Grown using 99% less land, 99% less water, 99% less fertilizer, no pesticides, herbicides or fungicides, UP is fully automated from seeding through to harvest. Using recycled CO2 and proprietary lighting technology, leaves are grown to custom brix levels and flavor profiles while lasting +22 days refrigerated. And because greens are never touched by human hands, they are ready to eat right out of the package with no need to wash – making UP Canada’s first hands-free vertical farming operation.
“We are thrilled to go live after many years of research, development and planning,” said Bahram Rashti, co-founder of UP Vertical Farms. “With climate change affecting the fresh produce supply in a multitude of ways, we’re honored to do our part to help Canada navigate its food security issues – as with recent shortages experienced in the traditional leafy greens sector, for example. These limitations in supply will be a continuous issue, one that we had foreseen, and for which we developed a commercial scale solution to address. Our facility will further limit Canada’s dependence on imported greens in the provinces we supply and we anticipate expanding our footprint quickly.”
Forecasting production of just under 2 million pounds – or 6.3 million bags – of salad greens per year, UP Vertical Farms also has the unique ability to fully customize packs specific to the individual needs of retailers and restaurants. Because crops are grown in an automated 13- to 21-day period, blends can be tailored and grown instantaneously to keep pace with ongoing trends, which adds to the quality and consistency only UP can deliver to its partners.
“Entering the vertical farming space with Bahram and Shahram Rashti has been an upmost pleasure,” said Executive Director of Berries and Canadian Category Development Aaron Quon. “We’re looking forward to officially bringing their long-time vision to life, and providing our retail customers with the most advanced, sustainable technology in leafy greens that they have ever seen.”
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