Winter Farm raises $46M to scale up its production and position itself amongst the leaders of the global vertical farming industry
The Quebec company will produce one million kilograms of strawberries every year
Brossard, December 13, 2022. – Winter Farm, the Quebec-based company whose aim is to replace 10% of Canada’s strawberry imports, announces today that it has raised $46 million. This major milestone was achieved thanks to the renewed commitment 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). Winter Farm will use this funding to build one of the world’s most important vertical farm dedicated to strawberry production. The Vaudreuil site will ensure that nearly one million kilograms of succulent Fraise d’hiver strawberries will reach the market each year.
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 long, right here in Quebec, while using 20 to 25 times less space compared to open field production, recovering 90% of irrigation water used and generating minimal greenhouse gases. In order to realize this project in Vaudreuil, Winter Farm announces the acquisition of Les Serres Vaudreuil, formely owned by the St-Denis family, who will now manage operations and production of Fraise d’hiver strawberries. The family will continue to lend their expertise to local agriculture.
“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.
Food autonomy: A collective dream
With its ability to integrate with the greenhouse world and its potential to scale up its indoor growing solution, Winter Farm aims to develop an agro-industrial network of fruit and vegetable production all year long.
“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.
“Investissement Québec is proud to renew its support of Winter Farm. Their innovative vertical production solutions address the agri-food and environmental challenges we are facing. This new project will enable them to increase local production and strengthen Quebec’s food autonomy.” – Guy LeBlanc, President and Chief Executive Officer, Investissement Québec.
“In the context of climate change and resource scarcity, we must find innovative solutions to improve our means of production. Energy efficiency, artificial intelligence and food self-sufficiency: the support from Desjardins will enable Winter Farm to implement an innovative growing model to help develop a lower-carbon emitting economy, while offering consumers a high-quality local product.” – Jean-Yves Bourgeois, Executive Vice-President, Business Services at Desjardins Group.
The Fraise d’hiver strawberries are back!
As of winter 2022-2023, several new regions throughout Quebec will finally be able to experience the taste of the succulent Fraise d’hiver strawberries. Picked when ripe, sweet and without any trace of chemical pesticides, these berries will now have a special spot in consumers shopping carts, all year long. Fraise d’hiver strawberries are available starting today in participating IGA grocery stores for the suggested retail price of $5.99 per 850 ml basket.
About Winter Farm
Winter Farm is a tech company that designs, deploys, and operates controlled-environment agriculture (CEA) solutions that work in harmony with existing agrifood ecosystems. Started in 2018, the company combines precision agriculture with engineering systems and AI to protect local supply chains and foster the development of more sustainable produce farming. Its first concept – a vertical farm dedicated to growing strawberries – quickly earned the company a spot as one of most promising players in the CEA industry worldwide.
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