PITT MEADOWS, BC – After nearly a decade of research and development, UP Vertical Farms™ has officially commenced operations at Canada’s first ever hands-free vertical farm where sustainably-grown, pesticide and contamination-free baby salad greens are being produced at 350 times the yield of conventional field-grown greens. With the goal of revolutionizing Canadian agriculture and giving consumers a healthier, more environmentally-friendly local food choice, UP’s crisp and tasty blends of bagged baby leafy green salads will be available at select grocery retailers across Western Canada this spring.
In an industry grappling with challenges, from high food costs, climate change, labour shortages and food contamination, traditional methods of farming are proving to be unsustainable especially as the population grows. UP Vertical Farms aims to provide a viable locally-grown solution to many of these industry challenges by employing the most advanced, high density growing technology that uses 99% less land, 99% less water, 99% less fertilizer, no pesticides, no herbicides or fungicides. Using recycled CO2 and proprietary lighting technology, the leafy greens are grown to custom brix levels and flavour profiles while lasting 22+ days refrigerated. And because UP’s greens are never touched by human hands and undergo rigorous food safety testing, the products are ready to eat right out of the package.
“We are honoured to do our part to help Canada navigate its food security issues by providing a healthier, more sustainable local farming solution that reduces farming’s impact on the environment and Canadian consumers’ dependence on imports from the US,” said Bahram Rashti, co-founder of UP Vertical Farms. “Over the next few months, more Canadians will be able to enjoy our fresh and delicious salad greens as our distribution continues to grow across Western Canada.”
From arugula and kale to romaine and butter lettuce, UP’s delicious and nutritious, ready-to-eat bagged baby leafy green salads come in a variety of blends that are perfect for salads, sandwiches, pastas, soups and stir fries. The current range of blends includes POWER UP™ — a power greens mix to elevate salads to the next level, UP & AWAY™ — a delightful spring mix of sweet and colorful lettuces, TOSS UP™ — a chef-inspired 50/50 blend of red and green lettuces, LIVEN UP™ — a zesty selection of flavourful and aromatic arugula, CHOP UP™ — flavourful and sweet baby choi greens, and STAND UP™ — crisp and fresh baby romaine.
Forecasting production of approximately 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.
“We strongly believe vertical farming is essential to the future of agriculture and we’re thrilled to become a Canadian first, as the country’s only hands-free vertical farm,” added Rashti. “We are confident that the expansion of our operations will only go ‘up’ from here as we strive to deliver healthier food to more Canadians across the country in a much more sustainable way.”
UP salad greens will be available at select Western Canadian retailers within the next few weeks. UP Vertical Farms’ strategic partnership with Oppy for its marketing and retail strategy is expected to lead to a rapid introduction into the Canadian market and beyond.
For more information, visit UP Vertical Farms online.
Interviews, farm tours, product samples and high resolution photos and video available upon request.About UP Vertical Farms™
Located in Pitt Meadows, B.C., UP Vertical Farms™ is owned by Fresh Green Farms, an agriculture technology company founded by brothers Bahram and Shahram Rashti. By combining their experience in biology, information technology and business, they have founded Canada’s newest innovation in vertical farming, a fully automated solution they designed from top to bottom that includes customized LED lights, temperature, humidity, water and nutrient-controlled systems for optimal growing conditions. Their mission is to up the ante of commercial vertical farming with a better sustainable solution for the safest, most nutritious, and best tasting salad greens, grown close to home. For more information, visit upverticalfarms.com and freshgreenfarms.com.