Oppy Announces First-Ever Vertical Farming Partnership With UP Vertical Farms™; Aaron Quon and Bahram Rashti Discuss
- by Jenna Plasterer
BRITISH COLUMBIA, CANADA - New month, new venture for Oppy as the fresh produce supplier has announced its entrance into the vertical farming sector. The company revealed its partnership with UP Vertical Farms™, which will be launching Canada’s first touchless, high-density indoor vertical farm for growing customizable baby leafy greens. Bolstered by its alliance with Oppy, the indoor farming company plans to unveil the first phase of operations in Spring 2022 with a goal of becoming the world’s largest and most sustainable vertical farm by 2023.
“We are excited to be entering the vertical farming space and bring fresh innovative options to our retail partners,” said Executive Director of Greenhouse and Canadian Category Development Aaron Quon. “Bahram and Shahram Rashti are committed to bringing the freshest, most advanced, and sustainable technology to controlled environment agriculture. We’re thrilled to partner with them.”
As the fresh produce industry continues to face persistent challenges ranging from climate change and food safety concerns to labor shortages and supply chain hurdles, UP Vertical Farms set out to research and develop the latest technology to grow crops at 350 times the yield of conventional farming, according to a press release. Through its advanced, high-density growing solution, the company is able to make minimal impact on the environment while producing a strong supply of leafy greens.
UP Vertical Farms will be launching the first phase of operations in British Columbia’s Lower Mainland in the spring of 2022, anticipating production of 1 million kilograms, or 6.3 million bags, of salad greens per year. By 2023, the company plans on enacting further expansions, quadrupling total volume, and making UP Vertical Farms one of the largest vertical farms in the world.
“Vertical farming is the future of agriculture, and we’re excited to take it to the next level to bring better-tasting and longer-lasting greens to consumers everywhere by next year,” said Bahram Rashti, Co-Founder of UP Vertical Farms. “Our fully automated system will revolutionize the industry by allowing for much higher yields, quicker production, and better quality control to produce locally grown greens in the most sustainable way.”
The vertical farming company is one of Canada’s first hands-free vertical farming operations and will be fully automated from seeding through harvest in a humidity, temperature, light, and nutrient-controlled environment. At UP Vertical Farms, leaves are not touched by human hands, and as the greens are grown in a controlled indoor environment in water, not soil, there is no need for chemicals to safeguard crops.
UP Vertical Farms uses 99 percent less land, 99 percent less water, 99 percent less fertilizer, and 95 percent less plastic for packaging than conventional farming methods. Additionally, UP’s crops will be grown year-round in a 13 to 21-day growing cycle using recycled CO2 and proprietary lighting technology for custom brix levels and flavor profiles.
The grower produces everything from Arugula to Butter lettuce, and its ready-to-eat greens come in a variety of blends for salads, sandwiches, garnishes, dishes, and more. UP Vertical Farms also has the ability to fully customize packs specific to the individual needs of retailers and restaurants.
Because its crops are grown in an automated 13- to 21-day period, blends can be tailored and grown instantaneously to keep pace with ongoing demands with quality and consistency. Consumers will be able to purchase UP super greens from a range of retailers through its partnership with Oppy in 2022.
Making its foray into vertical farming, what will be Oppy’s next move in the sector? Keep reading AndNowUKnow to find out.