GoodLeaf farms signed a deal with Adastra to develop an artificial intelligence “smart platform” that will create optimal growing conditions for its crops.
“Innovation and technology are at the heart of vertical farming and we are always looking to take the next step that will help us grow more and better food,” GoodLeaf CEO Barry Murchie said in a news release.
The deal will enable the two companies to develop a platform that will capture measurement and image-based data to then optimize crop yields and quality at GoodLeaf’s farms in Bible Hill and Guelph, Ontario.
GoodLeaf CEO said that data science and technology are the next step to further innovation for a company that seeks to become the largest vertical farm operator in North America. The new AI GoodLeaf and Adastra are developing will also assist “upstream partners” develop optimized substrates and seeds to enhance crop growth, according to Adastra CEO, Darren Edery. The vertical farming company specialises in growing fresh, eco-friendly greens, herbs and vegetables indoors using vertical indoor hydroponic growing systems. In addition to the process, they rely on LED lights along with fine-tuned climate control systems, to grow their crops entirely indoors, year-round. GoodLeaf is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Bedford-based agri-tech company Truleaf. Since 2018, the largest shareholder is McCain Foods.
The Bible-hill based company will also receive $1-million in support from Scale AI- a Montreal-based artificial intelligence supercluster that funds research and development, with federal backing.
The funding is part of $24-million the supercluster is investing in five AI and data science businesses across Canada. Other project partners include the University of Guelph, SunGro, and Johnny’s Selected Seeds.
Truleaf, which bills itself as a developer of precision agriculture and a disruptor of the leafy green food supply chain, was founded in 2011. GoodLeaf was launched in 2015.