Controlled Environment Agriculture Partnerships Sustainable Agriculture

Manitoba’s First Large-Scale Greenhouse by Netafim & Vermillion

Orbia's Netafim and Vermillion Growers celebrate the opening of manitoba’s first large-scale vegetable greenhouse
Key Takeaways
  • Orbia’s Netafim and Vermillion Growers have launched Manitoba’s first-ever large-scale vegetable greenhouse.
  • The facility will grow tomatoes year-round, aiming to reduce Canada’s dependence on imported vegetables.
  • Gakon Netafim’s greenhouse solutions focus on sustainability, capturing rainwater for irrigation and utilizing double-screen systems to cut energy usage.
  • The partnership promises economic growth for the local community, creating over 200 jobs and fostering educational initiatives with Assiniboine Community College.
  • Vermillion Growers has played an active role in supporting Ukrainian workers, aligning with Dauphin’s significant Ukrainian population.

Manitoba, a province better known for its prairies than its produce, marks a significant stride in sustainable agriculture with the grand opening of its first-ever large-scale vegetable greenhouse. The facility, a collaborative effort between Orbia’s Precision Agriculture business, Netafim, and Vermillion Growers, not only promises fresh, local produce for Canadians but also exemplifies the forefront of sustainable agricultural practices.

Locally Grown, Globally Minded

Vermillion Growers, nestled in Dauphin, has ambitious plans for the 10-acre expanse. Their focus: tomatoes. As Canada currently sources over 75% of its vegetables and half of its tomatoes from abroad, this initiative is set to be a game-changer. By cultivating locally, they’re poised to deliver fresher produce to grocery aisles, even reaching the most remote of Canadian communities. This isn’t just about freshness; it’s about sustainability. Reducing shipping distances implies less food spoilage and waste.

Sustainability in Practice

The partnership with Gakon Netafim ensures the greenhouse employs the latest sustainable technologies. The facility’s roof collects rainwater, fulfilling half of the greenhouse’s irrigation needs. Additionally, their innovative double-screen system does more than help plants. It curbs light pollution and slices the overall energy footprint in half.

Ricky Elz, a Project Manager at Gakon Netafim, elaborated on this breakthrough, “The double-screen technology is optimal for controlling the climate in the greenhouse and allows for greater energy savings and efficiency.”

Community Growth and Support

The benefits of this partnership ripple beyond agriculture. Vermillion Growers has already employed 30 individuals, with projections of creating over 200 jobs for the local community. The collaboration with Assiniboine Community College ensures that residents have the opportunity to garner knowledge and skills in horticulture.

One heartwarming facet of this initiative is Vermillion Growers’ commitment to the Ukrainian community. They’ve provided vital job training to those who have fled conflict in Ukraine, resonating with Dauphin’s deep Ukrainian roots.

Maria Deschauer, Vermillion Growers’ managing director, said, “We prioritize growing fresh produce, as well as healthy people and sustainable communities. All three are connected, and we are thrilled for their support.”

Final Thoughts

This collaboration showcases how businesses can join hands to champion sustainability, community development, and economic growth. As Manitoba embraces this pioneering effort in local produce cultivation, it sets a precedent for other regions to follow, fostering a more sustainable and connected future.

Photo by Sebastian Herrmann on Unsplash 

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