Agtech innovator gears up for growing demand for its better tasting, sustainably grown greens
TORONTO, June 21, 2022 /CNW/ – Vision Greens, a Welland, Ontario-based vertical farm using proprietary growing technology to bring clean, better-tasting greens to consumers, announces today it has raised $7M. Investors are purpose-driven business leaders, including members of the Canadian grocery segment focused on changing Canada’s food system by bringing affordable, sustainably grown, fresh, local produce to market.
“Vision Greens has an edge in this emerging space because it has the technology and the methodology to scale quickly and provide millions of Canadians with an affordable, and sustainable way to eat,” said Grant Froese, Vision Greens board member, grocery industry veteran, and former COO, Loblaw Companies Limited.
With the investment, Vision Greens will expand its operations to grow 700k pounds of saleable produce annually and scale distribution to leading grocers and meal kit companies that currently include Metro, Pusateri’s, and Goodfood.
The new funding also enables the fast-growing startup to deliver on its mission to positively impact the way Canadians eat by disrupting Canada’s multi-billion dollar lettuce import market. It also puts Vision Greens another step closer to achieving its plan to be the number one consumer choice for lettuce, with the largest market share for locally grown greens in Canada.
“Each year, Canada imports 559M pounds or about $2.2B worth of lettuce from thousands of miles away. This funding is already helping us deliver on our mission to help fix Canada’s broken food system and replace imported produce with clean food that’s better tasting. Now we can meet increased demand from leading grocers and are on track to capture double digit market share over the next few years,” said Lenny Louis, CEO, Vision Greens, former Tesla Country Director and Microsoft veteran.
Lettuce is among the top 10 fresh vegetables consumed by Canadians with most coming from Mexico and California. In fact, the average lettuce sold in Canada travels as much as 3,000 km and can take weeks to reach the end consumer.
“Our customers are raving about Vision Greens,” said Frank Luchetta, President & CEO, Pusateri’s Fine Foods. “We’re excited to offer a locally grown product and make significant strides to reduce our dependence on imported produce, offering exceptional freshness and taste, and allowing our guests to eat more fresh local food.”
Fresh and local year round
Vision Greens’ Foodland Ontario certified produce is grown, harvested and packaged at its Welland, ON farm and travels less than 200 km – or 92 per cent less food kilometers than imported lettuce to get from farm to table. The company grows its produce 365-days a year to provide consumers with fresh from the farm food, year round.
High quality, low price
Today marks the official unveiling of Vision Greens’ new look that celebrates what sets the brand apart with the tagline, “Clean Food. Fresh Taste.” The brand’s lineup of six leafy greens products priced at $3.99 – $4.99 per unit, also highlights the farm’s ability to bring sustainable and locally grown pesticide-free produce to market at an affordable retail price.
A vertical farm with a vision
Vision Greens was founded by a group of accomplished business leaders concerned by mounting issues associated with imported produce, that include questionable food safety standards, lack of food traceability, increased chances of contamination, carbon emissions and poor quality. They recognized the opportunity to address these concerns through vertical farming and worked to develop a proprietary methodology for producing delicious, locally grown, non-GMO, pesticide-free, clean leafy greens at an affordable scale.
New lineup available across Ontario
Vision Greens’ product line up includes: Crunchy Green Leaf Lettuce, Fancy Premium Lettuce Mix, Crispy Baby Romaine Lettuce, Crunchy Red Leaf Lettuce, Zesty Arugula and Living Genovese Basil and is also available at Highland Farms, Goodness Me, Summerhill Market, Mama Earth Organics and more.
Low operating costs
Vision Greens leverages the latest in agtech from the University of Guelph, and Norwegian innovator, Intravision, that combined with its proprietary processes, enables it to grow high quality food at the lowest possible cost. This is a major feat considering many other vertical farms struggle with crippling operating costs that drive up price and make thriving in the consumer packaged goods market challenging.
95% Less Water & Land
Vision Greens uses 95 per cent less water and land than traditional farming methods. As the population increases, and arable land decreases, Vision Greens is part of the solution to grow quality food sustainably.