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Business Issues: New vertical farming system being franchised


January 23, 2018
By Ted Tennison
Trusted Freshness™ Ltd., Canada’s newest Alberta-based vertical farming enterprise, grows a variety of micro greens and leaf greens including bok choy, Butterhead and gourmet lettuce, Tuscan kale and a variety of mild and spicy micro greens.

Many of Western Canada’s grocery and food service industries are awaiting final commissioning of Trusted Freshness™ Ltd., Canada’s newest vertical farming enterprise. The 37,000-square-foot growing facility in Leduc, Alberta is going through the final steps before launching its commercial operation.

The facility provides a controlled indoor urban environment capable of growing a wide assortment of produce including microgreens, leafy greens and vine crops. Many of the crops can be grown and harvested within a seven- to 30-day cycle, providing fresh produce year round.

Through the use of proprietary Aquatigro™ LED grow lights, Trusted Freshness provides plants with precisely the right spectrum of light for richer and healthier yields from germination to harvest. The lighting system, which was designed and tested in Canada specifically for Trusted Freshness vertical farming operations, ensures the light is energy efficient and radiates little heat, enabling the lights to be located very close to the plants for maximum growth and yield.

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The water system in which the produce grows receives essential nutrients and micronutrients to ensure the growing crop achieves maximum growth, colour and flavour profile. Trusted Freshness uses proprietary Aquatigro Special Nutrient Blend that has been developed for its vertical farming operation. The nutrition blend is designed and tested specifically to yield top quality leafy green produce and vine crops by ensuring maximum nutrient solubility and root uptake.  

The local availability of produce ensures that the nutritional benefits of the produce are not reduced by long transportation hauls, which is the case with the produce imported from southwestern U.S. and Mexico.

“Our franchise approach to vertical farming provides our franchisees with tremendous flexibility in how they can operate their business,” says CEO and chief marketing officer Jim Schroeder. “The franchisee may wish to simply invest in a Trusted Freshness vertical farming module and have the management of the unit out-sourced or operate their franchise themselves.”

The franchise business model enables investors to operate their individual growing enterprises in a co-located facility, while at the same time taking advantage of shared core services such as hands-on training, germination, packaging, distribution and marketing of their produce.

“The demand for Trusted Freshness produce is significant,” Schroeder says. “Since word got out about our vertical farming facility, we have been approached by numerous groups interested in purchasing our freshly-grown produce – grocery retailers, the food service industry and even individual chefs who are looking for that specific herb or microgreen that will give them an extra advantage in their culinary offering.”

“We are delighted with the continued interest our Trusted Freshness operation is receiving from the local business community, the rest of Canada and other parts of the world,” says Schroeder. “We are already investigating additional locations that would be a great fit for a Trusted Freshness operation.”

The worldwide market for vertical farming operations is projected to be worth a minimum of $3.88 billion U.S. by 2020.


For more information on Trusted Freshness™ Ltd., visit trustedfreshness.com or contact CEO Jim Schroeder at 780.690.8985 or via email at jim@trustedfreshness.com


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