Investing in sustainable greenhouse growing systems

September 15, 2017
Written by AAFC
Sept. 15, 2017, Chatham, Ont. – Ottawa is investing up to $3.7 million for two Chatham companies to collaboratively reduce their environmental footprint, while making their operations more productive and competitive.

This Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada investment is enabling Greenfield Global to install new Dutch technology that pipes waste heat and carbon dioxide across the road to Truly Green Farms, reducing the greenhouse energy costs and boosting tomato yields.

“The environment and the economy go hand in hand, and our government knows that supporting sustainable solutions in agriculture will spur clean innovation, create jobs, and lead to a stronger agricultural sector,” said MP Peter Fragiskatos (London North Centre), speaking on behalf of federal Agriculture Minister Lawrence MacAulay. “This project is a great example of two Chatham companies working together to improve greenhouse yields, while lowering their environmental footprint.”

WASTE HEAT FROM ETHANOL PRODUCTION

The environmental benefits of ethanol production can extend well beyond the gas tank,” said Howard Field, President and CEO of Greenfield Global. “This investment is helping Greenfield convert what was previously waste heat vented from a heat stack at our ethanol facility in Chatham, into the heat needed to grow greenhouse tomatoes with lower energy use and heating costs.”

Greg Devries, president Truly Green Farms & Cedarline Greenhouses, added that sustainable agriculture “improves the food we eat, the air we breathe, and the jobs in our communities. Truly Green has developed an innovative partnership with Greenfield to use waste heat from its ethanol process to boost the production of our greenhouse tomatoes.

Greenfield Global is a world leader in specialty alcohols and the largest ethanol producer in Canada.

“This investment is helping us become the first greenhouse of its kind to be warmed by waste heat. It will also make us one of the most energy-efficient greenhouses in North America.”

Truly Green Farms has 45 acres of tomato production, with another 45 acres to be built.

The project has generated 200 new jobs since it was conceived in 2012.

This repayable investment is being made through the Growing Forward 2 AgriInnovation Program, a five-year, up to $698 million initiative.

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