Canada’s sunset Produce has doubled its greenhouse acreage to 24ha following the completion of the second of the company’s Coldwater Farms facility. Open since 2012, the facility produces Sunset vine and grape tomatoes year-round using advanced technology including energy curtains and grow lights.
“The ability to grow fresh tomatoes in the middle of winter is something we are very proud of,” said CEO Paul Mastonardi. “The location of Coldwater means we can pick, pack and ship the freshest possible tomatoes in the same day. This means we continue to deliver the highest flavour possible while also reducing food miles.”
The company recently planted tomatoes on the vine, beefsteak and its registered Angel Sweet tomatoes in the new facility, with the first harvest expected in seven weeks.
The new greenhouse features a diffused glass ceiling, which evenly distributes sunlight throughout the structure.
“The diffused glass is pretty incredible because it’s simple but so efficient. When sunlight hits it, it gets distributed at different angles to cover the greenhouse with more light,” explained Christopher Gill, director of greenhouse operations. “This means that plants are more exposed to sunlight and take in more CO2, which contributes to increased growth and better quality fruit year-round. Anywhere you stand in the greenhouse you’ll never see your shadow.”
Like phase one of the project, the latest stage includes automated harvest carts for efficient and ergonomic harvesting, the use of recycled water and fertiliser, and a rainwater irrigation system. With the new addition, Coldwater Farms will soon be registered under the Michigan Agriculture Environmental Assurance Programme, Sunset said.