Oppy Up Vertical Farms

Oppy has announced that it is partnering with Up Vertical Farms, a new indoor farm that will launch Canada’s first touchless, high density indoor vertical farm for growing customisable baby leafy greens.

Founded by Fresh Green Farms, the company plans to unveil the first phase of operations in the spring of 2022 with the goal of becoming the world’s largest and most sustainable vertical farm by 2023.

According to Oppy, the team at Up Vertical Farms has spent the last several years researching and developing the latest technology to grow crops at 350 times the yield of conventional farming, while employing the most advanced, high density growing solution with minimal impact on the environment.

“Vertical farming is the future of agriculture and we’re excited to take it to the next level to bring better tasting and longer lasting greens to consumers everywhere by next year,” said Bahram Rashti, co-founder of Up Vertical Farms. “Our fully automated system will revolutionise the industry by allowing for much higher yields, quicker production and better quality control to produce locally grown greens in the most sustainable way.”

Up Vertical Farms will roll out the first phase of operations in British Columbia's Lower Mainland in the spring of 2022, anticipating production of just under 1m kilograms – or 6.3m bags – of salad greens per year.

Further expansions through 2023 will essentially quadruple the total volume, making Up Vertical Farms the largest vertical farm in the world.

Hands-free farming

As Canada’s first hands-free vertical farming operation, Up Vertical Farms will be fully automated from seeding through to harvest in a humidity, temperature, water, light and nutrient-controlled environment designed to improve the quality of each plant.

'At Up Vertical Farms, leaves will never be touched by humans,' the group explained. 'Unlike traditional field greens they are grown in a controlled indoor environment in water, not soil, eliminating the need for chemicals to safeguard crops.

Up noted that its high density vertical farming solution was a Canadian innovation for a 'more sustainable future and a healthier planet', using 99 per cent less land, 99 per cent less water, 99 per cent less fertiliser, and 95 per cent less plastic for packaging to produce over 350 times greater yield, using zero pesticides for locally grown greens.

Additionally, Up’s crops will be grown year-round in a 13 to 21-day growing cycle using recycled CO2 and proprietary lighting technology for custom brix levels and flavour profiles.

“We are excited to be entering the vertical farming space and bring fresh innovative options to our retail partners,” said executive director of greenhouse and Canadian category development Aaron Quon. “Bahram and Shahram Rashti are committed to bringing the freshest, most advanced and sustainable technology to controlled environment agriculture. We’re thrilled to partner with them.”

Consumers will be able to purchase UP super greens from a range of retailers through its partnership with Oppy in 2022.