Oppy’s first-ever vertical farming partnership begins production in British Columbia

Oppy UP Vertical Farms leafy Greens

Up Vertical Farms has launched its inaugural facility in Pitt Meadows, British Columbia alongside its sales and marketing partner Oppy.

According to the companies, Up spent nearly a decade researching and developing the latest technology to grow crops at 350 times the yield of conventional field-grown greens.

Crops are grown using 99 per cent less land, 99 per cent less water, 99 per cent less fertiliser, no pesticides, herbicides or fungicides, Oppy stated.

Using recycled CO2 and proprietary lighting technology, leaves are grown to custom brix levels and flavour profiles while lasting 22-plus days refrigerated.

Greens are never touched by human hands, the company said, making Up Canada’s first hands-free vertical farming operation.

“We are thrilled to go live after many years of research, development and planning,” said Bahram Rashti, co-founder of Up Vertical Farms.

“With climate change affecting the fresh produce supply in a multitude of ways, we’re honoured to do our part to help Canada navigate its food security issues — as with recent shortages experienced in the traditional leafy greens sector, for example.

”These limitations in supply will be a continuous issue, one that we had foreseen, and for which we developed a commercial scale solution to address,” Rashti explained. ”Our facility will further limit Canada’s dependence on imported greens in the provinces we supply and we anticipate expanding our footprint quickly.”

Forecasting production of just under 2m pounds — or 6.3m bags — of salad greens per year, Up said it had the ability to fully customise packs specific to the individual needs of retailers and restaurants.

“Entering the vertical farming space with Bahram and Shahram Rashti has been an upmost pleasure,” said executive director of Berries and Canadian category development Aaron Quon.

“We’re looking forward to officially bringing their long-time vision to life, and providing our retail customers with the most advanced, sustainable technology in leafy greens that they have ever seen.”