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The Quebec government is supporting the local food industry in the province by investing $19 million to establish two vertical greenhouses in the province.

The investment includes $6.8 million for Océan Vert to accelerate the development of vertical greenhouses for leafy vegetables, one in the Saint-Pacôme area and one in the Montreal region.

Océan Vert, a Quebec joint venture formed by Courchesne Larose and INNO 3B, is one of the first vertical farming companies in the province.

“We are proud to be contributing to Quebec’s food autonomy,” says Francis Routhier, president of Ocean Vert. “The development of green farms in Quebec is a real social project that we feel strongly about and that meets the expectations of consumers who are placing more and more importance on local products, traceability, freshness and the price of the food they buy. We welcome the financial support and applaud the government’s vision to increase the development of green technologies in agriculture and stimulate the regional economy.”

Océan Vert’s vertical farms use a unique technology developed by INNO 3B. The modular system provides vertical and horizontal expansion possibilities for maximum space optimization. Automated crop handling reduces equipment and labour requirements, while a water-cooled LED lighting system gives crops light to facilitate photosynthesis and reduces the space between shelves by up to three times compared to conventional methods.

For the first production centre in Saint Pacôme, the technology will allow a significant reduction of CO2 emissions of about 60 tonnes per year and water consumption savings of up to 95 per cent compared to field cultivation, according to the company.

Océan Vert says its products will be marketed under the MIDI brand in Quebec and the first products will be leafy greens—a spring mix of baby spinach and baby arugula.

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