Fresh produce from greenhouse grower Urban Barns Foods will be supplied to up-scale restaurants in Quebec and Ontario under a memorandum of understanding with Canadian distributor Hector Larivee Inc.
The Montreal-based distributor and one of its executives are also investing in Urban Barns’ parent company, but specific details were not included in a Sept. 11 news release.
“With this MOU we effectively cover the entire Province of Quebec and Eastern Ontario with one of the top distribution companies in Canada,” Urban Barns CEO Richard Groome said in the release.
“We are very pleased that HLI has already started to distribute Urban Barns products to some of our four- and five-star hotels and restaurants.”
The distributor serves more than 3,000 high-end foodservice and hospitality clients in Quebec Province alone, Hector Larivee Inc. president Guy Larivee said in the release.
“With its high nutritional content and longer shelf life, together with Urban Barn’s ability to harvest and deliver the same day, we will be able to fulfill our client’s expectation of having access to the best local fresh greens 365 days a year,” Larivee said in the release.
Urban Barns plans full-scale training sessions for HLI sales staff on its trademarked Cubic Farming methods.
The system uses proprietary equipment including grow lights and multi-level growing racks to maximize production in smaller spaces than that of traditional greenhouse growing operations.
Based in Point-Claire, Quebec, Urban Barns recently completed the first phase of a new facility in Mirabel, Quebec.
Full production of lettuces, micro greens and herbs is underway, according to the news release.
Planning has begun on the next phase, which will use the next generation of the company’s prototype Cubic Farming machine.
The new equipment is expected this month with plans in place to build six more Generation 4 machines after the first machine is tested.
The second phase of the facility is expected to open late this year or early in 2015, according to the release. Staff is currently preparing for a CanadaGAP audit before the end of this year.