Peter Quiring, founder and chief executive officer of Nature Fresh Farms, Leamington, shares Pereira’s dream.
Before going into the growing business, Quiring was a greenhouse designer and builder and was known for innovative concepts that could increase sustainability and decrease energy consumption.
Now, with 130 greenhouse acres under Nature Fresh ownership, Quiring strives to continue innovating.
“We believe it’s important for the high-tech greenhouse industry to continue to be profitable so it can become even more innovative,” Quiring said.
In addition to alternatives such as biomass-burning boilers Nature Fresh uses high-tech heating and cooling systems. Quiring estimates the company’s costs would be as much as 30% higher if he used old technologies still in operation at some greenhouses.
But saving money is not Quiring’s only priority. He wants his industry to leave the planet in better shape than it is now.
“Making the best use of the water we need to operate is of more importance to us than lower costs of production,” Quiring said, adding that 2012 marked the first year that Nature Fresh discharged zero water from its greenhouse operations into the waste water treatment system in Leamington.