CAN (BC): Entrepreneurs see opportunities in vertical farming

Entrepreneurs in B.C.’s vertical-farming sector envisage opportunity in their niche to be sky-high, thanks to the B.C. government changing regulations, labor shortages in traditional agriculture, and crumbling supply chains between the province and California.

An ambitious, fully mechanized, vertical-farming operation launched in March in Pitt Meadows, while entrepreneurs at other ventures are leasing space to expand farming operations and are selling equipment to enable others who aspire to enter the burgeoning field.

“We will see almost all leafy greens and small fruit produced in greenhouses or vertical operations within 10 years or so because there simply won’t be options,” said Lenore Newman, director of the Food and Agriculture Institute at the University of the Fraser Valley. 

“California’s dominance is being challenged by a perfect storm of climate, protectionist policy, labor, and other challenges.” Some vertical farms have long existed in small buildings on B.C.’s Agricultural Land Reserve (ALR).


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