Lufa Farms Secures Funds for U.S. Growth

MONTREAL — Lufa Farms, which operates a commercial rooftop greenhouse here, announced the completion of a $4.5 million financing drive to fund the expansion of its new rooftop farming operations in Quebec and lay the foundation for expansion into Ontario and the United States.

The investment round was led by Cycle Capital Management here, and also included the company’s founding team, Mohamed Hage, Lauren Rathmell and Dave Furneaux. Andrew Ferrier, a veteran food and agriculture executive, also invested and will be joining the company’s board. Additional funding is expected in coming weeks through government-sponsored debt sources within Quebec. 

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Lufa Farms, which opened its first hydroponic greenhouse here in February 2011, will use the new investments largely to fund new rooftop farming facilities. The company now has two additional farms planned in Montreal and is seeking locations in Boston, New York and Toronto. “Our new facilities will advance our position as the longest and strongest fresh food farm operator in the urban agriculture space by putting well over 200,000 square feet of rooftops under cultivation,” said Hage, founder and chief executive officer of Lufa Farms, in a statement. “When we’ve completed this round, more than 5,000 families will be obtaining freshly harvested, high-quality fruits, vegetables and herbs from Lufa Farms on a weekly basis.”

In its first year of operation, the initial facility produced more than 250 tons of fresh, herbicide-, pesticide- and fungicide-free produce, including tomatoes, cucumbers, eggplant, leafy greens, chards and herbs among more than two-dozen varieties. The vegetables grown by Lufa Farms are harvested daily and delivered directly via retail and other drop-off points to about 1,000 families in the Montreal area.

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