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Alberta-grown jobs, industry-wide innovation. Whole Leaf transforms the produce sector.

Success Story Info

  • Organization: 

    Whole Leaf Ltd.

  • Region:  Alberta
  • Impact: 

    Alberta’s Whole Leaf transforms the greenhouse-grown lettuce industry while creating jobs at home.

  • Project: 

    Whole Leaf market expansion and productivity improvement

  • Category:  Value-added agriculture, Women, Clean technology
  • Story Date:  2020-07-08
Rindi Bristol, Senior Director of Whole Leaf

In its state-of-the-art greenhouse, Whole Leaf produces chemical-free leafy greens using less water. They last longer and provide better value for retailers. In just two and a half years, Whole Leaf has established itself as a leading innovator in the greenhouse-grown produce industry and has created 130 jobs in Coaldale and Calgary, Alberta.

Western Economic Diversification Canada (WD) supports Whole Leaf through its Business Scale Up and Productivity (BSP) program. WD committed up to $3,561,500 in interest free, repayable funding to improve productivity, hire more staff and increase greenhouse capacity.

Whole Leaf transforms the produce sector (length: 2:27)

Transcript: Whole Leaf transforms the produce sector

[music]

(The camera pans the greenhouse.)

(Whole Leaf logo)

(Text on screen: Scenes in this video were produced prior to COVID-19 health restrictions.)

(RINDI BRISTOL, SENIOR DIRECTOR, WHOLE LEAF - voiceover) Whole Leaf is an 11-acre greenhouse based out of Coaldale, Alberta, and we are North America's innovator in greenhouse-grown leafy greens.

(Text on screen: Facility grows 365 days per year)

(RINDI BRISTOL) The facility grows 365 days a year. We don't use any pesticides. We don't use treated seeds. We can produce and harvest, depending on the season and the variety, anywhere between 40,000 and 55,000 heads of lettuce each and every day.

(Scenes of activity in the greenhouse)

(Text on screen: 40,000 – 55,000 heads of lettuce per day)

(RINDI BRISTOL - voiceover) The growth over the past couple of years has been absolutely amazing. In January of 2018, we opened our Inspired facility here in Calgary and in a short two and a half years we've created anywhere between 120 and 130 jobs in Calgary at the Inspired facility and in Coaldale down at the greenhouse.

These are facilities that are the only ones like it in the world and they're doing things that are only happening here.

The great thing about what Whole Leaf and Inspired are accomplishing is that we're providing, you know, a great new product and an introduction to greenhouse-grown leafy greens, as well as finished salads to the Canadian marketplace, and it's right here happening in Alberta.

The technology that Whole Leaf uses to grow the product is unlike anything else in the world.

We have the opportunity to only use a litre and a half of water instead of using a 180 litres of water to grow one head of lettuce. We have low-iron glass. We have a specialized climate chamber. We have a semi-closed greenhouse structure, which allows us to grow pesticide-free and chemical-free. There are hardly any human touches in the greenhouse and it is a safe, clean product.

We are on an upward trend to change a category at the grocery store that hasn't been changed in 110 years. And our team is on track to absolutely lead the industry in greenhouse-grown lettuce and to impact the industry like nobody has seen in the produce industry in a really, really long time.

(Text on screen: WD committed up to $3,561,500 in interest free, repayable funding to Whole Leaf to improve productivity and increase greenhouse capacity.)

(Twitter logo and text on screen: www.wd-deo.gc.ca www.twitter.com/wd_canada)

(WD wordmark)

(Canada wordmark)

[music stops]

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