Quebec, Canada Lufa Farms further develops urban rooftop greenhouse business

ISHS Secretariat
Quebec, Canada Lufa Farms further develops urban rooftop greenhouse business

Urban horticulture pioneer Lufa Farms has just finished a third highly automated greenhouse in the Montreal borough of Anjou (Canada). Canada's Prime Minister Justin Trudeau was there to see it in full production. The new 63,000 square foot rooftop greenhouse is a milestone in polyculture efficiency and produces over 40 varieties of urban-grown greens and vegetables throughout the year. The Prime Minister was given a full tour of the new production facility by Lufa Farms founders Mohamed Hage and Lauren Rathmell. He witnessed first-hand the innovative complexity of the rooftop greenhouse, and even took time to harvest a basket of fresh greens for himself and his family.

Lufa Farms' six years of rapid growth and its successes in rooftop greenhouse design, cooperation with local sustainability-focused farmers, and appeal to thousands of Montreal consumers, make it one of the most successful large-scale urban agriculture models in the world, demonstrating how to sustainably feed entire cities. Lufa Farms already delivers more than 10,000 food baskets every week to consumers of Greater Montreal, who shop via their online marketplace.

Quebec investors inject $3.5 million into a more responsible local economy: Constructed on top of an existing warehouse building in Montreal's borough of Anjou, Lufa Farms' largest and most technologically advanced greenhouse was designed and constructed with the financial support of the Fonds de solidarité FTQ and La Financière agricole du Québec. The Fonds de solidarité FTQ invested $3 million in debt financing, while La Financière agricole du Québec contributed an additional $500,000 to the successful greenhouse project. "Supporting innovative companies like Lufa Farms is at the heart of the Fonds de solidarité FTQ's strategic planning. The reinstatement of the federal tax credit by the Trudeau government made such investments possible," says Gaétan Morin, President and Chief Executive Officer at the Fonds de solidarité FTQ. Financière agricole du Québec's goals are as progressive, and consistent with the Quebec government's Stratégie gouvernementale de développement durable 2015-2020.

The new greenhouse was designed by Dutch greenhouse innovators at KUBO, outfitted by Belgian greenhouse automation experts, Hortiplan, and includes advanced horticultural lighting systems from GE.

Funding underlines economic viability of urban horticulture. "Being able to finance this project in Quebec has been an important milestone for us," says Mohamed Hage, Co-Founder and CEO of Lufa Farms. "It's testimony that commercial-scale urban farming is truly economically viable. It also illustrates that a sustainable economy is possible. Urban growing centres like Lufa Farms will employ local workers and, together with local farmers, will provide fresh, responsible, and locally produced food to thousands of urban residents every day. That's a desirable model for every city in the world."

The future of Lufa Farms: Founded in 2009 by Mohamed Hage, Lauren Rathmell, Kurt Lynn, and Yahya Badran, Lufa Farms now has a combined urban growing space of 138,000 square feet. The company plans to continue the expansion of its urban farm projects in Quebec urban centres, and also in select New England locations in the U.S.


urban horticulture
rooftop greenhouse
General Interest