Nature Fresh agreement ensures bright future
Nature Fresh Farms Sales added 123 acres of lit production with its growing partners Nature Fresh Farms, Ketler Farms and VineFresh, leading to one of the largest signings of LED/HPS lights in North America.
The Netherlands-based company Agrolux Lighting recently signed an agreement between the greenhouse companie bringing a significant number of horticultural lights to their farms, to be completed in the fall of 2022. This greenhouse lighting project is one of the biggest horticulture lighting deals of the past years, including one of the largest in North America. This major deal involves the majority being Agrolux Wega LED light fixtures and some HPS fixtures. It is also the first signed agreement for Agrolux Wega LED fixtures in North America.
“This is an important achievement for our new Agrolux Wega LED product, and we are convinced that Nature Fresh Farms and VineFresh Acres will benefit from its excellent performance," said International Sales Director of Agrolux Nick Boelen. "We are delighted with this partnership, and we are looking forward to continue our relationship with Nature Fresh Farms and Vine Fresh Acres also for LED lighting.”
For Nature Fresh Farms the lit crop will expand across its Leamington, ON, and Delta, OH, farms. In Leamington, 31 acres of organic cucumbers are to be under LED lights with Ohio’s recently announced 45-acre expansion also to be devoted to LED-lit organics. With the 123 acres of lit production in total spread between their partners and their farms in both U.S. and Canada, Nature Fresh Farms will be covering all conventional commodities, in addition to organics with this light order.
“Technology and innovation are fundamental to Nature Fresh Farms, and we are continually looking for better ways to provide our retail partners with year-round fresh produce,” said Director of Sales Matt Quiring. “Increasing our lit crops allows us to hit all of our core commodities, including peppers, tomatoes, cucumbers and organics.”
Greenhouse lighting offers the ability to grow year-round providing more quality produce, particularly in the winter. Consumers across Canada and the United States regularly rely on imports of vegetables during the off season; however, with more lit production, Nature Fresh Farms can satisfy consumer demands for fresh local produce throughout the year while maintaining their commitment to growing sustainably.
Currently, Nature Fresh Farms has 126 acres of lit production across its Delta and Leamington farms that were initially equipped with lighting back in 2015 when they first began their partnership with Agrolux. Since then, Nature Fresh Farms and Agrolux have continued to develop their relationship while supporting the advancement of LED technology. With LED lighting being more energy efficient and durable over time, this kind of supplemental lighting presents a great opportunity for Nature Fresh Farms and the growers while they continue to research more sustainable lighting alternatives.
“Sustainability has always been inherent in how we grow and operate our entire business at Nature Fresh Farms,” said Vice President John Ketler. “We look at how we can continue to meet retail and consumer demands but in the most efficient and sustainable way, the additional acreage under lights makes that possible.”
Nature Fresh Farms' longstanding partnership with Agrolux will assist in their ongoing commitment to research and development of lighting technology. As Nature Fresh Farms continues to conduct light trials at their Leamington based Discovery Center, the company will progress towards new technology that supports sustainable growing while delivering quality produce to customers throughout the year.
Photo: Denis Dullemans of Agrolux, John Ketler and Cornelius Neufeld of Nature Fresh Farms, and Nick Boelen of Agrolux.