Calgary’s agtech scene grows with $52M GoodLeaf Farms investment

May 1, 2024
Agribusiness Innovation New Economy Technology
GoodLeaf Farms 1920 2

GoodLeaf Farms' 96,000 sq. ft. Calgary facility officially opened on April 30, 2024.

Agtech is emerging as a sector of limitless opportunities in Calgary. One of the largest vertical farm companies in Canada, GoodLeaf Farms, recently announced the opening of its $52 million facility in the Calgary region. 

Projected to create over 90 jobs, the farm leverages innovative technology and enhances food security of the region by producing over two million pounds of fresh greens annually.  

“GoodLeaf Farms' expansion to Calgary is a prime example of what's possible in our city,” said Brad Parry, President and CEO, Calgary Economic Development. 

“An innovative company leveraging technologies to enhance food security is another testament to the momentum happening within Calgary’s agribusiness sector and demonstrates that our city is the place where global challenges can be solved.” 

By growing micro and baby greens through its efficient hydroponic system, the farm embraces the real-world application of research to feed local communities, which aligns with the priority to advance innovation in Calgary’s economic strategy 

Calgary carves connections in agribusiness 

Calgary’s global connectivity, skilled talent pool and supportive ecosystem made the city stand out from competing jurisdictions as the ideal location for GoodLeaf’s expansion to Western Canada. 

“Calgary has the strongest agtech ecosystem in Canada, and people don’t recognize it as much as they should,” said GoodLeaf’s senior vice president of network development, Jeff McKinnon.

As Western Canada’s inland port, Calgary connects agri-food exports, talent and businesses by air, road and rail. From the field to the boardroom, ag products and solutions are connected globally through the entire value chain. 

“We’re focused on producing great food for the communities we operate in, so we wanted to build where the mouths are, in the food hub of the west,” shared McKinnon. “Calgary offered the access to labour, distribution networks and expansion support we were looking for.” 

Post-secondaries in the Calgary region are working with industry partners like GoodLeaf to identify and fill talent gaps as the sector rapidly evolves and embraces digital transformation. For example, the only agtech corridor in the world, the Calgary-Olds Smart Agri-Food Corridor, creates opportunities for students, producers and industry partners to evolve agricultural practices through hands-on research at scale.  

In addition to connecting with the Calgary Economic Development team and local industry players to understand Calgary's competitive advantages, provincial support helped cement Calgary as the destination for GoodLeaf's expansion west. The vertical farm was the first company to secure funding through the Government of Alberta's Investment and Growth Fund in November 2021. 

Sustainably produced food paves way for net-zero future 

GoodLeaf’s vertical farm is powered by TruLeaf, a controlled-environment multi-level farming system that insulates crops from exposure to pests and weather events and reduces water and gas use.  

Because of its innovative technology, GoodLeaf reduces reliance on imports and increases food security for Calgary by supplying year-round locally grown produce.  

It’s one way companies in the Calgary region are moving towards a net-zero future.

While the global energy transition presents a $61 billion opportunity for the province, the agtech sector alone is projected to contribute $229 million to Alberta’s GDP by 2030. This figure is largely expected to be realized by companies embracing digital agriculture monitoring with Goodleaf emerging as a leader in this space. 

Agtech startups scale solutions from Calgary 

GoodLeaf Farms joins a critical mass of agtech startups, anchor companies, ag-focused accelerators and venture capital firms creating a future of sustainably produced food in Calgary. 

 “The most robust innovation ecosystems are built through the ambition of entrepreneurs with the support of government and venture funds, which Calgary has,” said McKinnon. 

Three ag-focused accelerators – SVG | THRIVE, CDL- Rockies and Plug and Play Alberta – are headquartered in Calgary to multiply the mentorship, funding and commercialization opportunities available to agtech innovators in the city. 

All accelerators are backed by the Opportunity Calgary Investment Fund, a $100 million tool to advance economic diversification and build opportunities for a resilient future in Calgary.  

Also home to three venture capital (VC) funds targeting ag startups, Carrot Ventures, Tall Grass Ventures and The 51 Food and Agtech Fund, Calgary is experiencing strong VC investment. As investors flock to Calgary, the city continues to build on its reputation as one of the Top 60 emerging ecosystems in the world, and in 2023, saw over half a billion dollars invested through 64 VC deals. 

GoodLeaf Farms is the most recent agtech firm to open its doors and join the community of innovators converging in Calgary to solve global challenges and feed the world.  

Learn more about Calgary’s agribusiness sector, and explore careers in Calgary's tech ecosystem at

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