Sustainability - Part Two
February 19, 2020
In many of our discussions with investors, partners, and other interested parties, we often mention that when we are up and running we will deliver tomatoes from farm to table in 24 hours. Part of why we hand-picked Dauphin, Manitoba as the site for our state-of-the-art greenhouse is our ability to deliver to the Saskatchewan, Manitoba, and Northwestern Ontario markets with farm fresh tomatoes in 24 hours. By reducing the reliance on transportation of imported tomatoes from places such as Mexico and California, we help reduce the carbon footprint of our food consumption.
According to the Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada Ministry of the Federal Government, tomatoes have been the largest fresh vegetable import in Canada (on a per metric tonne basis) for five years in a row (2014-2018). As of this writing, we don’t yet have the numbers for 2019, but In 2018, Canada imported $416,007,000 of tomatoes and of that amount, $297,814,000 was imported from Mexico. By producing and selling vegetables locally from Dauphin, we will displace some of these imports. This will lower the total amount of carbon emissions produced as a result of trucking tomatoes a shorter distance when compared to transporting from Mexico and other countries.
In addition to reducing the carbon footprint from transportation, we will be stripping the carbon dioxide from the exhaust gas of our boilers which will provide heat for the greenhouse. This carbon dioxide is then pumped into the growing area. By doing this, we are limiting carbon emissions that would otherwise be expelled into the atmosphere. In addition to the environmental benefit, this process allows us to improve the yields in the greenhouse as the plants use the carbon dioxide as food via photosynthesis. We are committed to ensuring that the triple bottom line of protecting people, planet, and profit is our priority. Reduced emissions and increased efficiency benefit not only Vermillion Growers, but the community and planet as a whole!