CubicFarms: Local Chain Automated Food Technologies

Agriculture is the largest sector in Canada with a strong focus on horticulture. To get an impression of Dutch agricultural innovations in British Columbia, the Consulate General of the Netherlands in Vancouver and the Agricultural Team of the Dutch Embassy spoke with several entrepreneurs.

In this 10-part blog series we will be highlighting one advanced innovative agtech company in B.C. every week, focussing on its strong connections to the Netherlands.

Part 3 (3/10): CubicFarm Systems Corp.

In 2015, two seasoned Dutch-Canadian farmers invented a unique automated, environment controlled system that enables vertical farming. Fast forward to 2021, and their technology has grown into CubicFarms, a company on a mission to successfully feed our changing world.

Dave Dinesen

Breaking the cycle of long supply chains

Dave Dinesen, CEO of Langley-based CubicFarms, claims their ag-tech solutions can help break the cycle of long global food supply chains and instead allow a local chain agriculture: “Our plant, food and livestock
feed systems can be installed anywhere in the world. And because the temperature and environment inside these machines are controlled, produce and livestock feed can grow year-round in any climate.”

Inside a shipping container

A good way to visualize what the machines look like is to picture a shipping container. Inside this container are trays of crops that rotate and follow an undulating path, which ensures every side of each plant gets the right amount of light and water. A 40’ x 8’ x 9.5’ sterile cube can accommodate up to 120,000 plant sites. This means the amount of land required to grow substantially more crops is decreased, less physical labour is required to plant and harvest crops, water consumption is reduced by up to 95% and no pesticides are required because everything is grown inside in a sterile environment.

All of these outcomes are relevant on a global scale in a time where we all grapple with food security and the effects of farming on the environment. “We believe long chain food dependence is dangerous. Currently, we’re finding ourselves in the middle of a pandemic with closed borders, which emphasizes the importance of local farming. Our mission is that food growing takes place nearby where it is consumed. This ensures food security and improves access to food.”

Link with the Netherlands

  • Dutch Heritage
    CubicFarms’ technology was developed by Jack Benne, founder of Bevo Farms, one of North America’s largest plant propagation businesses, and his son Leo Benne, CubicFarms’ Chief Product Officer. Few people on earth have grown more plants from seed than Jack, born and trained in the Netherlands.

More on Dutch-Canadian collaboration in B.C.?

In the brochure that you can download below, you will find a number of examples of innovative companies in British Columbia, with strong connections to the Netherlands. We hope to see many more of these strong collaborations and are keen to support more innovators.

If you are interested to learn more, please connect with the Consulate General of the Kingdom of the Netherlands in Vancouver at van-ez@minbuza.nl or contact the Economic Affairs teams in Ottawa and Toronto.