From: University of Toronto
Published July 24, 2017 08:23 AM

Sustainable food startup looks north through non-profit partnership

A University of Toronto startup that sells vertical hydroponic growing systems has joined forces with a Ryerson University-linked non-profit to bring down the stratospheric cost of fresh fruits and vegetables in Canada’s northernmost communities.

The unique partnership was forged at this year’s OCE innovation conference after Conner Tidd, a co-founder of U of T’s Just Vertical, ran into the founders of Ryerson’s Growing North. Tidd knew Growing North had built a geodesic greenhouse filled with hydroponic towers in Naujaat, NV.

“We said, 'We heard you’re building a new greenhouse. We can be your go-to guys on that,’” recalls Tidd. “It sort of took off from there.”

Both Tidd and co-founder Kevin Jakiela graduated from the Master of Science in Sustainability Management degree program at U of T Mississauga. They're drawing on their graduate-level expertise to help Growing North develop a proposal for a Nunavut high school course on sustainable food production – a bid to get locals to take ownership over the project.


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Photo via University of Toronto.

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