Luckett, Jamieson Invest In Truleaf
December 10th, 2015
TruLeaf, the Truro-based indoor agriculture company, announced Wednesday that it has received new investment from two prominent businessmen and strengthened its executive team.
The company, which recently raised more than $1.7 million by crowdfunding in the U.S., issued a press release saying it received an undisclosed amount of funding from Martin Jamieson and Pete Luckett. Both will become advisers to the company and Jamieson will join TruLeaf’s board of directors.
The statement also said Jeff MacKinnon, an accountant who was most recently a Vice-President at Credit Union Atlantic, would become TruLeaf’s Vice President of Operations and Chief Financial Officer.
Operating out of indoor farms, TruLeaf grows nutritious plants under LED lights and produces food with a minimal environmental footprint. It is poised to announce a distribution agreement in January.
The company has one farm in Bible Hill, N.S., and is planning its second in Central or Eastern Canada, the northeastern United States or California. It promises to be one of the largest vertical farms in North America.
“The new additions to TruLeaf really round out the team,” President and CEO Gregg Curwin said in a statement. “Each member brings to the table invaluable expertise in their field; Jeff with his extensive experience in strategy, finance and operations; Pete with his extensive knowledge of agriculture and cuisine; Martin with his substantial expertise in the food and nutrition industries.”
In an email, Curwin declined to provide details of the investments, nor to say how much in total the company raised from its recent crowdfunding campaign.
TruLeaf in September launched a campaign on San Francisco’s AgFunder, a crowdfunding site for agricultural and agriculture technology investment, with the goal of raising US$2.65 million (C$3.58 million). TruLeaf received at least US$1.28 million, which exceeded its minimum target and allowed the funding round to close with at least C$1.7 million.
The most well-known of the new additions to the TruLeaf team is Pete Luckett. He is best known as the founder of Pete’s Frootique and Luckett Vineyards, both staples in the Nova Scotia agriculture and business communities. He brings vast food retailing experience as well as his culinary expertise and energetic personality.
Jamieson has more than 30 years of experience in the global food industry. He was previously an Executive Vice President at Loblaw Companies, and President and Chief Executive Officer of Ocean Nutrition Canada.
Through its GoodLeaf Farms subsidiary, TruLeaf uses advanced vertical farming technology to produce ultra-fresh leafy greens 365 days a year. The company produces the greens in a clean and safe indoor environment that allows the company to eliminate the need for pesticides. The company is able to have the delicious leafy greens hand-packed, and on customers’ plates within hours of harvesting them, at peak freshness and nutrition levels.
“People love the taste of fresh food, especially when you can tell it’s been picked that day,” said Luckett in the statement. “Unfortunately, that hasn’t always been possible in Atlantic Canada, until now. With GoodLeaf Farms, people in Atlantic Canada will no longer have to wait up to a week for leafy greens to come from California.”