Fonds de solidarité FTQ has made a $3 million investment backing Lufa Farms, a Montréal-based developer of urban rooftop gardens, helping to build a 63,000 sq ft greenhouse in Anjou, Québec.
Lufa Farms’ first urban rooftop greenhouse, which covered 32,000 sq ft, went into operation in 2011 in Ahuntsic, followed by its second 43,000 sq ft greenhouse in Laval. The company now has plans for additional facilities in Canada and the US.
As of November 30, 2016, Fonds de solidarité FTQ, a development capital fund investing in local businesses, had $12.2 billion in net assets. The fund has helped create and protect over 187,000 jobs and is a partner in more than 2,600 companies, according to a company statement.
Janie Béïque, senior vice president with Fonds de solidarité FTQ, called Lufa Farms “testimony that commercial-scale urban farming is truly economically viable, and that a sustainable economy is possible.”
“Urban growing centers like Lufa, employing local workers, in concert with local farmers that provide fresh, responsible, and locally-produced goods to thousands of local residents everyday, that’s a model for every city in the world,” he said.
Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau was in attendance at the inauguration of the Anjou greenhouse, as the investment was made possible in part due to the reinstatement of a federal tax credit supporting VC funding, according to the statement.
The 15 percent tax credit supports labor union-backed funds, such as Fonds de solidarité FTQ, which in turn provide VC capital to small and medium-sized businesses.
Prior to the credit’s reinstatement, agreed in March of 2016, the previous government had planned to reduce the credit from 15 percent to 10 percent in 2015 and five percent for 2016 before eliminating it in 2017, according to local reports.