Alberta greenhouse lands leafy contract

The Whole Leaf lettuce operation east of Coaldale, Alta., has become the sole supplier of lettuce to Wendy’s restaurants across Canada.

Whole Leaf is a hydroponic greenhouse operation that makes major use of robotics to plant and grow lettuce.

“Wendy’s will be the first national brand in the Canadian QSR (quick service restaurant) industry to serve great-tasting, crispy and crunchy greenhouse-grown lettuce in all 384 of its restaurants across the country,” the company said in a release.

“All lettuce served will be grown in Canadian-sourced peat with zero pesticides.”

Lisa Deletroz, senior director of marketing for Wendy’s Canada, said the contract with Whole Leaf is part of efforts to support Canadian producers and the Canadian economy.

Whole Leaf did not return repeated calls for comment.

In the news release, senior sales director Rindi Bristol referred to the agreement as “a strategic partnership.”

Lettuce is used in Wendy’s salads, hamburgers and chicken sandwiches.

Whole leaf produces more than 20 million heads annually of various lettuce varieties, many of them sold under the name Inspired Greens. The southern Alberta facility is the largest lettuce greenhouse operation in North America at 11 acres under glass.

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