VANCOUVER, B.C. - Oppy has teamed with agribusiness specialist Red Dog Management and agricultural investment firm Farmers Gate in a joint venture called New Wave Berry LLC with the goal of growing strawberries hydroponically.
Its new hydroponic tabletop strawberry line will be grown in a newly constructed high tunnel facility in Santa Maria, Calif. Building upon Oppy’s exclusive partnership with Ocean Spray, the agricultural cooperative owned by more than 700 farmer families the venture looks to further advance strawberry production practices and bring a uniquely sustainable item to market.
“With such diversification across categories at Oppy, I couldn’t be more excited for this one in particular,” said David Smith, president of Oppy. “This concept combines care for the planet with care for the people, and is poised to deliver an excellent strawberry experience for our customers and their shoppers. Berries have been an increasingly vital component of our product mix and I’m really proud to see our focus come to fruition with this innovative new line.”
Requiring fewer inputs than field grown strawberries, hydroponics deliver just the right nutrition at the roots of the plants to ensure the use of fewer chemicals and far less water. The lack of required groundwork by growing on tabletops also makes labor less arduous for those tending the plants and harvesting the berries while greenhouse efficiencies enable year-round work and production.
“We’ve been talking to Oppy about the prospect of tabletop growing and how it is going to be the future of strawberries for a long time, we’re ecstatic to be moving ahead,” said Greg and Donna France, owners of Red Dog Management. “These berries will stand out because they will be heartier with a longer shelf life. Coupled with an eye-catching extension of the Ocean Spray line, we’re excited to deliver in a different way for our customers, and consumers will be very happy too.”
Oppy will exclusively market the fruit and reveal its classified packaging in fall 2021.