VANCOUVER, BRITISH COLUMBIA--(Marketwired - Oct. 14, 2016) - Affinor Growers (CSE:AFI)(FRANKFURT:1AF)(OTCQB:RSSFF) ("Affinor" or the "Corporation), a diversified agriculture and biotechnology company with proprietary vertical farming systems, is pleased to provide our shareholders with an update and summary of the Company's future plans.
Affinor's goal is to continue to focus on becoming the leading technology developer and supplier of vertical farming equipment in order to help solve problematic crops, improve food security and increase agriculture production for high value crops. With the help of our strategic partners and our technical team, Affinor's immediate plans include continuing the development and commercialization of our patented technology and equipment, validation through third party partners, prove revenue models, and crop diversification.
Over the last year, Affinor has focused on strawberry development as fresh strawberries account for 80% of the total strawberry production in North America valued at $2.6 billion annually. Affinor will continue to grow and harvest strawberries with our beta prototype technology installed at the University of the Fraser Valley throughout the fall and winter of 2017. The focus will be on standardizing crop models and determining best practices for commercialization. Affinor expects to be commissioning a commercial farm in Abbotsford, British Columbia with 24 vertical farming towers in 2017 capable of growing over 15,000 plants in 6,000 square feet. As well, in order to diversity Affinor's technology with other high value crops, we will be installing equipment to grow cannabis at a federally licensed facility in Kelowna, British Columbia in the fall 2016.
Affinor's goal over the next year is to shift from a development to an operational company focusing on generating revenue from vertical tower sales. Our revenue models will include selling systems to growers resulting in a margin on the equipment, license fees, and collecting royalties on the revenues from production; as well as potentially using the equipment ourselves to grow and sell crops thereby becoming a farming company.
Beta Prototype Testing Update
A single 4 level beta prototype tower was installed in April 2016 at the University of the Fraser Valley ("UFV") Surrey, BC location. The tower holds 128 strawberry plants within 100 square feet. All crop model information, data, procedures and harvest quality is being recorded to help prove operational and financial assumptions, revenue models, and best practices to standardize commercialization. This project replaces the "residential home unit" as announced in December 2015 and is now considered a light industrial design for many smaller greenhouse and nursery operations wanting to increase production.
Affinor's next objective is to install another 4 level tower doubling the plant density, holding 256 plants in 100 square feet, by early 2017, doubling the production within the same footprint.
LED Lighting Testing
Affinor's technology will require supplemental lighting in order to grow product year round for many greenhouse crops. A new technologically advanced LED Lighting company located in Monroe, Washington has developed new LED technology with the penetration, lumen output, and spectral array superior to any other agriculture LED system. It will also consume a third of the energy of current LED systems making them the most efficient in the market. Affinor has purchased this system for the strawberry tower located at the University of the Fraser Valley facility in Surrey for continual harvesting throughout the winter months. Affinor will be the only agriculture company using this technology and is currently negotiating the rights to resell the technology exclusively in the agriculture industry in Canada.
THC BioMed Prototype and Cannabis Cultivation Project
Affinor has an agreement with THC BioMed located in Kelowna, BC to trial cannabis with our technology. As cannabis becomes more established in North America, cost effective commercial production and greenhouse systems will be used as the market stabilizes and competitive advantage is achieved via efficiencies. Affinor sees this as an opportunity to diversity our technology into other markets with high value crops and be the first vertical system actively growing cannabis in Canada. Affinor will be fabricating and shipping a working prototype to THC BioMed in the fall 2016.
As well, Affinor has an option agreement to acquire a cannabis production license from D&G Inc if they are successful in obtaining a legal federal license. Once owned by Affinor, D&G Inc. is currently still in the review process of their application for the MMPR, which is now the ACMPR. Under the agreement, Affinor has the option to acquire the license once issued. If exercised, this would be an opportunity for Affinor to have a legal cannabis RD and cultivation center. This was the original intention acquiring D&G Inc, however, obtaining a license from Health Canada took longer than expected and Affinor decided to partner with THC BioMed to help conduct growth trials in the cannabis market directly.
Affinor has signed several license agreements with companies to use our technology over the last year based on our beta prototype concepts and preliminary production results. Each license agreement has the potential to generate significant equipment sales, long term royalties, ownership options and joint venture partnerships. They include:
|Non exclusive license in British Columbia, Canada (24 tower strawberry farm to be built in 2017)
|Non exclusive license Tennessee, USA (18 to 24 tower strawberry farm to be built late 2017)
|Non exclusive license Alberta, Canada (24 tower strawberry farm to be built in late 2017)
|Exclusive license in Ontario, Canada (24 to 36 tower strawberry farm)
|Exclusive license in Alberta
|Exclusive license in Maritimes
Affinor is working closely with the first license holder in British Columbia as this will be the first commercial facility using Affinor's technology.
Commercial Trial and Development
A single 4 level tower was shipped and installed in Michigan to a commercial strawberry greenhouse farm in December 2015. This was our "first touch" with the market place within a significant commercial greenhouse. The trial was to determine productivity, identify improvements and increase the production per square foot of ground space. Results included increasing plant density from 8 plants per square meter to 21, strawberries were actively harvested for sales throughout the six-month trial and consumed in the open market and improvements in strawberry fruit support and irrigation techniques were implemented. The commercial trial concluded in the spring with recommended improvements incorporated into future designs and will be demonstrated on the next tower being installed at the University of the Fraser Valley Surrey location.
St-Chrysostome Greenhouse Facility Quebec
Affinor's planned commercial greenhouse facility in the City of St-Chrysostome, Quebec will be sold and the proceeds will be used to further the development of the technology, publish patents and general operating capital.
Affinor's board of directors has also approved the grant of 2,200,000 stock options exercisable at $0.11 per share and expiring from October 5, 2019 to October 13, 2019.
About Affinor Growers Inc.
Affinor Growers is a publicly traded company on the Canadian Securities Exchange under the symbol ("AFI"). Affinor is focused on growing high quality crops such as romaine lettuce, spinach, strawberries using its vertical farming techniques. Affinor is committed to becoming a pre-eminent supplier and grower, using exclusive vertical farming techniques.
On Behalf of the Board of Directors, AFFINOR GROWERS INC.
Jarrett Malnarick, President & CEO
The CSE has not reviewed and does not accept responsibility for the adequacy or accuracy of this release.
This News Release contains forward-looking statements. The use of any of the words "anticipate", "continue", "estimate", "expect", "may", "will", "project", "should", "believe" and similar expressions are intended to identify forward-looking statements. Although the Company believes that the expectations and assumptions on which the forward-looking statements are based are reasonable, undue reliance should not be placed on the forward-looking statements because the Company can give no assurance that they will prove to be correct. Since forward-looking statements address future events and conditions, by their very nature they involve inherent risks and uncertainties. These statements speak only as of the date of this News Release. Actual results could differ materially from those currently anticipated due to a number of factors and risks including various risk factors discussed in the Company's disclosure documents which can be found under the Company's profile on www.sedar.com. This News Release contains "forward-looking statements" within the meaning of Section 27A of the Securities Act of 1933, as amended, and Section 21E the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended and such forward-looking statements are made pursuant to the safe harbor provisions of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995.