VANCOUVER, British Columbia, Feb. 27, 2019 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Affinor Growers Inc. (“AFI” or the “Company”) (CSE:AFI, OTC:RSSFF, Frankfurt:1AF) is pleased to provide an update on its operations. Over the past four months, the Company has been working on several fronts in order to broaden the Company’s operations and build a strong foundation for future success. In doing so, the Company is extremely pleased to announce the development of three new tower designs, two significant agreements, as well as an invitation to the BC Tech Summit 2019 from the BC Ministry of Agriculture in order to showcase our new towers.
Since October 2018, the Company has been working aggressively with our manufacturing partner, Cobotix Manufacturing Inc. (“Cobotix”), to develop new tower designs and new technologies. The result of this work is three new tower designs. We have a newly designed vertical farming tower for soiled-based growing, a new hydroponic version of the vertical farming tower and a newly designed vertical farming tower that is a hybrid of hydroponic and aeroponic growing.
The new designs allow the Company to increase its footprint in the vertical farming space and gives the Company a product line that, we feel, can compete with other hydroponic and aeroponic growing systems on the market. In addition, the new designs also open up the home and light-duty commercial markets for the Company, markets in which we see great potential for growth.
Randy Minhas, President and CEO commented, “This is a significant step forward for the Company. As a technology company, it is absolutely crucial that we continue to innovate and develop in order to remain competitive. I am extremely pleased with the new tower designs and look forward to introducing the towers to the market.”
Agreement with Fundamental Lighting Solutions Corp. (“Fundamental Lighting”)
The Company is pleased to announce that it has reached a four-year, worldwide exclusive, distribution agreement with Fundamental Lighting. Fundamental Lighting is a corporation out of Monroe, Washington and they have developed high-efficiency, white LED lights and coloured LED growing lights to be used for indoor growing operations, including greenhouses. The Company will have the exclusive right to distribute the lights for Agricultural projects and earn a commission on the sale of the lights.
In addition, the Company is helping Fundamental Lighting develop cannabis specific growing lights (“Cannabis Lights”) to compete with the widely used high-pressure sodium lights. The design work and the research for the Cannabis Lights has been completed and the process is moving to the prototype phase. We expect to have eight Cannabis Lights manufactured and ready for testing in the next 6-8 weeks.
The design team behind the LED lights and the Cannabis Lights is led by Mr. Wayne Bliesner. Mr. Bliesner is the CEO and Head Scientist at Fundamental Lighting. Mr. Bliesner is in charge of the company direction, choosing executives, scientific research, managing the lab team, and new production R&D. He earned a Master’s Degree from the University of Washington in Aeronautical Engineering and spent 20 years at Boeing as a lead engineer, where he has multiple patents there in several technologies.
He also spent 16 years as an independent scientist developing ground breaking technologies. He has raised over $10 million for R&D as an independent scientist and is attached to over 100 patents in the U.S., Canada, Europe, and Australia.
Mr. Minhas commented “This is a very significant agreement for the Company. We are looking forward to working with Mr. Bliesner and his team. The LED growing lights will be a great complement to our new towers. In addition, the development of the Cannabis Lights will be a game changer. Currently, the cannabis market is dominated by high-pressure sodium lights, which emit a significant amount of heat and use a significant amount of electricity. The LED Cannabis Lights will significantly reduce the electricity usage, lower the heat emissions within a grow facility and last considerably longer than the high-pressure sodium lights. We’re very excited to get these lights manufactured and tested in the coming months.”
Agreement with the University of Fraser Valley (“UFV”)
The Company is pleased to announce that we have entered into a two-year agreement with the UFV to complete strawberry grow trials in the newly designed soil-based, vertical growing tower with the use of the LED lights from Fundamental Lighting.
The Company will install a total eight towers at the two Surrey Biopod greenhouses, replacing the two larger, first generation, towers from several years ago. The Surrey Biopod facility is a partnership between the University of the Fraser Valley, the John Volken Academy (“Volken Academy”), and the City of Surrey. The Volken Academy provides life and job skills to addicted youth, and the Biopods offer Volken students the opportunity to learn growing and research skills in an urban greenhouse environment.
The grow trial will consist of four towers in each Biopod greenhouse with half of the towers being used to grow strawberries using conventional substrate and the other half growing in organic substrate. In addition, the Company will install white LED lights in one greenhouse and coloured growing LED lights in the second greenhouse.
The project will be overseen and managed by Dr. Laila Benkrima. Dr. Benkrima is currently a Horticulture Instructor with the UFV and runs the Surrey Biopod program. Dr. Laila Benkrima holds a Ph.D. in Plant Biology and MSc in Plant Physiology from the University of Paris (France). She has over 25 years of experience in research and development within the horticulture and plant biotechnology industries. She has been responsible for the planning, development and creative problem solving of various projects from plant micropropagation and functional/medicinal crop cultivation to hydroponics and laboratory design.
Mr. Minhas commented “We’re very please to be working with the University of Fraser Valley and Dr. Benkrima. This agreement gives us access to fully operational greenhouses and the ability to test our newly designed soil tower with the LED white lights and coloured growing lights. The data received from these grow trials will greatly enhance our ability to market and sell these towers.
This is also a great opportunity for the students at the Volken Academy and at-risk youth to gain hands on experience with vertical farming technology. We are certainly thrilled to be able to participate in the Surrey Biopod project for the next two years and we are pleased to say, we will be donating all eight towers to the Surrey Biopod project at the conclusion of the agreement.”
BC Tech Summit 2019
The Company is excited to announce that we have been invited to the BC Tech Summit, March 12-13, 2019, at the Vancouver Convention Center by the BC Ministry of Agriculture. The Company will use the BC Tech Summit to launch its new hydroponic growing tower and our hybrid hydroponic/aeroponic tower. In addition, we will also be showcasing the LED white lights and the coloured growing lights as part of our exhibit. The Company’s exhibit will be part of the BC Ministry of Agricultures showcase.
Mr. Minhas commented “We are thrilled to be attending the BC Tech Summit with the BC Ministry of Agriculture and very grateful to have been given this opportunity. It is a great honour to be invited to this event. This will be a great platform to launch our new towers and showcase Fundamental Lighting’s LED lights.”
President and CEO
About Affinor Growers
Affinor Growers is a publicly traded company on the Canadian Securities Exchange under the symbol ("AFI"). Affinor is focused on developing vertical farming technologies and using those technologies to grow fruits and vegetables in a sustainable manner.
Neither Canadian Securities Exchange nor its Regulation Services Provider (as that term is defined in the policies of the Canadian Securities Exchange) accepts responsibility for the adequacy or accuracy of this release.
This news release may contain assumptions, estimates, and other forward-looking statements regarding future events. Such forward-looking statements involve inherent risks and uncertainties and are subject to factors, many of which are beyond the Company's control that may cause actual results or performance to differ materially from those currently anticipated in such statements.
AFFINOR GROWERS INC.
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Nicholas Brusatore, CEO