1. What is your innovation story?
James Rafferty, the founder of Earthis Ltd. and Rafferty Farms, started a lighting company in 2009 that specialized in importing and wholesaling commercial and industrial lighting. It gradually became more centered and focused on LED lighting technology over time and now into sustainable technology and agribusiness. In 2015 we changed the legal name to Earthis Ltd. as we became more focused on sustainable technologies and agribusiness. We began with a growing concept called aquaponics and since 2015 we have a fully functioning 1,200 sqft commercial greenhouse out in Okotoks, AB and distribute our products (microgreens and basil) through a western Canadian distributor named Galimax trading. Sales are growing and we hired our first employee recently.
2. Do you follow a sustainable development agenda (for people, planet and prosperity) in your company/business?
Not officially, but every decision we make is around those concepts and how we can think long term impact and commercial viability rather than short term gain at the expense of something important. Wherever we work we want to pay living wages, make sustainable/green business decisions where we can, source from reputable suppliers who have similar values.
3. If your enterprise could have a global application, what is your vision for transforming the planet?
The goal for Earthis Ltd. is to create a scalable vertical aquaponics greenhouse kit that could be sold and operated by locals to create stability in local economies and give food security to nations where they are food dependant. We are working on a partnership with two other organizations that may take us into Puerto Rico and other countries where food security is becoming or already is an issue, where governments are looking for sustainable food solutions that will allow their local economies to grow and thrive. Keeping the food production in a locality allows for money to stay within the country and not leave through global multinationals, which also creates food dependency. We want to see Earthis greenhouses all over the world and see local economies recovering and thriving knowing that they are in control of a fresh, healthy, local food supply, and that they are able to have “local production for local consumption”.