Technology

Hydroponics

Hydroponics: The cultivation of plants by placing the roots in liquid nutrient solutions rather than in soil; soiless growth of plants.

The word hydroponics comes from the greek words hydro (water) and ponos (work); which means “let the water do the job”.

In the hydroponic culture, plants feed from nutrients added in the water and not the soil. Enriching the water with vitamins and minerals needed for growth and health of the plants, fresh produce is obtained at constant and balanced nutritional content.

Besides nutrients, several other factors are also controlled for optimal results, such as temperature, light, humidity, etc. This technique requires strict safety procedures and sanitation.

Hydroponics greenhouse produce as practiced by Mirabel is possible throughout the year, avoiding the waste of water through reuse, eliminating the use of herbicides and fungicides and greatly reduces the use of pesticides. When all these conditions are combined, the lettuces are more tender, less fibrous than conventional agricultural methods.

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Culture Technique on mobile floats

The success of the company is based on the development of a unique system called hydroponics cultivation techniques on mobile floats.

This technology was developed by the leaders of Mirabel in the 1980s to find a way to grow leafy vegetables hydroponically and thus expand the range of hydroponic products offered and represented by tomatoes, cucumbers, or peppers.

It provides an output four times superior to any other method of traditional culture, requiring far less area for a similar production.

Biological Controls

The biological controls used by Mirabel are, in effect, all part of its integrated pest management scheme, focussing on pest scouting.

Greenhouse growing also offers the benefit of reducing insect presence. By making it easier to detect insects, it helps to prevent spread and to decrease, and even eliminate the need to use pesticides.

Food Safety

Food safety is a major concern of the produce industry in general, and Mirabel in particular. Many initiatives have been implemented over the past few years to ensure consumers have access to healthy fruit and vegetables.

Mirabel enforces strict on-farm food safety guidelines such as those developed by the Canadian Horticultural Council (CHC). Mirabel also complies with the requirements of both the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the US Department of Agriculture (USDA). Mirabel is also Canada GAP certified, SQF certified and is conform to the CFIA.

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Compliancy

All Mirabel production sites apply the same standards for food safety and compliance. Mirabel also ensures all regulations dealing with biosafety, bioterrorism, food safety and traceability are enforced, such as the Customs Trade Partnership Against Terrorism (C-TPAT) regulations and CHC On-Farm Food Safety standards.

C-TPAT

Mirabel ensures compliance with C-TPAT rules and regulations for safe international trade. Voluntary certification enables all members of the supply chain to cooperate with U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officials.

Participants must develop safe practices for each phase of their operations, thereby satisfying safety concerns relating to the introduction into the United States of arms, drugs or terrorists through merchandise imports.

This program aims to eradicate or, at the very least, control bioterrorism. In Canada, C?TPAT enhances the safety of products traded on Canadian soil as well as throughout the food chain for Canadian and US consumers.

Audits

To ensure greater compliancy, all Mirabel’s procedures are audited and validated annually by an independent auditor.

Tracability

To ensure the protection and safety of consumers, the agro-food industry and Mirabel have implemented traceability systems making it possible to trace all products from production site to market display counters. The package coding system makes it possible to reconstruct the product’s complete history, thereby increasing the tracing system’s efficiency.

Research & Development

Mirabel’s R&D Department is constantly striving to produce new varieties of lettuce, improve growing techniques and enhance both the quality and shelf life of products.

Our R&D team also endeavours to develop packaging meeting high environmental standards in keeping with our corporate values in terms of environmental stewardship.