Vertical Growers Network Ltd (VGN) is a multifaceted management company providing the vital link that connects national and international retail food companies, food services, hospitality businesses and value-added food processors with produce locally grown by Trusted Freshness® Master and Grower Franchisees network, Canada’s newest commercial vertical farming enterprise.

VGN is totally focused on providing quality produce that will contribute to higher profitability for our customers.

Meet Our Team

Company Principals
Jim Schroeder - CEO Chief Marketing Officer - VGN Corporate Headshot

Jim Schroeder, CEO/CMO


Jim Schroeder is responsible for Corporate Development and Operations/Marketing. He oversees fresh produce production planning, sales and marketing, and distribution and network logistics.

Jim brings many years of business and corporate development, market research, domestic and export development, and purchasing and procurement, especially tailored for product placement in retail and food service markets to the business. He is well versed in the establishment of sales and marketing systems for new fresh produce grower facilities, fresh produce brokerage, and logistics planning for fresh produce distribution.

In the past five years, Jim was involved with designing vertical farming systems, and implementing germination and horticulture planning for vertical farm systems designed specifically for commercial grower applications.

Ian Archibald - Executive Chief Financial Officer - VGN Corporate Headshot

Ian Archibald, Executive CFO

Ian G. Archibald began his broadly experienced business career as a C.P.A. with a major international firm. He has been involved in a great variety of entrepreneurial, financial and management roles in a number of industries and countries.

He has been responsible for marketing, sales, financial feasibility studies, corporate strategic planning and re-organizations, project management, debt and equity financing, contract negotiation, and government liaison.

Ian is also involved with the financial management, strategic planning, financing and marketing for companies with internationally patented core wireless technology. Ian functions as the CFO and participates in most aspects of corporate development


Don Fletcher, General Manager

Trish Schroeder, Office Manager

Marketing & Sales

Stephanie Bell, Marketing & Communications Manager

Bennett Adams, Food Services Marketing Manager

Tara Cable, Accounts Manager

Ashlea Schumacher, Sales


Dr. Asif Malik, Senior Production Manager



Dr. Abdus Shakir, Production Manager



Chantel Starchuk, Assistant Production Manager



Ibrahim Elserafy, Food Safety Manager


Nan Raj, Food Scientist, Product Development

Dr. Robert IppolitoConsultant, Product Development


Brandy Schroeder, Consultant, Product Development