Sustainable supply


Web: www.eau-agriculture.com

Location: Montreal, Canada

Sector: Agriculture

A company designing and manufacturing aquaponic systems in food deserts.


Created in 2015 by Olivier and Émilie, ÉAU (Écosystèmes Alimentaires Urbains – Urbain Food Systems) is an urban agriculture company specialized in aquaponics, an innovative and ecological system of food production. ÉAU develops vertical farms that produce fruits, vegetables and fish year-round to create a healthy, sustainable and affordable food source for Canadian communities.

The team

  • more than 150 varieties of plants produced
  • for a 10,000-square-foot farm, productivity of
    • 30-50 tons/year of fruits and vegetables
    • 10 tons of fish
  • more than 30 aquaponics systems designed and developed
  • 9 employees
  •  a dozen communities already clients
  • Sustainable supply
  • Responsible consumption

project operation

1. Development of aquaponics farms (from creation to self-sustaining use by the community)

The communities that can benefit from these systems are:

  • associations and cooperatives, citizen organizations with a social vocation
  • social entrepreneurs located in the rural regions of Quebec (farm families, etc.)
  • communities of Aboriginal nations located in food deserts.


The farm belongs to the community, which chooses the marketing channels for its products (directly to community members or to high-end restaurants in the region, for example).

A technical team develops the production system by taking into account all the stakes of the project (economic profitability of the farm, environmental and societal issues) to meet the expectations and needs of the territory.

Once the project has been validated, the construction and assembly of the system can begin, leading to the start-up of the farm.
Some characteristics of the systems installed:

  • plant substrates: rockwool, coconut, clay beads
  • 10,000 m² of cultivable surface area
  • fish raised: rainbow trout, tilapia, arctic char

Example of an aquaponic farm

Training of farm managers and operators recruited by the community.

2. Animation of a network of aquaponics farms: the ÉAU Network

The network of aquaponics farms provides access to various services:

  • technical assistance and management system
  • maintenance for farm operators and managers
  • mutualized purchases of seeds, substrates, fish…
  • product marketing and merchandising: a series of tools to enhance and sell products


ÉAU designs the building and the aquaponic system with a public reception area (according to the wishes of the community). The farms are equipped with hundreds of sensors that record data, which is then pooled on devices to optimize farm management. ÉAU is working with the University of Montreal to develop tools and algorithms to optimize farm operations.

sustainable approach

  • 80 to 90% savings in water use compared to a conventional system in the region
  • no use of phytosanitary products
  • environmentally friendly organic production
  • almost complete water recirculation, with very little discharge
  • a productivity multiplied by 10 per m² per year thanks to the verticality of the system, the aquaponic system and the optimal conditions for the growth of the crops applied in the building (light, humidity, temperature…)
  • feeding Canadian communities and creating local employment

limits & future developments

  • no production of root vegetables (carrots, potatoes),
  • an energy consumption that can remain significant given the large number of LEDs installed on farms.

ÉAU would like to expand its activity and work on developing systems for communities in other countries, with the challenge of adapting their systems to other climates. ÉAU is also working on energy efficiency on its farms, and on the use of renewable energy.

Copyright CirculAgronomie 2020