In a move to further diversify the Bamford family of companies, Bamford Produce recently bought half of the outstanding shares of Bay Growers Inc.

Led by president Steve Bamford, the family of companies includes Fresh Advancements, an importer and wholesaler at the Ontario Food Terminal, and Freshline Foods, a processor of fruits and vegetables, according to the company website.

Bamford Produce is a foodservice distribution company based in Mississauga, Ontario.

“We had been looking for something for more than a year,” Bamford said. “We started talking to Bay Growers in the fall. It was the right time for both companies.

“The leadership at Bay Growers was one of the main reasons we decided we wanted to become involved.”

Bamford said it is too soon to know what kind of volume Bay Growers will provide to Bamford this year because of the devastating freeze in late April that took out much of the Ontario apple crop.

Bay Growers Inc., Clarksburg, Ontario, is an apple grower-packer in the Georgian Bay area of the province. General manager Jim Dolmer told the Ontario Fruit and Vegetable Growers’ Association that Bamford’s purchase of half of the Bay Growers outstanding shares is good news.

Dolmer said a late April freeze that took out much of the Ontario apple crop this spring made the sale of shares even more welcome news. He said Bay Growers planted new Honeycrisp, gala and Ambrosia trees this spring in its own efforts to diversify.