For a video, see U.S. firms find tastes differ in Canada.
News Editor Chris Koger, Retail Editor Pamela Riemenschneider and Cynthia David, Special to The Packer, gathered the following news items from expo booths at the Canadian Produce Marketing Association's Convention and Expo April 18-19.
click image to zoomCynthia DavidHighline MushroomHIGHLINE MUSHROOMS: Leamington, Ontario-based Highline Mushrooms is packing its organic and exotic mushrooms in new paperboard trays, which offer more surface area for nutrition and how-to-use information, says corporate communications manager Hsian Kim. Highline has also launched recycled PET trays made from water bottles sourced in North America. The new plastic trays took two years to develop and are manufactured in Canada, says Kim, who cooked up mushroom tarts for CPMA visitors.
VAN-WHOLE PRODUCE: Leonard Jang, vice president and general manager of Vancouver, British Columbia–based Van-Whole Produce, flies in durian fruit from Vietnam in nonpermeable bags packed in sealed Styrofoam cases to give Southeast Asian immigrants a taste of home. Van-Whole, which has imported ethnic specialties into Canada for 29 years, also sells young coconuts ready to cut open and drink with a straw.
click image to zoomCynthia DavidVineland Growers CooperativeVINELAND GROWERS: Sarah Friesen, food safety coordinator for Vineland Growers Co-Operative Ltd., Vineland, Ontario, is promoting the arrival of the Sundown pear in 2014 from Niagara’s Harrow breeding program. More than 50,000 Sundown trees were planted in 2010. Vineland is also celebrating its first plantings of pluots, apriums and hardy new apricot varieties, which should be ready for harvesting in 2017. The cooperative is celebrating its 100th anniversary this year.
PONDEROSA MUSHROOMS: Joe Salvo, president of Port Coquitlam, British Columbia-based Ponderosa Mushrooms & Specialty Foods, offers retailers the first fiddleheads of 2013 from northern British Columbia, along with morels from Oregon and other dried wild mushrooms. Salvo called 2012 the worst wild mushroom season in his 20 years in business.