CALGARY, Alberta — Hundreds of companies exhibited new products and services and met with potential buyers during the Canadian Produce Marketing Association's annual convention.
The Packer’s Editor Greg Johnson, Retail Editor Pamela Riemenschneider and Canadian beat writer Cynthia David gathered these news items from the expo show floor during the convention, April 12-13.
A 4-pound square “celebration” vegetable tray is doing well in Canada after its debut in U.S. test markets last year, said regional sales manager Bob DeCosta of Guadalupe, Calif.-based Apio Inc.
The $15.99 tray contains mini peppers, cauliflower, celery, carrots, broccoli and grape tomatoes. Apio’s patented BreatheWay patch hides underneath to let in oxygen and remove carbon dioxide, giving the vegetables a longer shelf life, DeCosta said.
Asociacion Agricola Local
The Asociacion Agricola Local de Productores Uva de Mesa, Hermosillo, Mexico, offers support for more than grapes.
Juan Laborin, director, said growers approached the association for support for its other enterprises.
“We’ve got a young group of enthusiastic growers,” he said. “They want us to promote their product.”
That includes squash, watermelons, eggplant, cucumbers, bell peppers and hot peppers, he said.
The Sonora spring grape harvest could be a week early, Laborin said.
“We’re also testing a few new early varieties, the Prime and Early Sweet,” he said. “They should be ready around the first week of May.”
Baby purple artichokes from Lompoc, Calif., are now in season and growing in popularity, said Ande Manos, saleswoman for Santa Maria, Calif.-based Babé Farms, a specialty grower, packer and shipper of specialty vegetables.
The deep purple artichokes are popular in Mediterranean cuisine, Manos said, and the season runs from March to November. They’re completely edible and retain their color when cooked.
Baby beets are also popular, she said, appearing on more and more restaurant menus.
BC Hot House
Pink blusher cherry tomatoes with a 9.5 brix level were on display at the Langley, British Columbia-based BC Hot House booth. Production began at the end of March, said president Mike Reed, and more commercial volumes will be available this year.
Increased supplies of mini red, yellow and orange sweet peppers, packaged as Taste Buddies, should also be available this year using a new seed variety, Reed said. BC Hot House has increased acreage to meet the growing demand for its clamshell of assorted Tomato Gems, now in its third season.