From June 13-14, R.E.A.C.H. International hosted the eighth annual greenhouse competition at the Leamington Fair in Leamington, Ontario. The competitions included the Hottest Tomato, the Perfect Pepper and the Coolest Cucumber categories.
At this year’s competition, sponsored in part by Red Sun Farms, a record 144 entries were submitted by greenhouse growers, marketers and suppliers.
Mastronardi Produce won Best Overall Tomato with its Zima specialty tomato, which also won the Best Specialty Tomato award. It also took home the Best Roma Tomato award. In the pepper competition, Mastronardi won the People’s Choice award for its red bell pepper and the Best Special Bell Pepper for the Chocolate Pepper. As for cucumbers, the company won the Best English Seedless award as well.
Mucci International took home the Best Specialty Long Pepper award in the Perfect Pepper competition. Mucci won three awards in the Hottest Tomato competition, including the Best Beefsteak Tomato award for its Terreno, the Best Cluster Tomato award and the Best Cocktail Tomato award.
On June 13, judges from the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture & Rural Affairs, Heinz, grocery store produce managers, chefs and others judged the entries based on a list of criteria. Throughout the two day competition, the public voted for its favorite tomato, pepper and cucumber in the People’s Choice category. For the first time, the competition included a Kids’ Choice award.
The net proceeds from the event will go to R.E.A.C.H.’s project to sponsor children in Uganda, Africa.
Winners in this year’s competition were:
Perfect Pepper Competition
- Best Overall Pepper: Nature Fresh Farms (orange bell);
- People’s Choice: Mastronardi Produce (red bell);
- Kids’ Choice: Pure Hothouse Foods (orange bell);
- Best Red Bell Pepper: Amco Produce;
- Best Yellow Bell Pepper: Red Sun Farms;
- Best Orange Bell Pepper: Nature Fresh Farms;
- Best Specialty Bell Pepper: Mastronardi Produce (Chocolate Pepper);
- Best Specialty Mini Pepper: Orangeline Farms (Zing! Orange);
- Best Specialty Long Pepper: Mucci International; and
- Best Specialty Hot Pepper: Orangeline Farms (Zing! Chili).
Hottest Tomato Competition
- Best Overall Tomato: Mastronardi Produce (Zima specialty);
- People’s Choice: Lakeside Produce (Solle bite-size orange);
- Kids’ Choice: Double Diamond Acres (Pink Mambo bite-size);
- Best Beefsteak Tomato: Mucci International (Terreno);
- Best Roma Tomato: Mastronardi Produce (Romano);
- Best Cluster Tomato: Mucci International;
- Best Cocktail Tomato: Mucci International;
- Best Bite-size Tomato: Del Fresco Produce (Orange Bite Size); and
- Best Specialty Tomato: Mastronardi Produce (Zima).
Coolest Cucumber Competition
- Best Overall Cucumber: Pure Hothouse Foods (mini cucumber);
- People’s Choice: Westmoreland (mini cucumber);
- Kids’ Choice: Westmoreland (mini cucumber);
- Best English Seedless: Mastronardi Produce; and
- Best Mini Seedless: Pure Hothouse Foods.