Greenhouse companies put the reputations of their tomatoes, peppers and cucumbers on the line at the sixth annual REACH International contest at the Leamington (Ontario) Fair.

Judges and fair goers sampled the 111 entries during the event, June 15-17.

Perfect Pepper winners:

  • Nature Fresh Farms: Best Overall Pepper, Best Red Bell Pepper, Best Orange Bell Pepper, Best Specialty Hot Pepper;
  • Mastronardi Produce: People’s Choice, Best Green Bell Pepper;
  • Howard Huy Greenhouses: Best Yellow Bell Pepper; and
  • Pure Hothouse Foods: Best Specialty Sweet Pepper.

Coolest Cucumber Competition winners:

  • Mucci International/Mucci Pac: Best Overall Cucumber, Best English Seedless Cucumber, Best Mini Seedless Cucumber; and
  • Mastronardi Produce: People’s Choice.

Hottest Tomato Competition winners:

  • Jem D Farms: Best Overall Tomato, Best Bite-Size Tomato;
  • Mucci International/Mucci Pac: People’s Choice;
  • Mastronardi Produce: Best Beefsteak Tomato, Best Cocktail Tomato;
  • Westmoreland Sales: Best Roma Tomato; and
  • Nature Fresh Farms; Best Cluster/TOV Tomato, Best Specialty Tomato.

Sixth annual competition names best greenhouse produceJim DiMenna, president of Jem D Farms, Kingsville, Ontario, said there are a lot of quality tomato producers in Canada.

“We are honored to have been awarded the prestigious title of ‘Best Overall Hot House Tomato,’ DiMenna said in a news release. “Our growers are truly passionate about growing and harvesting the best in taste and appearance.”

Pure Hot House Foods, Leamington, won the Speciality Pepper Award three times in a row.

“We would like to thank our great team of growers who work extremely hard to grow quality great-tasting vegetables and these types of awards confirm their consistent dedication and skill,” said Jamie Moracci, president of Pure Hot House Foods, in a news release.

Best producers received a crystal trophy.

Kingsville, Ontario based, Mastronardi Produce, winner of four awards, is pleased with the competition outcome.

“We are very proud that our gourmet tomatoes, peppers, and cucumbers captured these top awards,” said Paul Mastronardi, president, in a news release. “Our company was built on flavor and quality and these awards help further promote that.”

After the competition, the fresh produce went to the Leamington Salvation Army Foodbank.

Net proceeds from the event goes REACH (REscue African CHildren) projects in Uganda.