Bamford Produce has purchased 200 acres of apple orchards in Ontario’s Georgian Bay area, and acquired a major stake in Bay Growers, one of the province’s five major apple packing plants.
The farm will be called Bamford Family Farms, said co-owner Anthony Pitoscia, who is also a partner in fresh cut processor Freshline Foods and import/wholesaler Fresh Advancements at the Ontario Food Terminal.
Dominion Citrus names sales manager
Ted Cira, who’s worked in produce for 30 years and joined Dominion Citrus Ltd. at the Ontario Food Terminal in 2010, is now general manager of sales and procurement.
Cira succeeds vice president Susan Bricks, who worked at Dominion for 21 years. She’s now the North American representative for Fresh Fruit
Cira said Dominion’s Country Fresh Packaging division, which packs everything from its own locally grown onions, carrots, beets and parsnips to Florida corn, has achieved the British Retail Consortium’s highest food safety rating.
Country Fresh plans to offer its packaging services to more chains and larger independents this year, he said.
Ippolito Fruit & Produceadds mushrooms
Ippolito Fruit & Produce Ltd., based at the Ontario food terminal, is dabbling in mushrooms for the first time, said operations manager Jim Gordon.
“Some of our customers asked us to get into it so they wouldn’t have to go to two or three places,” Gordon said.
While whites and buttons are always a draw, he said local restaurants prefer portabellas and shiitakes.
Koornneef Produce expands packing lines
Koornneef Produce Ltd. has added a complete packing line to its existing facility in Grimsby.
President Fred Koornneef plans to package peppers, tomatoes and cucumbers under the Koornneef brand and private-label brands.
“The new line will triple our capacity and offer retailers increased food safety, convenience and easy merchandising,” Koornneef said.
The line should be up and running by March 1, he said.
Koornneef also plans to bring in new specialty items from his Ontario greenhouse partners over the next few months.
This year’s Ontario greenhouse cucumber harvest began in mid-January, he said, and peppers should be available by mid-March.
Ontario greenhouse tomatoes should arrive at the family’s food terminal stall by the end of March, he said.
North American ditches pineapples
North American Produce Buyers Ltd. has dropped pineapple, a longtime staple, and replaced it with Washington apples.