KINGSVILLE, Ontario — Several greenhouse operations in Southwestern Ontario have introduced new products in recent months.
Clifford Produce Sales Inc.
With two awards for their eco trays in the past year, officials at Clifford Produce Sales Inc. in Ruthven, Ontario, plan to build on their success by continuing to respond to customer demands.
Jennifer Selwood, sales coordinator, said in mid-January the company will focus on sustainable packaging and other sustainable business practices as it moves forward in 2012 with a reorganized staff.
She said the 16 grower shareholders of Clifford as well as the company’s customers all have a commitment to using recycled materials and decreasing packaging when possible.
The eco trays are lightweight yet strong enough to protect the fresh produce they hold.
They are covered with a breathable film to help lengthen shelf life and minimize shrink for retailers. The biodegradable trays earned a second place in new packaging at the United Fresh Produce Association show in May.
Clifford was the only produce company among about 400 members present to win recognition at the 2011 PAC Leadership Awards where the eco trays earned a bronze award for sustainable packaging. PAC is a Canadian packaging association recently rebranded to include service throughout North America.
Erie James Ltd.
As it looks to its 75th anniversary in 2015, Erie James Ltd. of Leamington, Ontario, is a third-generation company that is not resting on past successes, according to Stephanie Lariviere, regulatory manager.
In recent months the company introduced single-pack bell peppers, Lariviere said, and it is continuing to grow its market share in the area of mini cucumbers.
The company’s snack packs of mini cukes aimed at children — Sunsation brand Cool Cukes — are gaining fans, especially as healthy eating and anti-childhood obesity campaigns in the U.S. and Canada continue to pick up steam, Lariviere said.
Following the introduction of new company and brand logos at the Produce Marketing Association’s Fresh Summit in the fall of 2011, JemD Farms of Leamington, Ontario, plans a hard launch of its Artisan Series this spring.
The new look of the JemD Farms logo and its Red Sun and Golden Sun brands for its Canadian and Mexican greenhouse vegetables, respectively, was specifically designed to give the company and its products a fresher look, said Sabrina Pokomandy, marketing manager.
The Artisan Series was similarly developed and is described as an “ever-changing line of innovative and ground-breaking produce” by the company.