Quebec Produce business updates - The Packer

Quebec Produce business updates

06/27/2014 11:34:00 AM
Cynthia David

Canadawide starts another produce brand

Montreal-based wholesaler Canadawide has introduced a second brand for its packaged fruits and vegetables to complement its Frescadel program.

Retailers can choose to sell Gaiapur or Frescadel, said president George Pitsikoulis.

Top packaged items include snow peas, sugar snaps, brussels sprouts and tree fruits, Pitsikoulis said. The company has added net bags to its lineup of bags, clamshells and sealed trays.

Canadawide consolidated its three facilities under one roof last year.

 

Chenail updates for CanadaGAP certification

Montreal-based Chenail Fruits and Legumes is working toward CanadaGAP’s new Option D certification, designed for repacking and wholesale operations and approved by Quebec’s major supermarket chains.

The certification came into effect for wholesalers on April 1.

Vice president Antonio Bono said work continues to retrofit the company’s building, which began last year.

The addition of 30,000 square feet of warehouse space brings the total to 120,000 square feet on two floors, Bono said.

Racking and lighting systems are all new, he said, and a new generator will allow the company to function if the electricity goes out.

A new machine allows the company to ice its own products.

The biggest plus has been the new refrigeration system, Bono said. Different refrigeration units allow produce to be stored by category, and the improved shelf life on products has brought positive feedback from customers.

Chenail has also added two staff members, he said. Jamal Baalbaki is the new salesman for smaller, independent retailers and foodservice, and Francois Karl Viau has joined in the traffic department and is in charge of the certification process.

 

Courchesne Larose plans 2015 expansion

Montreal wholesale giant Courchesne Larose is working on blueprints to double the size of its two-year-old building to nearly 250,000 square feet.

“We hope to break ground before the winter and move in summer 2015,” said Guy Milette, vice president international sales and business development.

The expansion will allow Courchesne to bring sister companies Bercy (organic) and Bar Imex (international programs) under one roof, said Milette.

Courchesne also is upgrading its food safety certification, he said, and expects to be certified by the Arlington, Va.-based Safe Quality Food Institute by the end of the year.

The company has hired Tarik Cherif to manage the certification process.


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