To meet the growing demand for direct store delivery, the wholesaler is increasing the size of its tractor trailer fleet from 40 to 55.
“If we get a call from a retailer, and we need to deliver same day to 60 different stores, we can do it easily,” Milette said.
Son steps up to president at Trudeau Farms
Gerard Trudeau, founder of St. Mathieu de Beloeil, Quebec-based Trudeau Farms, Les Fines Herbes de Chez Nous and Marvini Chez Nous, has appointed his son Vincent as the company’s new president.
“Vincent doesn’t simply sell products to customers,” Trudeau said.“He offers them customized promotional support.”
Trudeau said the transition would consolidate his achievements while allowing a young, motivated team to bring the company to a dynamic new level.
Along with growing herbs in Quebec and Asian vegetables in the Dominican Republic, he said Trudeau Farms plans to resume operations in Mexico to ensure a consistent, secure and more diverse supply, he said.
To keep up with food safety regulations, the company is now certified under the Global Food Safety Initiative.
It also has hired a chef to provide customers with exclusive recipes.
GNC Farms packs garlic flower stems
GNC Farms Inc., St. Lin des Laurentides, Quebec, is introducing a 3-ounce package of garlic scapes (flower stems) under the Henri & Co. label.
The twirly green stems from the garlic plant appear a month or two before the garlic bulb is mature. They’re usually removed and discarded, but can be sold and used raw or cooked for a delicate garlic taste.
“I’m not expecting a huge volume,” said Guillaume Henri, vice president sales and marketing, “but if we don’t have it on the shelf, we won’t be able to sell it.”
GNC is also continuing its small hard-neck garlic program, though Henri said the labor cost is extremely high and everything must be done by hand, from spreading the seed to harvesting the trimming the bulbs.
In February, GNC launched its new 1-pound parsnip bag in Loblaw and Wal-Mart, with a clear window and special material that gives the roots a longer shelf life.
Beets remain a big focus, both red and his 2-, 5- and 10-pound bag of colored beets.
“We had a good season last year and this year I expect Quebec will be flooded with beets,” said Henri, who imports U.S. beets to maintain a year-round program.
GNC is also planting its first savoy cabbage to complement its green and red program.