Greenhouse Vegetables: Business updates - The Packer

Greenhouse Vegetables: Business updates

03/19/2010 01:40:35 PM
Abraham Mahshie

Backyard Farms runs smoothly with addition

Backyard Farms LLC, Madison, Maine, is “in full production with all acreage ready to go” said Tim Cunniff, executive vice president of sales and marketing of the company’s recent expansion.

An 18-acre addition was wrapped up last summer, and harvesting began in September. The company’s tomatoes are shipped primarily to the Northeast market with 35% sold in Maine.

Cunniff said regional clients appreciate the freshness of Backyard Farms tomatoes, which can stay on the plant until peak flavor before overnight shipping to most clients.

Clear Choice reports strong strawberry prices

Gary Wishnatzki, president and chief executive officer of Clear Choice Greenhouses LLC, Thonotosassa, Fla., said pricing has been up on strawberries compared to last year. However, the premium he gets is only possible because his greenhouse strawberries are organic.

Desert Glory plans to expand significantly

Desert Glory Ltd., San Antonio, is in expansion mode, ready to build and plant greenhouses in 100-120 days.

“When you are growing like this, capital isn’t something that you are scraping around for,” said Bryant Ambelang, vice president of sales and marketing. “It gives us the capital to go out and build more greenhouses.”

Ambelang said Desert Glory has made another land acquisition and is planning to “grow significantly” over the next 12 months in order to better meet the needs of customers.

“It is unacceptable to us that we cannot fulfill all of the demand of our customers,” he said.

HydroSerre makes packaging eco-friendly

Like many greenhouse growers, HydroSerre Mirabel Inc., Mirabel, Quebec, is looking for ways to be more eco-friendly and achieve cost savings.

“We are adapting our packaging to be even greener than we have been,” said Pierre Dolbec, sales director.

Dolbec said the company is nixing the red cardboard band from its lettuce in favor of a label. “[The label] would save very high quantities of cardboard that we can do without.”

HydroSerre also is working on having packaging like clamshells made from recycled goods as it becomes available.

Intergrow Greenhouses considers addition

Intergrow Greenhouses, Inc., Albion, N.Y., it planning to expand its growing area.

“We are looking for 18 acres, but not to add a new backhouse,” said Sarah Brown, sales and marketing manager.

Intergrow’s 30-acre greenhouse near Rochester, N.Y., last expanded by 15 acres in 2003, and is hoping to break ground again this fall or winter.

The company is in the final stages of constructing a sustainable greenhouse that uses no municipal water, conserves land mass, uses no artificial lighting and plans to add 50 or 60 jobs to the community.

Intergrow ships throughout the Northeast and into the Midwest. Intergrow grows tomatoes on the vine and plans to start growing red, cocktail, yellow, orange and plum tomatoes.


Mastronardi Produce rates among top 50

Mastronardi Produce Ltd., Kingsville, Ontario, was named one of Canada’s 50 Best Managed Companies for 2009 at a recent awards gala in Toronto.

“While being a family owned company that is employee-managed does have its challenges, we are all very passionate and strive to improve our company on a daily basis,” Paul Mastronardi, president, said in a news release.

The Canada’s 50 Best Managed Companies is a national awards program that began in 1993 and evaluates Canadian companies on the caliber of their management abilities and practices.

Mastronardi began building commercial greenhouses in North America in the 1940s and is recognized for its Sunset brand that includes Campari cocktail, Splendido grape, One Sweet cherry and Kumato brown tomatoes. The company also grows peppers and cucumbers.


Nature Fresh unveils logo, adds greenhouse

Nature Fresh Farms, Leamington, Ontario, has a redesigned logo to accompany a new phase for the company.

“It’s got an updated feel to it and its got a natural flow to it that is very easy for your eye to follow,” said Corey Robertson, marketing and public relations manager. “The color and the tones that we’ve picked and the overall image of it really truly reflects this new phase for Nature Fresh.”

The new phase includes adding 32 greenhouse acres, which was completed in January.

Robertson said the company is picking its first crop of tomatoes from the new facility.



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