Ontario greenhouses expand staffs

02/02/2012 06:00:00 PM
Coral Beach

As the new health and food safety manager, Megh Bhandari brings a bachelor’s degree in food technology and a doctoral degree in food science to the Mucci greenhouse growing and packing operations.

Emily Murracas, Mucci Farms marketing coordinator, studied sociology at the University of Western Ontario.

Her experience includes management, leadership development, marketing and sales, with 10 years at South Essex Community Council.

Micheline Cornellier, human resources director, has a sociology degree from the University of Ottawa and has worked for the Canadian federal government in policy analysis, national learning consultation and finance and administration.

She was human resources manager for T.J. Enterprises, overseeing all recruitment, training, performance, and health and safety issues for the Tim Horton’s restaurant chain.

Nature Fresh bolsters staff for distribution

In 2011, Pete Quiring, founder and president of Nature Fresh Farms, decided it was time to go to complete vertical integration with his greenhouse vegetable growing operation in Leamington, Ontario.

That meant adding staff to take on the job of distributing Nature Fresh produce, which had previously been handled by outside firms.

Jay Colasanti, of the Nature Fresh sales and marketing department, said in January that the transition has given the company more control and better focus.

“Before we didn’t really know where all of our produce was going,” Colasanti said.

“This year we are more focused on branding and our entire product line.”

Nature Fresh now has more than 10 sales and distribution people and up to another 30 employees are planned to be added this year in the value-added and specialty product areas.

Ontario greenhouse association adds analyst

The Ontario Greenhouse Vegetable Growers Association had added a marketing and economic policy analyst position to help members improve their returns.

Glen Snoek joined the association in December.

In addition to helping growers enhance their revenue, Snoek also assists the association’s board of directors to develop policies regarding economic matters that affect the greenhouse vegetable growers in the province.

An Ontario native, Snoek worked at several growing operations in various capacities. He earned an undergraduate agricultural degree at the University of Guelph that focused on food safety and economics. He continued at Guelph, earning a graduate degree in agribusiness and economics where his thesis examined multiple government-funded value chain projects in Ontario.



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