( File photo )

The Ontario Produce Marketing Association, Toronto, has honored four people who have championed fresh fruits and vegetables for the industry.

They received the honors at the association’s 28th Annual Gala and Awards Ceremony Nov. 15.

The honorees, according to a news release, are:

  • OPMA Fresh Award: Quinton Woods, sales and operations manager Gwillimdale Farms, Bradford;
  • Cory Clack-Streef Produce Person of the Year: Steve Bamford, CEO of importer Fresh Advancements Inc., at the Ontario Food Terminal in Etobicoke;
  • OPMA Outstanding Achievement Award: Tom O’Neill, general manager of the Norfolk Fruit Growers Association; and
  • Lifetime Achievement Award: Linda Cavasin, Metro.

The OPMA Fresh Award recognizes young individuals who are determined to improve the quality, distribution or consumption of fruits and vegetables, according to the release. Woods was recognized for his dedication to helping Gwillimdale Farms to become a large-scale grower-shippers of root vegetables, according to the release.

The Cory Clack-Streef Award recognizes people “who work tirelessly to improve the consumption of fruits and vegetables through innovation and hard work,” according to the release. Bamford worked to maintain the current location of the Ontario Food Terminal, overseeing a comprehensive strategy to maintain the existing location, according to the release.

The OPMA Outstanding Achievement Award goes to someone who whose efforts to approve the quality and distribution of Ontario produce. Tom O’Neill has dedicated numerous hours to the industry, being involved in the Ontario Apple Marketing Commission, the Ontario Apple Growers and the Ontario Fruit and Vegetable Growers’ Association, among other affiliations.

The Lifetime Achievement Award recognizes years of dedication to improving the consumption of fresh fruits and vegetables. Cavasin was recognized for “pushing the envelope to promote produce at the forefront of grocery retail,” according to the release.

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