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  • Loblaw to build automated warehouse in Greater Toronto Area

    June 6, 2022 Loblaw Companies Limited plans to build a 1.2 million square foot automated, multi-temperature distribution centre in the Greater Toronto Area of East Gwillimbury, Ontario. Completion is expected in the first quarter of 2024.   The facility is part of an industrial development project of 154 developable acres of industrial land in the area, with excellent access to major highways.   “This new facility reflects our continued drive to advance our supply chain to better serve our customers and meet their evolving needs,” says Robert Sawyer, COO, Loblaw. “This is also a strong demonstration of the benefits of our strategic relationship with Choice Properties.”   The development plan includes a multi-phase industrial park with the potential for approximately 1.8 million square feet of “new generation logistics space.”   Source:

  • Greenhouse Cucumbers – Hold the Single-Use Plastic

    June 7, 2022 With the help of Apeel Sciences, Westmoreland Topline Farms will begin shipping greenhouse grown cucumbers without the plastic covering to retailers in the U.S. and Canada starting in June 2022. Apeel and Westmoreland joined forces in 2021 and haven’t looked back, announcing that they are ready to launch commercial volumes of English cucumbers free from single-use plastics for the first time in 35 years. Using materials that exist in peels, seeds, and pulp of all fruit and vegetables, Apeel creates a protective seal that keeps moisture in and oxygen out.  This delays rot and maintains the cucumber’s color and firmness – eliminating the need for single-use plastics. Dino DiLaudo, Vice President of Sales and Marketing at Westmoreland-Topline, explains why this is so important. “With us shipping out our Apeel-Protected English Cucumbers to Canadian and American retailers in June, consumers will have a unique opportunity to bring home the refreshing flavour of English cucumbers without the need for single-use plastic, which would end up in a landfill, or even the oceans. Our retail partners are continually challenging us to develop more sustainable packaging for our fresh, greenhouse grown English cucumber, Apeel Sciences has the solution that will allow consumers to move away from single-use plastic covered English Cucumbers without loss of flavour, quality, or shelf life.” Working closely with Bandall Canada, Westmoreland developed a 100% recyclable paper replacement for the triple wrapped English cucumber value pack.  This will negate the need for a second plastic over-wrap and allow the retailer to preserve their value pack items. Apeel’s Vice President of New Products, Ravi Jolly weighed in on the buzz surrounding the new products. “We’re excited to bring Apeel-protected English cucumbers to more consumers through our partnership with Westmoreland-Topline.  With consumers looking for simple ways to shop more sustainably, removing single-use plastics in the produce department just makes sense.  Apeel’s unique plant-based protection keeps cucumbers just as fresh as plastic wrap, resulting in less food waste and less plastic pollution.” Source: Westmoreland Topline Farms press release.

  • Pure Flavor launches commercially grown greenhouse melon

    May 10, 2022 Pure Flavor has launched the fresh produce industry’s first commercial greenhouse-grown melons, which will be branded under the Solara name, said the Leamington, Ontario-based company in a press release. “After many years of research and development, we are excited to bring the first commercially available greenhouse-grown melons to market,” President Jamie Moracci, said in a release. While many varieties had been put through rigorous product testing since the development process began in 2014, the company has homed in on an exclusive variety that is scalable productionwise and checks all the boxes to meet product, brand, retail, foodservice and consumer expectations, according to Pure Flavor. Partnering with Cornell University during the product development process, Pure Flavor’s research and development team gained insights on both product and plant health to help maximize yield and flavor. “Our product trials told us a great deal; we knew that it had to be something special that we could scale commercially to meet the demand. After eight years, we have launched a unique product that our customers are excited about and will breathe new life into the category,” Moracci said. Pure Flavor describes the new Solara melons as “mildly cool, sweet and juicy.” The company added that Solara melons are “the first personal-sized, sustainably grown melons from greenhouses that use just the right amount of light, nutrition and water to deliver the same sweet, tastefully tropical flavor, regardless of the season.” “It’s paradise in the palm of your hand,” Matt Mastronardi, executive vice president, said in the release. “Roughly 500 grams in size, the sweetness and personal size of the Solara melon makes it a great partner with foods like prosciutto, shrimp, basil, mint, pistachios — we are even using the melon as a yogurt and granola snack. The product pairings are endless.” As a single-serve opportunity, Pure Flavor also sees reducing food waste as a key product trait of the Solara melon. Once the melon is sliced in half, it is easy to scoop out the small seed cavity for consumption, said the company. The new personal-sized melons are available in both single and multipack formats. Pure Flavor chose the name “Solara” (Latin for “of the sun”) because it connotes a tropical setting and a “Fresh Taste of Paradise,” which is the slogan Pure Flavor developed for it, said the company. “The consumer-centric brand strategy is simple — it’s the one sitting snack, meal, appetizer, post-workout rehydrator. It’s for me and only me. [It] fits in the palm of my hand … It’s the ‘me’ melon,” Chris Veillon, chief marketing officer, said. Like other products in the Pure Flavor snacking line, the Solara personal-sized melon product launch will be supported with digital content that includes a wide variety of recipes and a detailed “goes well with” feature, said Veillon. “The strategic investment in research and development is done to help grow the industry and help increase fresh produce consumption,” Moracci added. “We are working on more melon varieties and look forward to rolling them out shortly.” Source:

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