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  • Longo’s partners with Equifruit to become First Retailer in North America to offer Exclusively Fairtrade Bananas

        TORONTO, May 06, 2021 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE)  — Longo’s Brothers Fruit Market (“Longo’s”) has become the first grocery retailer in North America to commit to offering only Fairtrade bananas in their 36 stores and through delivery on Grocery Gateway. This is made possible through a partnership with the Canadian company, Equifruit. The landmark decision sets a new standard for sustainable produce supply chains in North America. The announcement is aligned with Fairtrade Month, which takes place each May in Canada. With this commitment, Longo’s is ensuring that the farmers and communities where its bananas are sourced are guaranteed a fair and sustainable income and that farmers get financial and technical support to lower their impact on the environment. For Longo’s, a full commitment to Fairtrade bananas comes as the latest in a long line of sustainability initiatives centred around environmental stewardship, responsible sourcing, and healthy communities, including waste diversion, use of renewable energy, and community donations. “We aim to be the most trusted and relied upon food partner, and that includes setting sustainability precedents,” said Mike Longo, Chief Merchandising Officer at Longo’s. “We’re proud to be the first North American retailer to initiate what is becoming a global purchasing standard for bananas.” Fairtrade aims to create more respectful trading partnerships between producers and consumers, and so Longo’s has chosen to partner on this project with Equifruit, the Canadian leader in Fairtrade banana imports and marketing, to connect with their Guests on both supply and support with in-store messaging. In meeting Fairtrade’s social sustainability standards, Equifruit and Longo’s reinvest US$1 per standard 40lb case sold back to the communities where the bananas were produced. These funds are used for projects like clean water facilities, schools and health clinics. “Fairtrade standards provide essential income stability to banana farmers working in an otherwise highly volatile market and empower them to invest in their communities,” said Jennie Coleman, President of Equifruit. “Fairtrade purchasing is the most pragmatic approach to ensuring these communities continue to develop and provide the world with its favourite staple fruit.” “Produce has always been the backbone of our business, and responsible sourcing is not only incredibly important to us but is at the core of our family values,” said Mimmo Franzone, Director of Produce and Floral at Longo’s. “We are proud to be taking these important steps with Equifruit to ensure we can continue to fuel happier and healthier lives around the globe for years to come.” Following a successful Longo’s pilot of Fairtrade-only bananas and the positive feedback from Guests, Longo’s was confident that making this exclusive offering was not only the right decision for its Guests, but for a sustainable future. To meet International Fairtrade Standards, banana producers must provide fair wages and safe working conditions for workers, forbid child labour, minimize the use of chemicals, and properly sustain the local environment. Learn more about the impacts of Fairtrade banana production on Equifruit’s website. Effective May 6th, all 36 locations of Longo’s and Grocery Gateway delivery will exclusively offer both conventional and organic Fairtrade bananas. About Longo’s Brothers Fruit Market Longo’s is a family-operated Canadian organization that started in 1956 when three brothers, Tommy, Joe and Gus opened their first fruit market. What began as a small family-run store has since grown to a company that operates 36 stores in communities across Toronto and the GTA, as well as Grocery Gateway, the leader in online sales of home-delivered groceries. Today, Longo’s maintains the same family-based values as they did 65 years ago, putting Family Standards at the heart of everything they do. Longo’s is proud to serve their Guests the quality standard of food they believe every family deserves, and to give back to the communities they operate in through the Longo’s Family Charitable Foundation. About Equifruit: Equifruit is a group of diehard believers in ethical fruit sourcing. Especially when it comes to bananas. We’re righting the wrongs of banana business history by making it fair from the start, especially for farmers. Established in 2006, Equifruit is Canada’s leading Fairtrade-certified banana importer. We’re a growing produce aisle sweetheart with current distribution in Quebec and Ontario. Stay tuned for our worldwide Fairtrade banana domination – starting with North America. Longo’s Media Contact: Kate Johnny Public Relations kate@bluedoor.agency Equifruit Media Contact: Kim Chackal Director of Sales & Marketing, Equifruit kim.chackal@equifruit.com 514.993.7736

  • Mike & Mike’s Organics – One of Canada’s Best Managed Companies over the past decade

    Vancouver, BC – May 5th, 2021 – Fresh Direct Produce Ltd. (“Fresh Direct”), and its partner companies Mike & Mike’s Organics, Islands West Manufacturers, and Emperor Specialty Foods are honoured to be one of Canada’s Best Managed Companies over the past decade. This prestigious national award is sponsored by CIBC, Deloitte Private, Canadian Business, Smith School of Business, and TMX Group. “Our Team is honoured to receive its tenth consecutive Best Managed Companies Award. We are celebrating our 18th anniversary with exceptional growth and business development across Western and Central Canada. Our teams persevered during this pandemic in continuing to provide nutritious and healthy produce to millions of Canadians daily and increased our support to our communities where we serve. We continue to provide financial and in-kind donations to the Food Banks and various local community groups to support the most vulnerable population.” says President and CEO Davis Yung. The Fresh Direct Produce Group is one of Canada’s premier fresh produce importers, wholesalers, and marketers with distribution centres in Victoria, Vancouver, Calgary and Toronto. Sourcing and importing over 1,500 ethnic, organic, and conventional fruit and vegetable items from 36 countries, Fresh Direct distributes quality produce to grocery retailers and foodservice distributors across Canada. The Group’s commitment to growth and development allows them to attract and align with the best growers, customers, and talents in the industry. For additional information about Fresh Direct Produce, please contact: jozef.hubburmin@freshdirectproduce.com. For more information about Canada’s Best Managed Companies Program, please visit: www.bestmanagedcompanies.ca

  • Member Spotlight – Cascades Fresh Packaging Solutions

    With your needs in mind, Cascades developed a complete range of products that are 100% recyclable and that are made from different types of recovered cardboard and plastics.From trays to baskets and boxes, you have access to innovative and sustainable packaging solutions with a number of sturdiness and barrier options to suit all your requirements.    New Cascades FreshTM packaging solutions will help you reach your environmental footprint objectives while preserving the freshness of your fruits and vegetables throughout the supply chain.  In addition, Cascades FreshTM products provide visual appeal that get the attention of consumers.When partnering with Cascades, you also benefit from the expertise of our Cascades Fresh packaging specialists who can guide you in choosing the appropriate packaging or help develop a customized solution.

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