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  • Good Honeycrisp year for Ontario apples in 2022-2023

    July 5, 2022 Ontario’s upcoming apple season looks to be an on-year for Honeycrisp apples. “People were trying to get the fruit thinned early and a lot of them have been hand thinning the Honeycrisp so that it’s going to have a good crop again next year,” says apple grower Cathy McKay, chair of the Ontario Apple Growers. Overall though, even though it’s still early, the crop is predicted to be an average one. “We had a big bloom and very few reports of frost so there was good pollination,” says McKay. “But it’s also been an interesting summer. There have not been heat waves but there have been short hot periods. Around the province, things are getting quite dry now. We just haven’t had the rainfall. And we’ve had cool nights so it’s hard to know where things are going.” Generally, Ontario begins picking apples in late August and is harvesting later varieties into early November, though if the crop is not a large one, then growers could wrap up at the end of October. No holdover crop All of this follows a season of good movement for Ontario apples. “The marketing season was good–there’s no holdover crop at all,” says McKay. This year’s marketing plans include the return of a commercial orchard tour for those in the industry on August 4 in the region of Newcastle in Ontario. As for pricing, it’s difficult to determine right now given demand is partly unknown. “Fruit, including apples, has been named as an item that’s gone up in price by a large percentage. Will consumers stop buying apples or reduce their purchases? We don’t know,” says McKay. At the same time, production costs including fertilizer, fuel and pesticides, have all gone up significantly. “A lot of our inputs cost more than if we bought them in the U.S.,” says McKay. “The advantage we have for Ontario growers is we have a very large market close by. So we’re not making those long deliveries with long trips from Washington, depending on the Canadian and U.S. dollars, which is another big factor. We hope we can recoup some of our increased expenses in the marketplace.” Looking ahead, McKay also notes that larger growers in Ontario continue to plant trees including trees for new and club varieties. “Probably the number of apple growers overall is steady with a slight decline. So the bigger farms are getting bigger,” she says, noting those new trees will see the full harvest in four to five years. “But they’re feeling good about the industry given they’re still investing.” Source: https://www.freshplaza.com/article/9441813/good-honeycrisp-year-for-ontario-apples-in-2022-2023/?utm_campaign=highlights&utm_medium=email&utm_source=08-07-2022

  • 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: https://thegrower.org/news/loblaw-build-automated-warehouse-greater-toronto-area

  • 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.

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    The OPMA’s 27th Annual Golf Tournament will take place on September 21, 2022. We will be returning...

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Industry Events

  • OPMA 2022 Golf Day

    at Lionhead Golf and Country Club

    The OPMA’s 27th Annual Golf Tournament will take place on September 21, 2022. We will be returning...

    Sep 21 @ 10:00 am - 9:00 pm
  • Annual Awards Ceremony

    at TBD

    The OPMA will host its Virtual Awards Ceremony to celebrate the vibrant produce industry and all of ...

    Nov 18 @ 7:00 pm - 9:00 pm

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