Consumer Media

OPMA News Releases

  • New Retail Market Annual Report Shows Produce Sales Grew in 2021

    Toronto, ON – March 10, 2022 – The new Retail Market Annual Report produced by the Ontario Produce Marketing Association (OPMA) shows that melons, cut fruit, and specialty fruit such as kiwifruit, persimmon and pomegranate were key drivers of year-over-year sales growth in Ontario retail produce departments in 2021.   “We have seen produce sales increase due to a continued pandemic-related shift away from in-person dining venues that began in 2020. Produce suppliers and retailers continue to adapt and meet the changing needs of Ontario consumers,” said Stephen Reid, OPMA President.   According to the report, fruit outpaced vegetables in sales and tonnage growth, as well as inflation. The fruit market experienced a 2.3% growth year-over-year with stable tonnage at 0.2% – the largest tonnage gain being from stone fruit at 9%. Total inflation for fruit increased by 2.1%, with increases in most categories.   The vegetable market experienced negative growth in sales and tonnage. Total sales growth and tonnage declined by 0.3% and 1.4% respectively, while total inflation on the price per kg for vegetables increased by 1.4%, driven primarily by root vegetables, cooking greens, and field vegetables.   Organic produce outpaced conventional produce on sales growth with organic fruit sales increasing by 3.7% compared to conventional fruit at 2.2%. While organic vegetables sales increased by 4.7%, conventional vegetables declined by 0.6%.   The report identifies many opportunities for both suppliers and retailers. Suppliers can benefi­t from growth in emerging categories like specialty fruit and international vegetables as a means towards filling supply gaps. There are also opportunities for retailers to begin or expand organic choices for consumers in core categories such as berries, bananas, mushrooms and root vegetables.   Mike Mauti, Managing Partner of Execulytics Consulting, noted: “Extraordinary events continue to shape consumer demand in unpredictable ways. Only by closely researching the market could produce professionals across the supply chain have discovered the re-emergence of cut fruit as a growth category or that mushrooms are moving closer towards becoming an organic only category. The market research continues to identify key growth areas for produce suppliers and retailers as the province navigates through supply challenges.” This report is based on NielsenIQ MarketTrack data for fresh produce sold in Ontario grocery banner, mass merchandiser and drug channels for 52 weeks ending October 9th, 2021. Additional analysis was conducted by Execulytics Consulting. Access to the full report is available to OPMA members on the OPMA’s website.   -30-   About the Ontario Produce Marketing Association: The Ontario Produce Marketing Association is a member funded, not for profit organization whose mission is to connect people and information from field to plate.   For more information contact: Rochelle Roye Marketing and Communications Manager, OPMA rochelle@theopma.ca        

  • The Ontario Produce Marketing Association Announces New President

    Toronto, ON – February 22, 2022 – The Board of Directors announces Stephen Reid’s appointment as President of The Ontario Produce Marketing Association, effective February 28, 2022.   Stephen Reid joins the OPMA after a long career in progressively senior association executive roles as the Director of Marketing, Public Affairs and Member Services at the Ontario Medical Association, as the Executive Director at the Pharmacist’s Association of Newfoundland and Labrador and most recently, as Executive Director at the Police Association of Ontario. Stephen has led or worked within teams on several pieces of legislation/regulations such as the Police Services Act, presumptive coverage for first responders and expanded scopes of practice for pharmacists.   Stephen is also proud of his contribution as Senior Director for Merchant Marketing at Mastercard Canada that resulted in several key strategic partnerships with many high-profile brands such as WestJet, SportsChek, Fairmont Hotels, President’s Choice Financial and Canadian Tire.   Stephen is currently working towards completing a part-time PhD in communications and government relations. About Ontario Produce Marketing Association: The Ontario Produce Marketing Association is a member-funded, not-for-profit organization whose primary objective is to connect people and information from field to plate. -30-   For more information contact: Rochelle Roye Marketing and Communications Manager rochelle@theopma.ca

  • Produce Associations distribute over 1,200 boxes of fresh produce to Ontario Families

    Toronto, ON – December 20, 2021 – The Ontario Produce Marketing Association (OPMA) in partnership with the Toronto Wholesale Produce Association (TWPA) distributed over 1,200 boxes of 18kg of fresh produce to people in need across Ontario. The boxes were packed by 40 volunteers on Saturday, December 18, 2021, at the Ontario Food Terminal.   “The COVID-19 pandemic has caused greater food insecurity, so we are pleased to be able to continue the initiative this year. The hampers, which will be delivered to food banks across Ontario, contain enough fruit, nuts, and vegetables, for a family of two adults and two children for an entire week,” states Michelle Broom, OPMA President.   Utilizing a combination of rented equipment, donated services of a Northern Ontario grower, and a province-wide wholesale produce distributor, and a team of packing volunteers, the produce hampers will be delivered to 15 different organizations including a First Nations Community, which is located 1,150 kilometres north of Toronto.   According Jasmin Dooh of LAMP Community Health Centre, “We will be able to help to fight hunger this holiday season with the produce hampers from the Ontario Produce Marketing Association and the Toronto Wholesale Produce Association.  The local LAMP community will get fresh fruit and veggies to feed their families. We’re thankful for this generous gift.”   “This year, we were able to overcome one of the program’s biggest challenges, which has been collecting and storing over 1000 empty banana boxes to pack the produce hampers. We are happy to say that for the first time, we have boxes specifically designed for this purpose, thanks to the team at Cascades,” said Fred Koornneef, TWPA President.   Since 1990, more than 30,000 Ontario families have benefited from the OPMA/TWPA Christmas Foodshare.   About the Ontario Produce Marketing Association: The Ontario Produce Marketing Association is a member-funded, not for profit organization whose mission is to connect people and information from field to plate.   About the Toronto Wholesale Produce Association: The Toronto Wholesale Produce Association represents the warehouse tenants at the Ontario Food Terminal, Canada’s largest wholesale fruit, vegetable and flower market. -30- For more information contact: Rochelle Roye Marketing and Communications Manager, OPMA rochelle@theopma.ca    

Market Research

Ontario contributes over one third of Canada’s total fruit and vegetable production, contributing more than $4.2 billion and over 66,000 jobs to the economy. Approximately 43% of this value is field grown and 57% produced in greenhouse operations....Continue Reading

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Produce Made Simple 

Produce Made Simple is a highly-successful consumer facing platform. It features an extensive website filled with recipes and knowledge. The brand is active across multiple social media channels with the goal of encouraging millions of Canadians to enjoy fresh fruits and vegetables every day. In addition, under the Produce made Simple banner, the OPMA runs events to promote produce through an “ambassador partnership” featuring 10 inspirational social media influencers. In 2020 alone, the program garnered over 20 million impressions and had a total reach of 100,000 followers.

Produce Made Simple

OPMA in the Community

OPMA Christmas Foodshare

 
 

For the past 30 years, the OPMA, and it’s partners have worked together to procure, pack and deliver thousands of fresh fruit and vegetable boxes to families across the province.

Student Nutrition Ontario 
 

studentnutritionontario.ca

The OPMA’s partnership with SNO helps to nourish thousands of students from across the province by helping them gain access to fresh fruits and vegetables.

Toronto Foundation for Student Success

tfss.ca

The OPMA’s partnership with TFSS fosters healthy eating habits and cooking skills among school aged children by contributing to their knowledge of the produce industry and helping them procure fresh fruits and vegetables for their after-school programs including the Junior Chef program.

Freggie 

Meet Freggie, the produce mascot! Contact our team at info@theopma.ca to find out how you can rent a Freggie costume to complement your program’s food nutrition activities.