Newsmakers July 2016

Donna Francis (L) and Dan Tukendorf, OFVGA
Paul Mastronardi

Congratulations to Paul Mastronardi, CEO of Mastronardi Produce who won Produce Person of the Year at the United Fresh show in Chicago.

Best wishes to Bob Forrest, manager, horticulture crops, for the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs, who is retiring after 38 years with the public service. He was a familiar face at horticultural meetings, the Ontario Fruit and Vegetable Convention and led a team of first-rate horticultural specialists in the province. Robert Blenkinsop becomes acting manager until a new person is recruited. He comes from the Food Inspection Branch’s Food Safety Science Unit.  

In the June 13 shuffling of the Ontario cabinet, Jeff Leal retained his minister’s portfolio of agriculture, food and rural affairs as did Glen Murray, minister of the environment and climate change. 

Summerland Varieties Corporation, a world leader in variety rights management, has hired Christine Gross as marketing and business development coordinator.  Based in Summerland, British Columbia, she will coordinate marketing and branding strategies for new tree fruits as well as existing apple and cherry varieties.

Amanda Allison joins the Ontario South Coast Wineries and Growers’ Association as administrator. She is currently communications coordinator for Blueberry Hill Estates Winery and in the past, has been assistant editor at Vines Magazines and web editor for Wine Access Magazine. 

At its recent annual general meeting, the Canadian Corrugated and Containerboard Association elected Michael Lafave, senior vice-president, containerboard, packaging and recycling, Kruger Products, as its new chair for one year. Joining him on the executive committee are: Bob Hagan, senior vice-president, Atlantic Packaging as first vice-chair; Jean Parent, vice-president, sales and marketing, Norampac, as second vice-chair; Gary Johnson, president, Maritime Paper as treasurer; Peter Moore, board chairman, Moore Packaging as immediate past chair. 

Canada’s leadership in international plant protection receives recognition with the election of Marie-Claude Forest, a leading expert on international phytosanitary standards at the Canadian Food Inspection Agency, to the Bureau of the Commission on Phytosanitary Measures (CPM). The CPM is the governing body of the International Plant Protection Convention. 

The University of Guelph has announced that a $1 million gift will create the Pinchin Family Chair in Bee Health and the Don Pinchin Scholarship in Honey Bee Research and Beneficial Insect Health. The gift is in memory of Don Pinchin, a scientist turned businessman, who died in July 2015. The chair in bee health will be held by environmental sciences professor Ernesto Guzman.

The Ontario Fruit and Vegetable Growers’ Association (OFVGA) welcomes Amanda Brodhagen to the position of communications specialist while Katie Burt is on maternity leave. She graduated with a University of Guelph Bachelor of Arts degree in political science in 2012. Since then, she has worked as an assistant editor for and been food safety communications coordinator for VG Meats. Most recently, she has been working on her family’s cattle farm.  

In other OFVGA news, Donna Francis, office manager and Dan Tukendorf, program manager, made their culinary debut at the annual Queen’s Park Farmers’ Market. To celebrate Ontario’s Local Food Week, they offered gazpacho soup shooters, chock full of greenhouse-grown vegetables, garlic and onion. Thanks to a special dessert delivery from Ontario’s Tender Fruit Growers, peach tarts finished the offering. 

Publish date: 
Wednesday, June 29, 2016

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QPMA honours George Pitsikoulis

The Quebec Produce Marketing Association names George Pitsikoulis as its 2019 Pillar of the Industry award winner. The honour was bestowed during its annual meeting  in Quebec City, August 8-10.

AALP Class 18 announced

The Advanced Agricultural Leadership Program kicks off its Class 18 on September 15. The OFVGA’s Chris Duyvelshoff, crop protection advisor, is one of the 21 emerging leaders accepted to the 19-month course.  

The president of Savoura found deceased

The founder of the Savoura greenhouse tomato brand, Stéphane Roy and his 15-year-old son Justin, were found deceased on July 25 after a helicopter crash in northern Quebec. 

Peter Vander Zaag receives award

Ontario potato breeder and grower, Dr. Peter Vander Zaag, has received an honorary lifetime membership from the Potato Association of America. He has shared his expertise around the world making the tuber a source of stable income in parts of China.

Passing of Harry McWatters

A legendary pioneer in the British Columbia wine industry has passed. Harry McWatters, 74, celebrated many milestones along the way.