Five of the Ontario produce industry’s hardworking individuals were honoured November 19 at the Ontario Produce Marketing Association’s (OPMA) Virtual Awards Ceremony.
The Cory Clack-Streef Produce Person of the Year Award went to Peter Quiring, founder and president of Nature Fresh Farms for his relentless efforts to supply consumers with fresh, local produce. Peter and his team worked tirelessly to ensure the safety of their workers throughout the pandemic while pushing for more retail space for Ontario grown fruits and vegetables.
The OPMA Fresh Award was won by Tom Heeman, chair of the Berry Growers of Ontario for his prominent leadership role in the industry and innovative spirit.
The OPMA Outstanding Achievement Award was presented to Joe Sbrocchi general manager of the Ontario Greenhouse Vegetable Growers. He is recognized for his efforts to push the provincial and federal governments on tough issues such as COVID-related labour disruption and market access. Joe is a dedicated advocate for the fresh produce and greenhouse sector.
Lastly, the OPMA Lifetime Achievement Award was presented to two individuals. The first is Gord Love from North American Produce Buyers for his many years of service to the produce industry and to the OPMA. Gord was a founding director of the OPMA and instrumental to the growth of the association and to mentoring new board members. He has helped steer the organization in its current direction. Even though he has now retired from the board, he continues to volunteer his time to the OPMA.
The second recipient of the Lifetime Achievement Award is Vince Pillitteri from Seaway Farms. Vince has been active in the Niagara Tender Fruit Industry since 1970. A prominent member of several organizations, Vince has dedicated his life to growing and improving the Ontario produce industry.
Source: Ontario Produce Marketing Association November 20, 2020 news release