Specialty Vegetable Equipment plans to retrofit a building near highway 59 and Quaker Street, near Norwich, Ontario to showcase labour-saving machinery for vegetable growers.
The business will be located at 345723 Quaker Street, Norwich, Ontario. It’s an 11-acre property that includes a 100 ft by 50 ft shop, offices, display area and parts counter.
“We’ve outgrown the facilities at the home base of Streef Produce in Princeton,” explains Jack Streef, Streef Produce, co-owner of the enterprise. In conjunction with Albert Van Oosten, the business now sells a range of European-manufactured lines. They include: Agrifac sprayers, Ferrari transplanters, robotic weeders, potato washers, graders, harvesters, optical graders for asparagus and potatoes, packaging equipment, storage equipment and more.
When the business started three years ago, there was no inkling of the sudden rise in minimum wage rates in Ontario that reached $14 per hour in 2018. Many growers are looking to mechanize their operations to stay in business.
The news comes at the start of Canada’s Outdoor Farm Show, September 11-13 in Woodstock Ontario where the company will have a booth. One of the newest products on display will be a box loader that will handle onions, carrots and potatoes more gently.
“We’re hoping it will be useful for sweet potatoes too,” says Albert Van Oosten.