Funding for improved food safety

In the orchard with Phil Tregunno and worker.
 The Tregunno Farms packing house for peaches.  Photos by Glenn Lowson.

Vineland Growers’ Cooperative and 17 Niagara fruit growers will receive funding through the Canadian Agricultural Partnership to implement improved cleaning and sanitation procedures at their pack houses. “The objective of cleaning and sanitizing is to remove the nutrients that bacteria use to grow, and to eliminate the bacteria that are present,” explained Vineland Growers’ president Mike Ecker.


This will help to raise product quality and safety, increasingly expected by major Canadian retailers and international customers.  It will also boost the shelf life of tender fruits, enabling local growers to ship their produce greater distances and access new markets.


According to Ecker, cleaning is the most costly part of on-farm food safety, so for the co-operative to be able to access funding for the project helps make these improvements more accessible to its members.


The new food safety program includes enhanced sanitation, environmental monitoring, training of staff, and achieving group food safety certification.  An internal auditor will be trained to ensure growers are maintaining proper records, traceability and cleanliness practices.


Tregunno Fruit Farms, Niagara-on-the-Lake, is one of the first co-op members to implement new cleaning equipment and microbiology testers, in time for the 2018 harvest season. The co-op itself will be adding a state-of-the-art bioluminescence monitoring system to ensure that the growers’ new procedures are effective in avoiding product contamination.




If latest news: 
Check if it is latest news (for "Latest News" page)
Publish date: 
Thursday, September 20, 2018

Click to leave a comment

For security purposes, please confirm you are not a robot!


Automated agriplanter debuts on Ontario vegetable farms

Several Ontario vegetable farms are working together to trial new transplanting technology they hope will save time and labour.

First Fruit Logistica start-up day

Fruit Logistica hosts the first Start-up Day presenting 20 entrepreneurs in ten-minute intervals on February 8, 2019. One new technology is an indoor drone for insect control in greenhouses.

Strawberry fields forever

Day-neutral strawberries help meet market demands, but growers face new pest management obstacles.

Automating agriculture

Vineland Research and Innovation Centre researchers hope that federal funding will help them build a network to accelerate development and commercialization of labour-saving agricultural technologies.

Bringing European berry innovation back to Canada

The North American Strawberry Growers’ Association visited Europe in late 2018. Three major trends were evident:  driving excellence through specialization, driving efficiency through elevation and faster picking, driving savings through industry standardization.