News And Media

Vegpro proud winners of the jury Coup de coeur Prize
Friday 29 January, 2021

Winners of the CTAQ 2020 Food Innovation Awards unveiled

Granby, November 18, 2020 – The Food Processing Council of Quebec (CTAQ) unveiled the winners of the CTAQ 2020 Food Innovation Award competition during the evening of the Marketing Event, the annual meeting of the Quebec food industry, bringing together 250 people virtually this year.

Despite a year filled with challenges, the food industry continues to show that it is full of innovations that deserve to be known, tested, and valued. The CTAQ Food Innovation Awards recognize the efforts of companies that have succeeded, over the past year, in developing and/or launching an innovative project that meets various criteria.

This competition is presented in partnership with the Ministère de l’Agriculture, des Pêcheries et de l’Alimentation du Québec, the National Bank of CanadaMouvement DesjardinsFasken, and Investissement Québec.

 

Here are the winners of the CTAQ 2020 Food Innovation Awards:

New or Improved Products Category

Distilled alcohols:

LOOP MISSION for its LIME AND GINGER LOOP GIN

Fermented alcoholic beverages:

LE BILBOQUET MICROBRASSERIE for its FÉLIX BOURBON (ICE BEER AGED IN A BOURBON CASK)

Chocolates, snacks, desserts, and sweets:

LAITERIE CHALIFOUX – MAISON RIVIERA for its VEGETAL OATS DELIGHT

Juices & drinks:

DISTILLERIE NOROI for its ALCOHOL-FREE READY TO DRINK

Prepared dishes, ready to serve or to assemble:

GOGO QUINOA for its MAC & VEGAN CHEESE

Bakery and pastry products:

LES SNORÔS for their VEGETABLE WAFFLES

Products of long conservation:

OLIMÉGA INC. for its ROASTED CAMELINE SEEDS

Fish and seafood products:

FUMOIR GRIZZLY INC. for its PULLED SMOKED SALMON

Specialty Products:

GUSTA FOODS INC. for its ORGANIC VEGAN PÂTÉ AND CRETONS

Technology and Productivity Category

CASCADES GROUPE PRODUITS SPÉCIALISÉS for its THERMOFORMED CARDBOARD BARKET MADE OF 100% RECYCLED AND 100% RECYCLABLE MATERIALS

Packaging Category

CASCADES GROUPE PRODUITS SPÉCIALISÉS for its THERMOFORMED CARDBOARD BARKET MADE OF 100% RECYCLED AND 100% RECYCLABLE MATERIALS

 

The Jury awarded a Coup de Coeur Prize to VEGPRO INTERNATIONAL INC. for its SALADES ATTITUDE FRAÎCHE NOW OFFERED IN 100% RECYCLED PLASTIC PACKAGING MADE BY CASCADES.

For the occasion of this contest, the National Bank presented the National Bank Entrepreneurship Award to THEOBROMA CHOCOLAT, a company that has achieved great professional success by promoting the entrepreneurial spirit and encouraging their employees to realize their ideas.

THEOBROMA CHOCOLAT also won the Investment Quebec Productivity Award, which rewards the company that has demonstrated a significant increase in productivity through the implementation of a new technology or innovative process to accelerate its growth.

For its part, the Desjardins Innovative Business Award was presented to GUSTA FOODS INC, a company that has particularly distinguished itself by the openness it has demonstrated and its ability to innovate in partnership with various external research centers.

Finally, Fasken presented the Fasken Eco-Responsible Award to LOOP MISSION, which was awarded the highest score for the “Sustainable Development” criterion by the jury.

CTAQ congratulates all the finalists and winners of the CTAQ 2020 Food Innovation Award competition and thanks the jury members and partners for their involvement.

 

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The Food Processing Council of Quebec (CTAQ) is a consolidation of the strengths of the food industry representing 14 associations. The CTAQ represents 80% of the annual business volume of a $32 billion industry. Its mission is to represent, promote and defend the interests of its members and enhance their competitiveness on the Quebec, Canadian, and foreign markets.

 

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Fresh Attitude Salads to be sold in 100% recycled plastic packaging
Friday 29 January, 2021

100% recycled plastic packaging produced by Cascades

Sherrington, Québec, July 6, 2020 – Vegpro, the largest fresh baby lettuces producer in Canada and Cascades (TSX: CAS), a leader in eco-friendly recovery, packaging and hygiene solutions have established a partnership aimed at replacing all Fresh Attitude salad containers, traditionally made from virgin plastic, with 100% recycled and recyclable plastic containers. Custom-designed for Vegpro by Cascades, these containers will be manufactured at the Cascades Inopak plant in Drummondville, Québec.

A life cycle analysis (LCA) of similar Cascades packaging demonstrated that, compared to virgin PET, using 100% recycled PET reduces GHG emissions and the consumption of non-renewable resources required to manufacture packaging. This scientific analysis was conducted by Groupe AGÉCO, an independent specialist.

The two companies have teamed up to offer consumers a container with a smaller environmental footprint that also helps to extend the shelf life of salads. The containers improve airflow and prolong conservation time by limiting the build up of excess humidity. This way, the baby lettuces remain fresh and crisp longer.

“Vegpro is proud to keep pace with its consumers’ marked interest in more environmentally friendly, high-performance containers. Since a semi-rigid package is necessary to protect our delicate baby lettuce, our challenge was to find a more ecological material than virgin plastic. We are proud to have met this challenge in collaboration with Cascades, thanks to the company’s expertise in eco-packaging design,” said Gerry Van Winden, Vegpro International’s founder and CEO.

“We are pleased to support Vegpro in achieving its sustainable development objectives. This new packaging will give tonnes of plastic a second life, integrating them into the circular economy. We would like to thank Vegpro for their trust,” said Luc Langevin, President and Chief Operating Officer of Cascades Specialty Products Group.

The production of this new packaging has begun, and the transition will take place gradually, until early 2021, when all Fresh Attitude containers will be made from 100% recycled plastic.

 

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Founded in 1964, Cascades offers sustainable, innovative and value-added solutions for packaging, hygiene and recovery needs. The company employs 11,000 women and men, who work in over 90 production units in North America and Europe. With its participatory management, half a century of experience in recycling, and continuous efforts in research and development as driving forces, Cascades continues to deliver the innovative products that customers have come to rely on, while contributing to the well-being of people, communities and the entire planet. Cascades’ shares trade on the Toronto Stock Exchange under the ticker symbol CAS.

 

For nearly 20 years, Vegpro International Inc. has been the leading producer of fresh vegetables in Canada. By means of its fields owned in Quebec, British-Columbia and Florida, Vegpro International offers high-quality fresh produce all year-round. While specializing in producing, washing and packaging field-grown baby lettuce and crucifers, it also markets a wide range of locally grown vegetables. Known for its Fresh Attitude brand, Vegpro products are distributed by the major grocery chains in Quebec, Ontario, Maritimes and eastern USA.

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Covid-19 – Vegpro’s proactive adjustments
Tuesday 05 May, 2020

The pandemic has changed our daily lives, at home and at work. At Vegpro International, we have taken this challenge head on. By adapting quickly to ensure the safety of our employees while maintaining our operations, we are able to continue to offer our Fresh Attitude products to Quebecers.

As an essential service, Vegpro International inc. has been proactive since the very beginning of the pandemic. We interact with several companies and organizations to ensure that we follow best risk control practices.

Here are the measures implemented to date:

  • Behavioral rules are well followed and reinforced on a daily basis by our leaders and a Covid-19 brigade.
  • Distancing is possible for all positions with a few exceptions where additional equipment is provided to secure workers.
  • The factory is completely sanitized every evening, the common areas are cleaned several times a day and the offices are disinfected daily.
  • Employee transportation has been doubled in order to respect health rules by reducing the number of passengers per bus.
  • All visitors (employees and others) are subject to temperature measurement and access control to the factory. In addition, everyone washes their hands thoroughly before entering the building.
  • Potential cases are strictly managed according to public health directives. To date, we have not had a positive diagnosis of covid-19 among our employees.
  • All employees receive the protective equipment necessary for their safety, in connection with the risk related to their task.
  • A daily newsletter is published to communicate all developments and all potential cases identified.

If you or someone close to you are looking for a stimulating job in a growing company, we invite you to consult our different job offers HERE.

For any questions or concerns, we invite you to consult our customer service HERE.

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An $11.2M research project to slow down the degradation of cultivated organic soils
Wednesday 24 April, 2019

The CLD des Jardins-de-Napierville is thrilled to announce a visit from representatives of Laval University, the Government of Canada and the Government of Quebec in the region to announce the creation of the $11.2 million NSERC Industrial Research Chair in Conservation and Restoration of Cultivated Organic Soils.

It is no accident that the produce growers of the Jardins-de-Napierville area decided to involve themselves in this research chair. As a matter of fact, local farmers are recognized for their exceptional mobilization when it comes to the development and the adoption of best agricultural practices. Farmer mobilization allowed the creation of regional initiatives such as La Mouche Rose from CONSORTIUM PRISME. This mobilization also led to the creation of the Centre of Excellence for Integrated Pest Management (PELI), overseen by the CLD des Jardins-de-Napierville, who’s role is to promote alternatives to the use of pesticides.

“The RCM is proud of the undertaking shown by its producers in this initiative. They demonstrate once more that our region is a leader in the field of agriculture” said Paul Viau, Warden of the Jardins-de-Napierville RCM and President of the CLD des Jardins-de-Napierville.

Michel Charbonneau, general manager of the CLD des Jardins-de-Napierville, states that “based on this longstanding agro-environmental engagement, it was natural to collaborate on other large-scale projects. This research chair led by Prof. Jean Caron represents a great opportunity to extend our network with the goal of helping farmers that rethink their practices with the future in mind.”

Improvements to current cultivation methods will emerge from this research chair. The PELI is determined to promote these new practices through its Agrobonsens information platform. Thus, the PELI will incite farmers to cultivate with their “gros bon sens”, which encompasses both pesticide reduction and soil preservation.

“Best agricultural practices that preserve the environment are at the heart of our online repository Agrobonsens.com. The PELI’s mission is to promote best practices, including those to be developed through this research chair” says Isabelle Matteau, coordinator of the Centre of Excellence for Integrated Pest Management (PELI).

About the Centre of Excellence for Integrated Pest Management (PELI): Overseen by the CLD des Jardins-de-Napierville, its mission is to promote and widely diffuse information on integrated pest management, a repertoire of best practices aiming to reduce the use of pesticides in agriculture.

The PELI is funded by the Government of Québec (MAPAQ), the Jardins-de-Napierville RCM and the Quebec Produce Growers Association.

Source:
Centre of Excellence for Integrated Pest Management – Pôle d’excellence en lutte intégrée (PELI) For more information:
Nicolas Chatel-Launay | Research Officer, Centre of Excellence for Integrated Pest Management n.chatel@cld-jardinsdenapierville.com | 450-245-7289

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CTAQ – Gerry Van Winden, Food Industry Personality 2019
Tuesday 09 April, 2019

It is in front of more than 400 guests at its annual Conference held from March 22nd to 24th, that the Québec Food Processing Council presented the prestigious award of the Food Industry Personality for 2019 to Mr. Gerry Van Winden, President and CEO of VegPro International Inc.

The adventure of Mr. Van Winden in the salad business began at an early age while he was working in the family business with his brothers and many cousins. It was in 1998 that he took over management of the family business and founded Vegpro International Inc. where he is President and CEO. Vegpro is, today, the largest producer of fresh vegetables in Canada. Specializing in cultivating and packaging tenderleaf lettuce, the company also markets a wide range of vegetables grown on its own farms and lands.

From the outset, the entrepreneur’s vision has been to supply his retail customers year round. He did not hesitate to invest heavily in Québec and Florida lands in order to produce on a large scale and provide its plants with different types of mixed lettuces with unsurpassed freshness. He also did not hesitate to build factories equipped with automated machinery able to wash, sort and pack on a very large scale, as well as provide complete traceability of its products by strongly reducing the risk of contamination.

Innovating, listening, questioning norms and standards of doing things are the guidelines that inspire the actions and decisions of Gerry Van Winden.

The Food Industry Personality Contest is intended to honor the great merit of a person who allows the Québec food industry to reach new heights. Applications are submitted to a jury that designates which of their peers, is deserving to receive this recognition.

The Council of Quebec (CTAQ) food processing is a consolidation of the strengths of the industry which represents 11 associations. Its mission is to ensure representation, promotion and defend the interests of its stakeholders and support them in achieving their full potential to ensure the sustainability of the food industry in Québec.

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Vegpro International not affected by the situation on romaine lettuce from Yuma, AZ
Monday 23 April, 2018

We wanted to confirm that, in light of the very recent information regarding an investigation surrounding an outbreak of E-coli 157 linked to romaine grown in the region of Yuma, Arizona, to our knowledge and after diligent checks, all romaine lettuce processed by Vegpro International and available in Fresh Attitude’s products has been and is currently coming from Florida.

The CDC, the US Centers for Disease Control,  is advising consumers not to eat chopped romaine lettuce that has been grown in Yuma. If a person is not sure where the lettuce is grown, CDC is advising that it be thrown away and not eaten.

FDA is currently investigating in the Yuma area. Investigators have not been able to pinpoint a specific location or ranch for the source of the contamination. Here is a link to the CDC website for details: https://www.cdc.gov/ecoli/2018/o157h7-04-18/index.html 

This outbreak is not linked to the previous romaine lettuce outbreak last December — the E. coli strains are different.

We would like to further re-assure our consumers that their safety remains our top priority. We will continue to put food safety at the forefront of our operation and keep on applying a rigorous food safety approach to ensure safe products from our facilities.

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Fresh Attitude brand, establishes its presence in the Okanagan Valley
Friday 08 December, 2017

Vegpro International, a Canadian leader in ready-to-eat packaged salads sold under the FRESH Attitude brand, establishes its presence in Coldstream, British Columbia to provide fresh, local and sustainable produce to Western Canada.

Coldstream, British Columbia, December 6, 2017 – Coldstream Ranch has agreed to sell Vegpro

International approximately 700 acres of premium agricultural land for the development of Vegpro’s packaged salad greens in Western Canada. The vertically integrated salad grower intends to begin operations in Coldstream starting in the spring/early summer of 2018. The transaction provides an opportunity to add value to the Coldstream agricultural land base while maintaining the integrity of one of the oldest continually operating ranches in Canada.

“Since I met Gerry Van Winden last summer, I have been impressed by his vision to create a Western platform in salad. His idea to bring organic production and develop a sustainable source of fresh produce in Coldstream will be very positive for the region while ensuring that our agricultural lands are used for what they are intended,” said Keith Balcaen, owner of the Coldstream Ranch.

Vegpro International is family owned and operated. Taking advantage of its vertical integration, Vegpro controls quality from field to fork. The company’s FRESH Attitude brand has a leading market presence with the most established Canadian retailers. With its favorable climate, quality soils and proximity to a quality labor pool, Coldstream represents the ideal location to implement the company’s Western Canadian operations and an opportunity to bring sizable organic vegetable production to the Okanagan Valley.

“We believe that Coldstream brings optimal conditions to establish Canada’s leading organic salad growing operation. Today, most of the organic produce originates from the West Coast of the US. Growing local organic produce for Canadians is one of the main goals we are pursuing in establishing a presence in Coldstream. Through our numerous visits in the region, we found a supportive community that shared our vision” said Gerry Van Winden, Founder and President of Vegpro.

“Today is an exciting day for Coldstream, particularly the Agriculture sector. The investment and commitment from Vegpro to establish their western operations in our community will bring significant economic benefits to Coldstream and Greater Vernon as well as enhance the agricultural productivity of lands within the ALR. I look forward to working with Vegpro as they move through the process of setting up their farming and administrative operations. “ said Mayor Jim Garlick, District of Coldstream

In addition to the farming operation, a 70,000 sq. ft. state of the art produce packing facility will create additional employment opportunity for local communities. Led by an experienced team, Vegpro will look to hire for several key positions in anticipation of commencing operations. Vegpro International intends to create approximately 200 new jobs over the next 3 years. The first wave of job postings will be available soon at http://vegpro.com/en/careers/

About Vegpro International

For nearly 20 years, Vegpro International has been the leading producer of fresh vegetables in Canada and is known for its FRESH Attitude brand. Specializing in the production and packaging of baby lettuces and crucifers, it also markets a wide range of vegetables grown on its own farmland. Thanks to their fields in Quebec and Florida, it provides top quality products throughout the year. Its mission is to be recognized as a leader in innovation of agricultural production and packaging of ready to eat vegetables, by bringing a combination of freshness and convenience to North America.

If you would like more information, please contact Mr. Jonathan Blais at Vegpro International Inc or

email at jblais@vegpro.com.

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Montreal’s Expo Manger Santé et Vivre Vert
Wednesday 09 March, 2016

For the first time this year, Fresh Attitude is a proud participant of the Montreal’s Expo Manger Santé et Vivre Vert, taking place March 11, 12 and 13. On this occasion, you will discover our new “Super Food” made with baby kale.

Held at Montréal’s Palais des Congrès, this unique exhibition allows all food lovers to discover the delights and natural products from Quebec’s producers and other regions.
With over 250 exhibitors in food, ecology and overall health, Expo Manger Santé et Vivre Vert also offers 80 lectures and cooking demonstrations for the curious mind.

On this occasion, our Chef and R & D Manager, Luc Van Winden, will do a cooking demonstration on the Kale trend in food on March, 11 at 10:45.

Come visit us at booth 738!

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National Order of Agricultural Merit 2015
Thursday 29 October, 2015

 Sherrington – October 16th, 2015: A great year of recognition for our farming partners.

It is with great pride that we highlight the achievement of two of our farming partners this year with them winning the National Order of Agricultural Merit award. The 1st place in the Silver medal category went to Hotte and Van Winden Farm. The 3rd place in the Gold category went to Delfland Inc. Congratulations to both producers for winning these awards, which are especially renowned in the Canadian agricultural sector.

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Fresh Attitude salads in the desert!
Thursday 26 March, 2015

Yep, you read that right. At this very moment, our salads bring a fresh breeze to one of the seven Canadian teams that are taking part in the Rallye Aïcha des Gazelles in the Moroccan desert. Driving their fabulous 4X4 decorated to Vegpro’s brand colors Fresh Attitude, our brand ambassadors, Emilie Heckmann and Julie Lorazo, will be going over sand dunes for the next 9 days in this extreme off-road rally. Bringing together 150 teams of women (the Gazelles) from the 4 corners of the world, tthe “Rallye Aïcha des Gazelles du Maroc” is in its 25th edition. As a proud partner, we wish them the best of luck in their adventure. Follow the crew 176- Fresh Attitude on their facebook page.

 

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