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Ontario greenhouse grower markets 4.8 million dozen English cucumbers

In 1985, Great Lakes Greenhouses started growing greenhouse cucumbers on 2.3 acres in Leamington Ontario. Now, 32 years later, the family-owned company grows 90 acres of English seedless cucumbers, still on one property. “We are attempting to be as vertically integrated as possible and have control from seed to consumer,” says David Revington VP of Business Development with Great Lakes Greenhouses. “We plant our own seed in a four-acre propagation greenhouse under lights,” he added.

4.8 million dozens per year
On 90 acres, the rotation of several 10-15 acre ranges always keeps the greenhouse under steady production. A crop is generally harvested for eight weeks. The range is cleaned out and disinfected and the young plants are set. ”Our growers try to balance planting and production cycles, but we can get into situations throughout the year where we may be harvesting the entire farm in the same week or so,” he mentioned. This is unavoidable and happens a few times per year. When the entire farm is in production, packing can be on a 2 shift per day basis and the packout can peak out at over 200K dozens per week. On average, the company harvests 4.8 million dozen English seedless cucumbers per year and packs year-round. “As I understand we are the largest greenhouse cucumber grower-shipper in North America,” said Revington.

Organic segment
Great Lakes grows its cucumbers conventionally, but is expanding into the organic sector. “Our grower team has been working on developing an organic program for over a year now and we will be offering organically grown seedless by the end of the summer,” said Revington.” Organically grown veg has been in the dialogue for many years and the consumer has shown the industry that there exists a demand for food products deemed to contribute to a healthier diet and lifestyle.”

Sustainability is a key word at Great Lakes. ”With energy costs increasing and a more stable natural gas market we have shifted toward and invested in an in-house power generation program through the installment of several natural gas engines.”

As of last fall, Great Lakes is selling and marketing its own crop. “In the past, our product was sold by one of the larger greenhouse marketing companies here. We are now packing and selling our entire production in house. In an effort to grow our business out and develop label identification in the marketplace, we have joined the PMA, CPMA, United Fresh, Dispute Resolution Corporation (DRC) and are Bluebook listed. In addition, we achieved our PRIMUS GFS certification in the greenhouse and pack shed.” As a result Great Lakes Greenhouses is working hard at being identified as the premier grower and shipper of greenhouse grown seedless cucumbers in North America.

For more information:
David Revington
VP of Business Development
Great Lakes Greenhouses
834 Mersea Rd. 4
Leamington, ON N8H 3V6
Office: 844 258-0584
Cell: 519-999-0685

Publication date: 3/24/2017
Author: Pieter Boekhout
Copyright: www.freshplaza.com


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