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Mastronardi Produce Ltd., based in Kingsville, ON, was named one of Canada's 50 best managed companies for 2009.

"We are absolutely thrilled with the announcement that we have been named one of Canada's 50 best managed companies," Paul Mastronardi, president of Mastronardi Produce, said in a Feb. 16 press release. "This prestigious award speaks volumes to the history of our company and the direction we are heading in for the future. While being a family-owned company that is employee managed does have its challenges, we are all very passionate and strive to improve our company on a daily basis. This award is a tremendous pat on the back to all our employees and an acknowledgment of the great foundations my father and his father built."

Established in 1993, Canada's 50 Best Managed Companies is a national awards program that recognizes Canadian companies that have implemented world-class business practices and created value in innovative ways. Applications are reviewed by an independent judging panel that evaluates how companies address various business challenges, including new technologies, globalization, brand management, leadership, leveraging and developing core competencies, designing information systems, and hiring the right talent to facilitate growth.

Mastronardi was recognized for its innovation, strategic direction, corporate culture and industry-leading initiatives, including The Green Grass Project, which highlights the elements in the company's business process that are environmentally friendly.