MONTREAL — Gambles Ontario Produce Inc. was the 2011 recipient of The Produce News Fresh Health Award, presented April 14 during the Canadian Produce Marketing Association’s 86th annual convention, held here April 13-15.
Gambles, a Toronto-based produce distributor, was chosen as the recipient due to the work of Tom Kioussis, Gambles’ business and product development manager, and Kyla Staffen, marketing coordinator, who took the lead for the firm to become the first member of CPMA to adopt the association’s youth promotion.
With this, Gambles was the first to take the Freggie Friday school program outside of Ottawa.
The Freggie mascot and cartoon character represents the youth component of CPMA Fruits & Veggies — Mix it up! campaign for elementary school children ages 5 to 12. Freggie’s purpose is to teach the young pupils to consume four to six fruit and vegetable servings per day.
Several years ago, CPMA launched a pilot Freggie Friday in-school program with Ottawa’s Catholic school district. CPMA’s staff has now extended this Freggie program to 42 schools.
The pilot program was such a success that CPMA recommended that its members try the program in different cities. Gambles took the lead.
In its “Freggie” work, Gambles coordinated with Melanie Richer, CPMA’s senior manager of marketing and communications, and Lianne Wand, the association’s manager of marketing and communications.
Burnac Produce in Woodbridge, ON, recently became the second CPMA member to engage in the Freggie program.
In 1997, The Produce News worked with now-outgoing CPMA President Dan Dempster to create the annual Fresh Health Award, which is given to a company or organization that makes great efforts to promote fresh fruit and vegetable consumption in Canada.