Mastronardi Produce broke ground on a major expansion of its Kingsville, ON, distribution center last fall. Completion is expected by mid-spring 2013.
“This expansion of 72,000 square feet is needed to accommodate for the increase in demand for our greenhouse produce items,” said Chris Veillon, marketing manager for Mastronardi Produce Ltd., headquartered in Kingsville. “Mastronardi Produce will have an additional 100 acres in Ontario alone for 2013.
“The new addition also includes automation to improve packing and distribution efficiencies,” he said.
“Mastronardi Produce/SUNSET is one of North America’s leading grower-marketers of gourmet greenhouse produce,” said Mr. Veillon. “Marketed under our ‘SUNSET’ label, items like ‘Campari,’ ‘Angel Sweet,’ ‘Zima,’ ‘Kumato’ and ‘Sweet Twister’ are some of the specialty items that Mastronardi Produce grows and distributes year round.”
The company, Mr. Veillon added, has greenhouse locations throughout Canada, the United States, Mexico and Central America. Because of the geographic diversity of its facilities, the company is able to produce and distribute 12 months a year.
Mastronardi’s new Coldwater facility has been in full production since the spring of 2012 and was heading into its first winter of year-round production last fall. The Coldwater facility is the first of its kind, growing tomatoes in Michigan 12 months a year.
“The Coldwater facility allows us to ship locally grown produce to four neighboring states: Illinois, Ohio, Indiana and Pennsylvania, as well as Michigan, reducing overall food miles,” said Mr. Veillon. “Our Coldwater greenhouse is currently producing tomatoes throughout the winter months,” said Mr. Veillon. “This high-tech facility is the first of its kind in the Midwest.”
This, he noted, fits perfectly with the increasing demand for locally grown greenhouse produce.
The company maintains the highest possible levels of food-safety and traceability certifications. It is Safe Quality Food Level 3 certified, which Mr. Veillon said the company proudly maintains
Mastronardi Produce’s organic program is also year round. It services customers throughout North America with several organic tomato varieties, mini and English cucumbers, and red, orange and yellow Bell peppers.
The company, Mr. Veillon noted, “works with the top 25 retailers across North America. These include independent and small chain stores to large international operations. Mastronardi’s foodservice division, ‘Mastronardi Fresh,’ works with a variety of institutions and distributors. We distribute throughout North America, from coast to coast.”
Despite economic issues — bad, good or indifferent — Mr. Veillon said that the demand for Mastronardi’s specialty products continues to increase every year. Its “Sunset Angel Sweet” tomato is one of its fastest-growing items. In fact, the company plans to plant more for the upcoming summer because it cannot keep up with the demand.
Mastronardi Produce recently introduced a new logo and is preparing its launch of new signature photos that will be featured on its new packaging.
“We are very excited about these launches,” said Mr. Veillon. “They will be rolled out in late spring.”