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Veg Pro introduces three new individual-serving salads

Veg Pro International Inc., which is headquartered in Sherrington, QC, is now offering three new individual lunch salads.

Sylvain Racette, the firm’s vice president of sales and marketing, said Aug. 4 that the salads were launched in early June in Canada at retailers Walmart Supercenter and Sobeys and the convenience store Couche-Tard.

The lunch salads “are off to a really good start,” Mr. Racette said.

These salads are similar to family salad kits that Veg Pro already has on the market. In May 2010, Veg Pro won the Canadian Produce Marketing Association’s award for “best new product” with its “Fresh Attitude” label ready-to-eat salads.

Veg Pro International specializes in the year-round processing and packaging of “Fresh Attitude” baby lettuces and spinach packed at its facilities in either Sherrington or in Belle Glade, FL. This year, for the first time, the Belle Glade plant is operating 12 months a year. Whether Veg Pro is producing in Belle Glade in the winter or Quebec in the summer, the company now ships vegetables to the off-season plant to process lettuces for the regional market, Mr. Racette said.

According to the company’s web site, Veg Pro is Canada’s largest vegetable producer. The firm grows products like carrots and onions in addition to lettuces.

Mr. Racette said that Veg Pro, which produces all its own vegetables, is owned by Gerry Van Winden and his family. Quebec production generally runs from late May until the end of October. In Belle Glade, the production season runs from late November until the end of April.

The decision was made to run the Belle Glade plant 12 months a year “because demand is so high on the East Coast of the United States.”

Mr. Racette said that vegetable production in Quebec this spring was “a little rainy,” and then the weather became hot around July 1. “We lost some fields, but we expect better weather until year-end. This is not one of the worst, and it is not one of the best growing seasons. It is average because we started late.”