Bayshore Vegetable Shippers continues to enjoy steady growth, as it posts its third consecutive year with double digit numbers.
The company, based in Burlington, Ontario, is reaping the benefits of new packing equipment, new products and new seed varieties. Bayshore represents over 100 local growers and ships fresh produce to retailers and wholesalers in both Canada and the United States.
Last year, the busy company completed a rebranding, launched a new website and purchased new packing equipment. That new equipment has helped the company expand its value added line, including products like flow wrapped rhubarb and green onions, as well as shrink wrapped horse radish.
Bayshore also continues to expand its product line. “Over the last two seasons we have added 14 new SKUs to our line up, and there are new items listed for this year, including further expansion to our Asian vegetable line, packaged rhubarb, petite mini carrots, multi-colour cello carrots and cippolini onions,” said Valerie Fracchioni, company president and owner.
The company is focused on providing products with excellent flavor, color and texture, and to that end does a lot of work developing seed varieties for all its items.
Fracchioni is particularly proud of the success with color and flavor in the mini-carrot category. She also noted, “The lettuce category is constantly developing with new varieties in green, red and romaine.“
Bayshore utilizes field trials to figure out best seeding practices, product varieties, plantings and plant breakers. Partner Ernie Fracchioni explained how these trials helped develop the company’s lettuce.
“We are constantly testing new varieties in different micro climates to improve the quality with the lettuce category,” he stated. “This includes items that grow better in rain and heat, as well as improve the consumer experience through different textures and flavor profiles.”
The firm will be expanding its greenhouse acreage, growing from 35 to 47 acres by spring 2014. According to Ernie Fracchioni, the growth is due to retailers pushing for value-added items.
He also noted mini cucumbers will go from two to six acres. The company has been doing trials with gourmet cocktail varieties, again due to retailer demand.
Bayshore is proud of working closely with local growers to provide local produce. All its growers are GFSI benchmarked with CanadaGAP, the Canadian food-safety program for fresh fruit and vegetable suppliers.
The company’s distribution centre is also GFSI benchmarked and offers long and short term storage, transportation into the North East marketplace, quality control, liquid icing and custom packing and distribution.