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Quebec: Greenhouse growers change seasonal dynamic

Seasonality—for both conventionally grown and organic fruits and vegetables—is always an issue for suppliers in Canada.

The warmth of spring and coming summer months prompt a flurry of activity, with pretty much everyone along the perishables supply chain awaiting the arrival of locally grown produce.

Eddy Yakici, dispatcher for Mont-Cal Logistics, Inc. in LaSalle, confirms there’s a fair amount of seasonal ups and downs in the wholesale scene of Quebec, but what might surprise some is his favored time of year and why.

First, he said, “We do a lot of fruit and vegetable transport between the United States and Canada,” but second, he said, “Wintertime is much better for us because so much of the fruit and vegetables come from outside [of Canada] including California, Arizona, Mexico, and South America. Summertime is different because there is so much local produce available.”

One innovative solution to seasonality issues—for both conventional and organic fruits and vegetables—is the use of greenhouses that can generate more local supply all year regardless of the weather.

Although greenhouses can’t technically be certified organic in Canada, sustainability-conscious consumers know they require less inputs for production, do not deplete topsoil or cause agricultural runoff, and have little to no reliance on chemical fertilizers, herbicides, fungicides, and the like.

This is an excerpt from the most recent Produce Blueprints quarterly journal. Click here to read the full article.