Nov 24, 2020
Ontario Produce Marketing Association hands out awards virtually

The Ontario Produce Marketing Association has awarded five industry members during its virtual Award Ceremony.

The awards are presented each year to recognize efforts in the industry; the annual ceremony was a virtual event on Nov. 19.

The recipients, according to a news release, are:

  • Tom Heeman of the Berry Growers of Ontario: OPMA Fresh Award, for young industry members; for his prominent leadership role and innovative spirit. Heeman, a member of the 2019 Fruit Growers News/Vegetable Growers News 40 Under 40 class, also has served as president  of the North American Strawberry Growers Association.

    Tom Heeman
  • Peter Quiring, president and CEO of Nature Fresh Farms: the Cory Clack-Streef Produce Person of the Year Award, for working to ensure the safety of the company’s workers while pushing for more retail space for Ontario-grown produce;
  • Joe Sbrocchi, general manager of  the Ontario Greenhouse Vegetable Growers: the OPMA Outstanding Achievement Award, for his efforts to push provincial and federal governments on issues including labor and market access;
  •  Gord Love, vice president of business development for the North American Produce Buyers Ltd.: OPMA Lifetime Achievement Award; he was a founding director of the OPMA and instrumental to its growth and although he is retired from the board, he continues to volunteer;
  • Vince Pillitteri of Seaway Farms: the OPMA Lifetime Achievement Award, for his involvement in growing and improving the Ontario produce industry.

“These individuals are the definition of hard work and true dedication,” OPMA chairman Houman Madani said in the release. “They have helped shape the Ontario produce industry into what we know it as today. I would like to congratulate them on such an amazing achievement!”

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