Leaders are lauded

April 28, 2011
Written by Flowers Canada (Ontario)
Flowers Canada (Ontario) paid tribute to a pair of industry leaders at its ninth annual Pest Management Research Conference.

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Jim Pepetone, at left, with presenter John Valk (Photos Courtesy FCO)
 
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Cole Cacciavillani, at left, congratulated by John Newland.
 
Lifetime Achievement: Jim Pepetone received the “Lifetime Achievement Award.” Since purchasing his first greenhouse many years ago, Pepetone has designed and opened 16 greenhouses and garden centres. “Each of these facilities have one thing in common,” said award presenter John Valk. “They were unique and offered customers something they had never seen before.”

In 1990, Pepetone unveiled the concept of buying directly from the grower with the launching of TERRA Greenhouses. Customers were not only permitted but encouraged to shop inside the greenhouses. They could choose plants straight from production benches. “This novel retail environment blended the best attributes of the box store with the quality, selection, knowledge and service that could only be found among independents,” said Valk.

Today, the vision has grown to four stores, five acres of production, and 500 employees.

TERRA’s merchant teams travel throughout China, the U.S., and Germany, and will soon add India to the list.

TERRA has long been at the forefront of garden product merchandising and marketing, and even has its own TV (CHCH) and radio (CHML) shows.

Giving back to the community is a big part of its business philosophy. Pepetone has served as chairman of the “Grow for the Cure” committee in which $230,000 has been raised in support of the Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation.

Outstanding Contribution to the Industry: Cole Cacciavillani was honoured for “Outstanding Contribution to the Industry.”

Cacciavillani has been involved with his family business since graduating as an industrial engineer in 1978. This family business has grown over the years from Cacciavillani & F.M. Farms to the CF Group of Companies. The CF Group of Companies comprises seven independent companies with sales of $10 million annually and employs more than 100 people.

CF Greenhouses features 10 acres of modern production facilities. It focuses on premium holiday flowering crops for export to the U.S. and to major supermarkets in Ontario and Quebec.

Cacciavillani has served on dozens of industry and community boards and committees, and was instrumental in the formation of The Ontario Greenhouse Alliance (TOGA) of flower and vege-table growers a few years ago.

Other industry boards he has served on include the Agricultural Research Institute of Ontario (ARIO), the Greenhouse Labour Committee, the greenhouse committee that worked with the TSSA (Technical Standards and Safety Authority) in designing a Boiler Safety Course, and the F&V Energby Co-op (now AgEnergy). He has also spoken at the Canadian Greenhouse Conference, in addition to other industry conferences.

Award presenter John Newland, of Newland’s Flowers, served wth Cacciavillani on TOGA for a number of years. “Cole made sure that nothing stood in the way of ensuring the greenhouse industry would be seen, and heard from, with our new venture as TOGA.” Included were twice-yearly displays at Queen’s Park to connect the industry with provincial politicians and government officials.

“Cole’s dedication to this industry and his community are well known,” said Newland.

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