Greenhouse Canada

Industry news

September 29, 2008  By Dave Harrison

Industry news

1942__dawn_grayGray to join Oppenheimer

Dawn Gray, who has served as general manager for pipfruit marketer ENZA, of Auckland, New Zealand, since early 2007, will join The Oppenheimer Group as senior vice-president of sales, marketing, and categories next spring. Her tenure with the international produce marketer begins officially on April 1, 2009.

Gray will take on many of the responsibilities of senior vice-president Bob Dunlop, who retires at the end of 2008 following 24 years in leadership positions with the organization.


“This long transition is a bit unconventional, but it actually makes a great deal of sense,” said John Anderson, Oppenheimer’s chairman, president and CEO. “It enables Dawn to continue in a leadership capacity at ENZA while a new general manager is found. She will spend time with us in Vancouver in the interim, so she can work closely with Bob before his retirement, creating a transition that is as seamless as possible for both organizations.”

When she arrives at Oppenheimer, Gray will continue to work closely with ENZA. Oppenheimer has been ENZA’s North American marketing partner since 1956.

“Gray brings a depth of relevant expertise into her role at Oppenheimer,” Anderson said. She has over 30 years of experience in the fresh fruit and vegetable business. Prior to joining ENZA, Gray served as executive vice-president of sales and marketing at BC Hot House Foods, Inc., from 2003 to 2007.

“Dawn has an outstanding reputation in our industry, and she’s known for her grasp of the complex landscape of our business from the grower, retailer, wholesaler and foodservice perspectives,” Anderson said.

1711_aaron_quonQuon to lead new category

The Oppenheimer Group has welcomed industry veteran Aaron Quon to its greenhouse category management team.

Quon was hired for newly created role of director of greenhouse and special programs. He comes to Oppenheimer with significant relevant experience, having spent over eight years with B.C. Hot House Foods Inc, most recently as director of business development. Quon has studied business administration at Simon Fraser University and holds a marketing management diploma from the British Columbia Institute of Technology.

Quon will direct the company’s strategy for special programs pertinent to its greenhouse offerings, including developing value-added packaging initiatives and introducing long-term contracts with programmed retail customers. Quon will report to James Milne, executive director of Oppenheimer’s greenhouse category.

Greenhouse vegetables continue to be an area of intense focus and growth for Oppenheimer. The company currently offers conventionally greenhouse-grown beefsteak, red, orange and yellow cluster, Roma, Amorosa, Rosso Bruno and strawberry tomatoes, Bell peppers, mini-cucumbers and long seedless cucumbers, as well as organic greenhouse beefsteak, cluster, and specialty tomatoes, cucumbers and peppers.

1728_harry_kroekerVeteran B.C. grower joins Seminis in West

Harry Kroeker has joined Seminis as technical sales manager for its western Canada and United States region, supporting the greenhouse market.

“Harry is known in the greenhouse industry for his pepper growing skills,” said Joep van de Burgt, Seminis Protected Culture sales manager for NAFTA. “He brings remarkable technical growing experience to Seminis, as well as his excellent customer relationship management. I am confident that he will be a tremendous resource for Seminis and its customers.”

Kroeker was most recently employed in R&D and customer service and relations at Bevo Farms in Langley, British Columbia. Prior to this, Kroeker was a grower with Katatheon Farms in Langley for 12 years, overseeing pepper and eggplant production. Kroeker gained greenhouse experience earlier in his career in a handful of lower mainland B.C. greenhouses.

He will be based in Langley,
and can be reached at 778-558-2062 or

Duponchelia fovealis control via Minor Use

The Pest Management Regulatory Agency (PMRA) recently announced the approval of a minor use label expansion for BIOPROTEC 3P Biological Insecticide for control of Duponchelia fovealis on greenhouse ornamentals, greenhouse herbs and greenhouse vegetables (tomatoes, peppers, cucumbers for fruit or transplant production) in Canada. BIOPROTEC 3P was already labelled in Canada for management of a wide range of Lepidopteran species on a wide range of crops.

This will provide both organic and conventional producers with a much-needed pest management tool to help address this new pest problem. Duponchelia fovealis has been the subject of several emergency use registrations in 2006 and 2008 in Ontario also.

The following is provided as a general outline only. Users should consult the complete label before using BIOPROTEC 3P biological insecticide.    

BIOPROTEC 3P can be applied as a foliar or drench spray at a rate of 0.8 kgs per 1,000 L water. Make application when egg hatch is essentially complete but before crop damage occurs. Apply the product so that it flows along the stem, coating it well, and into the top layer of the soil around the base of the plants. Thorough coverage of foliage and stems is essential. Bioprotec can be reapplied at seven-day intervals as required by monitoring. The preharvest interval is 0 days. 

BIOPROTEC 3P should be used in an integrated pest management program and in rotation with other management strategies. Follow all other precautions and directions for use on the BIOPROTEC 3P label.

This minor use label expansion was sponsored by the provincial minor use office of the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs (OMAFRA)

in response to minor use and emergency use priorities established by greenhouse ornamental, vegetable and herb producers, Flowers Canada Growers, extension personnel and researchers.

Furthermore, we also wish to thank the personnel of AEF Global Inc. for their support of this registration and the personnel of the Pest Management Regulatory Agency for evaluating and approving this important pest management tool.

For copies of the new minor use label contact Jim Chaput, OMAFRA Minor Use Coordinator, at 519-826-3539; Graeme Murphy, OMAFRA greenhouse floriculture IPM specialist at 905-562-4141 ext. 106; or visit .

Jiffy acquires Tref B.V.; one-stop media source

Jiffy International has acquired all the shares of Tref B.V., a transaction that includes all peat reserves and operations and subsidiaries of Tref in the Netherlands, Estonia, Sweden, Germany and France.

Tref B.V. is a major supplier of peat, substrates and potting soil products. Jiffy is a market leader in containerized growing media. The combination of the two companies will result in an expanded market presence and higher service level for customers worldwide. For customers, it means one-stop shopping and more convenient sourcing of high quality growing media in all forms.

It is also expected that the combined know-how and R&D abilities of the two companies will foster the development of new and exciting products.

FloraStar bows out in style at Ohio show

As a final thank-you to the floriculture industry, the remaining funds from FloraStar ($36,318.50) were donated to the American Floral Endowment (AFE) during this year’s OFA Short Course in Columbus, Ohio. FloraStar was dissolved after 19 successful years when it was determined the unique value of the FloraStar award program had diminished due to the rapidly changing market.

According to Sten Crissey, AFE vice-president of development and industry relations, AFE has the most comprehensive programs in research and scholarships of any organization in the floral industry. Established in 1961, AFE has combined assets of nearly $14 million. Funds are invested and proceeds from the investments are used to fund research and provide scholarships for the benefit of the industry.

Gary Hudson, former executive director of FloraStar, and Bob Humm, FloraStar’s last president, would like to thank all former board members, officers, longtime executive director Mike Novovesky, and participating breeders and trialling locations that participated in the FloraStar program for so many years. “We are certain the FloraStar donation will be used by AFE to continue to bring new and improved genetics to market in the years to follow.”

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