September 29, 2008 By Greenhouse Canada
The North American Greenhouse/Hothouse Vegetable Growers (NAGHVG), an
association formed after three years of research and review to protect
and support superior standards of excellence in food safety and
quality, has developed its own certification standards.
New veg growers group is formed
The North American Greenhouse/Hothouse Vegetable Growers (NAGHVG), an association formed after three years of research and review to protect and support superior standards of excellence in food safety and quality, has developed its own certification standards. The NAGHVG was founded by five leading North American greenhouse growers: Winset Farms, Village Farms, Eurofresh Farms, Houweling’s Hot House, and Gipaanda Greenhouses.
“Certified Greenhouse” standards for the members include:
Every aspect of the growing process is monitored and controlled, from irrigation to climate control and growing medium.
Vegetables can be protected from pollution, wildlife and other potential contaminants, which creates conditions for the safest produce-growing method possible.
Eco-friendly Integrated Pest Manage-ment (IPM) is used.
Certified greenhouses can provide reliable supply throughout the year.
The “Certified Greenhouse” program will involve ongoing audits to ensure that certified producers continue to meet the rigorous standards set by the association. Certification will be granted exclusively to greenhouse operations that comply with the following NAGHVG definition of a greenhouse:
A fully enclosed, permanent aluminum or steel structure clad either in glass or impermeable plastic for the controlled environment growing of certified greenhouse/hothouse vegetables.
The facility must use computerized irrigation and climate control systems, including heating and ventilation capabilities.
Produce must be grown in a soilless medium that substitutes for soil.
It must use hydroponic methods.
It must practise Integrated Pest Management.
Any greenhouse grower/shipper in North America can join the association. A main focus of the group will be to educate retailers and consumers about greenhouse and hothouse products, and how they are grown.
Local foods focus on N.S. picnic
This year’s Select Nova Scotia marketing campaign included the first province-wide Incredible Picnic.
“This campaign is truly a public-private partnership designed to encourage residents to buy more Nova Scotian produced foods,” said Brooke Taylor, Minister of Agriculture. “It is supported by the provincial government, as well as hundreds of producers.” The Nova Scotia Greenhouse Vegetable Marketing Board is among participating organizations.
The summer advertising campaign encourages consumers to buy local, look for the Select Nova Scotia symbol on products. The Incredible Picnic was held on Aug. 24.
“By bringing the concept of eating what is available from local farmers, fishers and producers, the community picnic celebration reminds all of us of how important it is to purchase products produced here in the province,” said Jennifer Reynolds, planning and development officer for Select Nova Scotia with the Department of Agriculture.
Food safety program launched by CHC
The Canadian Horticultural Council (CHC) has launched its On-Farm Food Safety (OFFS) Certification Program.
Canadian-grown fresh fruit and vegetables have always been recognized for their high level of production safety and for their positive impact on the health of consumers.
So why the need for an on-farm food safety program?
Recent cases of foodborne illnesses, which are almost never connected to Canadian-grown fruits and vegetables, have increased consumer awareness of the potential for microbial contamination of fresh produce. In order to reassure buyers and maintain a high level of consumer confidence, the Canadian Horticultural Council (CHC) has taken a lead in developing food safety programs at the farm for fresh fruit and vegetables.
CHC’s role in food safety is to provide the tools to enable and facilitate the ability of members to respond and compete in the marketplace. The objective is to achieve a strategic phase-in of one program for horticulture in Canada that is owned by the Canadian Horticultural Council on behalf of its members.
The CHC became involved in this initiative under a mandate to deliver a voluntary, market-driven program for and to members based on their input and needs – a program technically sound and credible and founded on the best available science and created through a transparent process.
The program is intended to brin
g into focus the potential sources of microbiological, chemical and physical hazards for produce from field through shipping point. It contains basic information to support the produce industry as it develops, refines and implements measures to enhance the safety of the Canadian food supply.
Complete information for producers, storage intermediaries and packers interested in enrolling in the program is available on the CHC website at: www.hortcouncil.ca .
Fossil fuel reduction
There is considerable support within the Dutch floriculture sector for energy conservation measures and a reduction in consumption of fossil fuels.
Growers are also keen on reducing CO2 emissions by 30 per by 2020, compared with 1990 levels. This was one of the findings of a survey by the Productschap Tuinbouw (Product Board for Horticulture).
For more on this energy study, visit our Web Exclusives section at: www.greenhousecanada.com
Increased micronutrients with new SunTrace™ products
For growers looking to improve their levels of iron, magnesium and sulphur, Sun Gro Horticulture Distribution Inc. has expanded its professional fertilizer portfolio with two new micronutrient products. SunTrace™ and SunTrace™ Max are designed to boost micronutrient levels in the root zone. Each SunTrace granule contains magnesium, sulfur, copper, iron, manganese, molybdenum and zinc. These secondary and micronutrients are critical for plants to achieve their top performance. The SunTrace particle size is approximately 1 mm, while each SunTrace Max is 2.3 mm. Both products can also be used in conjunction with a traditional NPK fertilization program.
High flow rate with new injector
Dosatron, a leader in proportional, water-driven, non-electric chemical metering, has released its newest fertilizer injector. The Dosatron 14 GPM is true technological innovation, developed by a company with over 35 years of experience. It features:
• Higher flow rate – 14 GPM
versus 11 GPM.
• Simplified motor piston – only 17 parts versus 52.
• Chemical-resistant housing.
• Easy to read ratio selector – 1:50 to 1:500.
• Accurate fertilizer injection.
No tools are required, meaning easy, stress-free maintenance.
Call 800-523-8499 or visit www.dosatronusa.com for more information.
DecoStone Squat Pot is versatile
Uniquely textured with a stone-like appearance, ITML’s 13.51 DecoStone Squat Pot adds a classic touch to any setting and creates an upscale look for combo plantings, tropicals and foliage.
It boasts an extra wide base for stability and a dual drain bottom for optimum drainage. As well, the Squat Pot was designed to accommodate a greater soil volume for large plants. Featured are taupe, sandstone, seafoam green and clay colour options. This planter is perfect for any indoor or outdoor setting.
ITML manufactures a large selection of pot and tray systems, nursery containers, decorative containers, hanging pots, propagation trays, and related products for professional growers.
Call 1-800-736-4865 or visit www.itml.com for more information.
ITML expands Ultra Plug Tray series
ITML has added 128, 162 and 200 sizes to the TLC Ultra Series® Plug Tray line. With five other sizes, the TLC Ultra Series Plug Trays come in several different cell configurations. These new trays are the next generation of TLC plug trays featuring the latest in plug tray technology and design. They are engineered with precision perimeter trim, along with consistently punched drainage holes. Designed with surface vent holes for greater air circulation around foliage, the 128, 162 and 200 TLC Ultra Series Square Plug Trays are compatible with most automated seeders and transplanters.
Call 1-800-736-4865 or visit www.itml.com for more information.
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