Oppy Organics and Foodservice Category Manager Chris Ford Discusses SEPC Southern Innovations 2018

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Tue. August 28th, 2018 - by Robert Schaulis

VANCOUVER, BC - SEPC’s second annual Southern Innovations Organics and Foodservice Expo is fast approaching—and our industry is abuzz with fresh foodservice and organic offerings to be featured at Nashville, Tennessee’s Gaylord Opryland Resort, September 6-8.

One company uniquely positioned to offer foodservice and organic offerings across a number of fruit and veggie categories is Oppy. From popular produce sales drivers like table grapes to perennial favorites like strawberries, I spoke to Oppy’s Organics and Foodservice Category Manager Chris Ford to learn more about what one of North America’s preeminent providers of produce is bringing to Music City.

Chris Ford, Organic Category Manager, Oppy“One of our primary areas of focus for foodservice is table grapes—a very strong category that we offer year-round. We are in California right now, and soon transition into Peru and then Chile—where we are one of the largest importers in North America,” Chris tells me. “We are also currently in-season with our Oceanside Pole tomato program, which is a field-grown round and Roma program in Southern California. Oceanside Pole grows a winter crop of Brussels sprouts as well. We will also showcase our Ocean Spray® Family Farmer-Owned brand strawberries and blueberries, which we grow year-round.”

Chris notes that the Ocean Spray® Family Farmer-Owned brand also features organic berries, pointing out that berries are among the fastest-growing categories in the organic sector.

The Ocean Spray® Family Farmer-Owned brand features both conventional and organic berries and is among the fastest-growing categories in the organic sector

“Alongside our popular berry line, we will feature our Zespri organic green and SunGold kiwifruit,” Chris comments. “Those are very much in season and at the peak of flavor. It is a great time to promote kiwifruit, as stonefruit crops are winding down and apples are just starting.”

Once North American apple crops hit full swing, Chris says, Oppy will be there to meet the burgeoning demand for its premium organic varieties.

Oppy will begin apple season with 2 lb pouch bags of organic JAZZ™, Envy™, and Pacific Rose™ apples

“We have our three premium branded apples—JAZZ™, Envy™, and Pacific Rose™—starting with fresh crops in October,” he comments. “We will feature those in 2 lb pouch bags and in count cartons in a range of sizes. We are putting a lot of energy into apples, with an exciting increase in supply this year and expand distribution for those premium brands.”

Additionally, Oppy will feature greenhouse-grown produce from Divemex—whose operations throughout Mexico are currently producing a variety of Fair Trade and organic certified hothouse items.

Organic Peppers grown in the OriginO greenhouses

“Our grower partner Divemex is just starting their colored bell pepper season and will produce peppers and long English cucumbers through next spring,” Chris notes, adding that, between Divemex and BC-based grower partner OriginO, Oppy is year-round in the organic hothouse space. “We have represented Divemex for quite a long time, and they continue to grow their organic volume under their premium brand.”

To learn more, check out booth #520 at the 2018 Southern Innovations Organics and Foodservice Expo at the Gaylord Opryland Resort, September 6-8, in Nashville, Tennessee.