For nearly 20 years, we, at Vegpro International Inc., have been the leading producer of fresh salad and vegetables in Canada. Specialized in the production, washing and packaging of field-grown mesclun lettuces, we also market a wide range of local vegetables grown on our own farmlands across North America. Our products are available throughout the year under the trusted brand FRESH ATTITUDE.
Our mission is to be recognized as a leader in innovation of agricultural production and packaging of ready to eat fresh salads and vegetables, by bringing a combination of freshness and convenience to North America all year-round.
Our vision is to offer consumers the freshest ready to eat healthy meals made with fresh lettuces, fruits and vegetables grown from trusted local sources.
At Fresh Attitude, we believe that everyone should have access to the benefits only nature can give us. Living with the upmost respect to the land and to our consumers, more than 1000 employees are devoted each day to grow and pack the freshest, healthiest, most innovative and best tasting ready to eat fresh salads.
We remain true to the collaboration and community values that embody our company and have made our reputation for the past 20 years.
Off the boat from Holland, Pierre and John Van Winden each buy their first land in Sherrington in southern Quebec, a few kilometers away from the United States’ border. Back then, muck soils were rarely exploited in the area because of their lack of drainage. The two brothers, familiar with these dark fertile soils in their native land, seize the opportunity to grow local vegetables. Later joined by another sibling, Arie, the cooperation begins and all three help each other out with farm work by taking turns. With other farmers in the region, they even establish an onion packing cooperative, and later the SAPEC, a carrot packing cooperative to facilitate the marketing of farm-fresh produce.
Gradually taking over from Pierre, John and Arie, their children take part in the company’s activities. As the arrival of larger grocery chains is forging a new dynamic in the food market, the Van Winden decide to specialize in fresh lettuces. To reach markets beyond the province such as the Maritimes, Ontario and the northern portion of the United States, they also acquire the first modern cooling systems in Quebec as well as all the necessary equipment to maintain the cold chain. Gerry Van Winden, Peter’s son, is convinced that the key to success lies in providing vegetables to customers throughout the year and therefore devotes more of his time to marketing.
The new free trade agreement between Canada, Mexico and the United States opens up a new opportunity. Quickly, Gerry Van Winden sets up several partnerships with producers in Mexico and the southern United States. He also partners up with Anthony Fantin and four local vegetable producers to create Vegpro International Inc., a family-owned company with big dreams. Nurturing the goal of becoming a leader in the production and marketing of fresh vegetables in Eastern Canada and the United States, they focus on continuous innovation and develop commercial relations beyond their borders.
To better fulfil the increasing demand of its clients, Vegpro International sets in place a corporative farm: Vert Nature. It is the first farm in Canada to specialize in the culture of baby lettuce leaves, commonly known as mesclun. Almost simultaneously, a first packing plant is built next to the fields in Sherrington to reduce to a minimum the time between harvest and packing. To supply the market in the winter months, farming and packaging operations also start in Belle-Glade Florida. Within two years, both packing plants in Quebec and Florida must double their size and capacity to meet the growing popularity of mesclun and baby spinach.
A fire completely destroys the Quebec plant in 2006 but far from being discouraged, the Vegpro International team pulls together and manages to replenish all its customers through various partnerships in less than 2 weeks. Gerry Van Winden and Anthony Fantin immediately undertake the construction of a new plant and in spring 2007 “Salade Etcetera!” opens in Sherrington. This new plant is equipped with packing lines at the cutting edge of technology, allowing the packing of mesclun in clamshells but also the production of fresh salad kits and ready to eat healthy meals in family and individual format, all marketed under the brand name FRESH ATTITUDE.
With a brand amongst the best of its category and a fast-growing share of fresh salad consumers, Vegpro International expands the Sherrington salad packing plant twice from 2012 to 2016, each time doubling the production surface to now also pack organic mesclun and baby spinach. Plus, they acquire CAMS located in the Sherrington village and renovate completely its carrots and onions packing plant, upgrading the equipment to the latest technology available. More production capacity inevitably means more valuable employees who each day, join the several brothers, cousins and children of Gerry Van Winden to fulfil a dream shared by more than three generations.
Pursuing the desire to provide fresh, local and sustainable salads throughout North America, Vegpro International will start mesclun and baby spinach farming and packing operations in Western Canada in Spring 2018. Presenting optimal conditions to establish Canada’s first and leading organic lettuce growing operation, the Coldstream (BC) location will also grow conventional produce in distinct fields. Replicating the vertically integrated structure that contributed to the Sherrington and Belle-Glade locations’ success, a 70 000 square feet state of the art produce packing facility next to the farm will create additional employment opportunity for local communities.
We are formally committed to make every effort to produce, maintain and preserve the FRESH ATTITUDE mesclun lettuces safe and healthy for consumption through strict quality control procedures that are certified by government and independent agencies. This approach engages and involves all the employees at Vegpro International, from senior management to the frontline employees without exception, throughout all production stages.
IN THE FIELDS
Irrigation water quality
Approved fertilizers and pesticides, used only if necessary and at the smallest dosage possible
Internal and external audits of our farms and the ones of our partners
Raw produce quality
AT THE PACKING PLANT
Washing water quality
Foreign material control
Full sanitation program with approved cleaning chemicals performed on an everyday basis
Internal and external audits of our facilities and of the ones of our suppliers
News & Media
According to ACIA / CFIA
Scientists and food safety authorities around the world are closely monitoring the spread of COVID-19.
There is no evidence to suggest that food is a likely source or route of transmission of the virus.
At this time, there have been no reported cases of food or food packaging being associated with the transmission of COVID-19.
All Canadians should continue to follow good hygiene practices during food handling and preparation, such as:
- washing hands
- regularly cleaning and disinfecting surfaces
- cooking meat thoroughly
- avoiding potential cross-contamination between cooked and uncooked foods
Consult Health Canada’s website for food safety tips.
According to FDA
Q : Are food products produced in the United States or other countries affected by COVID-19 a risk for the spread of COVID-19?
A: There is no evidence to suggest that food produced in the United States or imported from countries affected by COVID-19 can transmit COVID-19.
Q : Can I get the coronavirus from food, food packaging, or food containers and preparation area?
A: Currently there is no evidence of food, food containers, or food packaging being associated with transmission of COVID-19. Like other viruses, it is possible that the virus that causes COVID-19 can survive on surfaces or objects.
If you are concerned about contamination of food or food packaging, wash your hands after handling food packaging, after removing food from the packaging, before you prepare food for eating and before you eat. Consumers can follow CDC guidelines on frequent hand washing with soap and water for at least 20 seconds; and frequently clean and disinfect surfaces.
It is always important to follow the 4 key steps of food safety—clean, separate, cook, and chill.
Q : Is the U.S. food supply safe?
A: Currently there is no evidence of food or food packaging being associated with transmission of COVID-19.
Unlike foodborne gastrointestinal (GI) viruses like norovirus and hepatitis A that often make people ill through contaminated food, SARS-CoV-2, which causes COVID-19, is a virus that causes respiratory illness and not gastrointestinal illness, and foodborne exposure to this virus is not known to be a route of transmission.
It may be possible that a person can get COVID-19 by touching a surface or object that has the virus on it and then touching their own mouth, nose, or possibly their eyes, but this is not thought to be the main way the virus spreads. It’s always important to follow the 4 key steps of food safety—clean, separate, cook, and chill.
The pandemic has changed our daily lives, at home and at work. At Vegpro International, we have taken this challenge head on. By adapting quickly to ensure the safety of our employees while maintaining our operations, we are able to continue to offer our Atittude Fraîche products to Quebecers.
As an essential service, Vegpro International inc. has been proactive since the very beginning of the pandemic. We interact with several companies and organizations to ensure that we follow best risk control practices.
Here are the measures implemented to date:
- Behavioral rules are well followed and reinforced on a daily basis by our leaders and a Covid-19 brigade.
- Distancing is possible for all positions with a few exceptions where additional equipment is provided to secure workers.
- The factory is completely sanitized every evening, the common areas are cleaned several times a day and the offices are disinfected daily.
- Employee transportation has been doubled in order to respect health rules by reducing the number of passengers per bus.
- All visitors (employees and others) are subject to temperature measurement and access control to the factory. In addition, everyone washes their hands thoroughly before entering the building.
- Potential cases are strictly managed according to public health directives.
- All employees receive the protective equipment necessary for their safety, in connection with the risk related to their task.
- A daily newsletter is published to communicate all developments and all potential cases identified.
If you or someone close to you are looking for a stimulating job in a growing company, we invite you to consult our different job offers HERE.
For any questions or concerns, we invite you to consult our customer service HERE.
Vegpro International, a Canadian, family-owned company, is introducing – their most popular products to Western Canada. Fresh Attitude prewashed baby lettuces and salad kits have officially made their debut in the produce sections of Western Canada’s grocery stores, and can be found in major retailers such as Walmart, Sobey’s/Safeway and Save-on-Foods.
The lettuces and salad kits are grown in the Okanagan Valley in season, and packed locally year-round. The company purchased 700 acres of farming land in the North Okanagan and are leasing parcels of nearby organic certified land to bring fresh produce to stores in the area. A brand new, state-of-the-art 70,000 square foot product washing and packing facility was also built in Coldstream, B.C.
Not only will Fresh Attitude products provide healthy, safe produce options for shoppers, but the high quality working environment provided by the company is creating employment opportunities in the community.
The Van Wilden family, with three generations of farming experience, is the foundation of Vegpro International and understands the importance of growing and packing local as much as possible.
“We believe proximity to our fields and operations translates into tangible gains for our customers such as greater ability to adjust to their inventory needs,” said Luc Prévost, Executive Vice President, Sales and Marketing.
The decision to expand into Western Canada was made as the company saw an opportunity to build on its vertically integrated business model, which has proven successful in its facilities in Eastern Canada and the United States. Fresh Attitude already represents 68% of National Category growth, and plans to continue introducing new, innovative products to grocery store shelves in the future.
About Vegpro International
For nearly 20 years, Vegpro International has been the leading producer of fresh vegetables in Canada and is known for its Fresh Attitude brand. Specializing in the production, washing and packaging of field-grown baby lettuces and crucifers, it also markets a wide range of vegetables grown on its own farmlands across North America. Vegpro International’s mission is to be recognized as a leader in innovation of agricultural production and packaging of ready-to-eat salads and vegetables, by bringing a combination of freshness and convenience to communities seeking produce from local sources year-round.
For inquiries, please contact:
Vegpro International Inc. – BC
10029, Ricardo Rd
A warm and vitamin-rich side dish, ideal for helping consumers make wiser food choices.
Sherrington, Québec – September 26, 2018 – Awareness campaigns that encourage Canadians to incorporate more fruits and vegetables into their diet are abundant. To help consumers in a hurry to achieve this goal, Vegpro International, the vegetable producers behind the popular FRESH Attitude lettuce and mixes, is proud to introduce its brand new range of fresh and ready-to-cook vegetable stir-fries.
Prepared at its Sherrington facility in Canada, in part from field-grown vegetables, these products are available at the refrigerated counter in the fruit and vegetable section of the main grocery chains in Quebec and Ontario (Canada) such as IGA, Metro, Super C and Food Basics.
Freshness at every bite
Available as a family portion, these vegetable stir-fries are easy to cook in a wok or in a large pan for a quick nutritious meal. Made from eight pre-washed and crisp vegetables, these side dishes are enhanced with a tasty sauce. Available in four delicious flavors, they will please your entire family. Ginger and Citrus, Sweet and Sour, Korean Red Pepper and Thai Sweet Chili, each recipe has been carefully crafted by our chef to offer a gluten-free and vegan selection. Add a protein to get a high-quality meal solution based with fresh vegetables.
These practical sautés allow you to revisit simplicity with healthy eating habits.
To learn more about this new healthy product, visit https://freshattitudesalads.com/
About Vegpro International
For nearly 20 years, Vegpro International has been the leading producer of fresh vegetables in Canada and is known for its FRESH Attitude brand. Specializing in the production, washing and packaging of field-grown baby lettuces and crucifers, it also markets a wide range of vegetables grown on its own farmlands across North America. Its mission is to be recognized as a leader in innovation of agricultural production and packaging of ready to eat salads and vegetables, by bringing a combination of freshness and convenience to communities seeking produce from local sources all year-round.
For more information, for high-resolution photos or for a request to visit the facilities, please contact:
450 454-7712 #393