Peak of the Market increases efficiency with $4 million equipment upgrade
Oct-24-2014 ... Province of Manitoba
A new, $4-million processing system at Peak of the Market will ensure Manitoba-grown vegetables are shipped to consumers efficiently and with even higher quality, Manitoba Healthy Living and Seniors minister Sharon Blady and Member of Parliament for Elmwood-Transcona Lawrence Toet, on behalf of Federal Agriculture minister Gerry Ritz, announced today at the facility’s ribbon-cutting ceremony.
"Manitoba’s vegetables are a healthy addition to households here at home and across the country," said Blady, who attended on behalf of Agriculture, Food and Rural Development minister Ron Kostyshyn. "This investment in advanced equipment and processing systems at Peak of the Market will help ensure our vegetable industry remains competitive, creating good jobs at the company and expanding markets for producers."
The project received $336,000 from Growing Forward 2 (GF2) – Growing Innovation. New state-of-the art equipment is expected to increase productivity by 30 per cent, reduce vegetable bruising and damage to ensure higher quality produce for consumers, and create a better environment for staff.
"Innovation is a driver for growth and prosperity across the entire value chain," said Toet. "Our government is proud to invest in technology that will help deliver top-quality vegetables to consumers, reach markets with more efficiency and increase the demand for nutritious food grown by our farmers."
An entire section of Peak of the Market’s processing facility in Winnipeg was renovated and now includes new equipment including:
- twelve-foot high robots with custom-designed robotic hands capable of filling retail bins;
- custom-made telescopic, retractable unloading system;
- customized automatic rope-wrapping pallet system;
- metal detectors for all packed products; and
- an automatic pallet placement system.
"Thanks to the Growing Forward 2 funding, our new potato and onion packaging equipment has several very innovative features that are firsts in the world," said Larry McIntosh, president and CEO of Peak of the Market. "With this strategic investment, Peak of the Market has one of the premier packing facilities in North America and that’s something all Manitobans can be proud of."
The majority of the new equipment was made in Canada, with some pieces sourced and customized from the Netherlands, Germany and the United States.
Peak of the Market is a grower-owned vegetable supplier that has operated in Manitoba for 72 years. It supplies over 120 varieties of vegetables, including potatoes, carrots, onions, beets and cabbage, to consumers. The company, along with its growers, employs more than 1,000 Manitobans and contributes more than $80 million to the provincial economy every year. For more information about Peak of the Market, visit www.peakmarket.com.
For more information about the Growing Innovation program or Manitoba’s vegetable industry, visit www.gov.mb.ca/agriculture.
The federal and provincial governments are investing $176 million in Manitoba under Growing Forward 2, a five-year, federal-provincial-territorial policy framework to advance the agriculture industry, helping producers and processors become more innovative and competitive in world markets.