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Village Farms helps Publix Provide 700,000 Meals to Feeding America

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As Seen on AndNowYouKnow

As it’s been said time and time again, children are the future, and to provide them with nutritious, healthy foods as they grow up, Publix and Healthy Family Project’s Produce for Kids once again teamed up for the retailer’s bi-annual Publix Produce for Kids cause-marketing campaign. The campaign ended June 16 with 12 produce partners coming together to provide 700,000 meals to 32 Feeding America® member food banks in the Publix market area.

Dwaine Stevens, Director of Community Relations, PublixDwaine Stevens, Director of Community Relations, Publix“At Publix, we recognize the importance of helping families achieve their wellness goals through innovative campaigns and programs,” said Dwaine Stevens, Publix Director of Community Relations. “Giving back to our local communities is at the core of our company culture, and we are proud to collaborate with Healthy Family Project for the Produce for Kids campaign.”

To help inspire shoppers to enjoy fresh produce from the dozen produce partners that took part in the campaign, newly designed signage was positioned near their products in more than 1,200 Publix locations. According to a press release, the displays featured QR codes leading consumers to a downloadable eCookbook featuring recipes, details on each partner, and a new section that showcases the sustainable practices of each supplier.

Produce for Kids has been working with Publix and its produce suppliers for 19 years, and through its cause-marketing campaign has raised more than $3.4 million for local families in need. With more than 42 million people across the U.S. facing food insecurity, according to Feeding America, the campaign plays a vital role in overcoming the issue.

John Shuman, President and Chief Executive Officer, Shuman FarmsJohn Shuman, President and Chief Executive Officer, Shuman Farms“We are proud of the impact the Produce for Kids campaign has been able to make in Publix communities over the years,” said John Shuman, Founder of Healthy Family Project and President of Shuman Farms. “This collaboration has not only helped families facing hunger, but also those tasked with planning meals for their families each week. It is our mission to help them find new and innovative ways to incorporate fruits and vegetables into every meal.”

In addition to signage, this year, Healthy Family Project’s Amanda Keefer and two junior chefs hosted a Facebook Live cooking class, with viewership of more than 12,000. A targeted social media strategy was also put in play, with photographs and videos highlighting participating produce suppliers throughout May and June.

Joining Produce for Kids and 12 produce partners, Publix provided 700,000 meals to 32 Feeding America® member food banks in its seven-state footprintJoining Produce for Kids and 12 produce partners, Publix provided 700,000 meals to 32 Feeding America® member food banks in its seven-state footprint

Publix produce suppliers for 2021 included Acosta Sales & Marketing, Ayco Farms, Coast Tropical, Driscoll’s®, Fresh Express®, Litehouse®, Marie’s®, Mission Produce, RealSweet Onions®, SUNSET®, Village Farms, and Wonderful® Pistachios.

Since the partnership’s inception, the campaign has raised over $3.4 million to benefit local charities and has donated more than 5.7 million meals to Feeding America food banks within the seven-state Publix footprint since 2002.

Cheers to Produce for Kids and Publix for continuing to care for communities and in need through the power of fresh produce.

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Village Farms Supports Feeding America

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Village Farms is pleased to take part once again in the annual effort with Produce for Kids, and its valued retail partner Publix, in support of Feeding America.  Feeding America is the nation’s leading hunger-relief organization, that helps 1 in 7 Americans and provides 4.3 billion meals annually to those facing hunger or are food insecure.  The Healthy Family Project’s, Produce for Kids campaign will be providing 700,000 meals through 31 Feeding America Foodbanks within the Publix communities.  The campaign launched May 19, 2021 in Publix stores and online and will run over the next several weeks ending June 16.   Village Farms has been a proud sponsor of the Produce for Kids campaign for over a decade.

Village Farms signature tomato, Heavenly Villagio Marzano, a mini-San Marzano snacking tomato will be featured on Produce for Kids point of sale signage displayed in Publix stores as well as banners online announcing Village Farms as a sponsor.  Product signage will feature a recipe and QR code that shoppers can scan to download free E-Cookbook featuring Village Farms’ recipes for a Burrata & Tomato Hand Pies and a Skillet Chicken with Tomatoes and Green beans that both use the Heavenly Villagio Marzano tomato. The recipes will also be highlighted in social media posts to more than 300,000 followers.

New to the campaign this year on The Produce for Kids website is a showcase of the sustainability practices of each campaign sponsor. Village Farms is highlighting its Clean Energy initiative where landfill gas is used as energy for its greenhouses and creates clean air the citizens in the greater Vancouver, CA area. This powerful messaging creates a link for consumers to help them better understand how their personal food choices can impact not only giving back to the community but by supporting brands that protect or improve the overall environment and by doing so that they are doing good for our planet. 

Helen L. Aquino, Director Brand Marketing & Communication said, “We are happy to be able to support this great endeavor again this year with the Healthy Family Project during a real time of need in our country. Feeding America serves every community in the US, so their impact is tremendous. And Our Good for the Earth sustainability story is a wonderful platform for this message now, especially as more and more people are focused on plant-based diets and are looking to increase their intake of healthy fruits and vegetables”.

Click here for Press Release

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Village Farms Runs for the Cure

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Village Farms Raises over $10,000 and Wins Pepsi Corporate Spirit Award at Canadian Cancer Society CIBC Run for the Cure

Delta, BC – October 1, 2018 – The Village Farms family came together to raise awareness for the Run for the Cure while exceeding their goal by raising more than $10,000 last week for the Canadian Cancer Society. In addition, Village Farms took home the Pepsi Corporate Spirit Award as the top fundraising corporate team at the CIBC Run for the Cure event on September 28, 2018 in Surrey, BC.

The Canadian Cancer Society CIBC Run for the Cure is a 5k or 1k walk or run that raises funds for Canadian Cancer Society (CCS). It is the largest single-day, volunteer-led event in Canada in support of the breast cancer cause.  A team from Village Farms participated in the run lead by VP & Regional Facility Manager of Village Farms Delta, Dirk de Jong.

According to Lindsay Baldrey, Village Farms Foreign Worker Coordinator and team captain who spearheaded the fund raising efforts for the company, “It was really inspiring to see everyone come together, the response and support for this cause was overwhelming. Everyone was ecstatic that we received the Corporate Spirit Award and we’re really looking forward to seeing how we can grow even more next year!”

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The Canadian Cancer Society invests the funds raised into breast cancer research, support services, health education and advocacy programs. Their mission is to reduce the number of people diagnosed with breast cancer, reduce mortality for those who develop the disease, and improve the quality of life for those affected.

Baldrey continued, “A huge thank you goes out to all the staff in our USA & Canada offices, as well as the Packhouse and Greenhouse workers, and our foreign workers who generously donated toward this important cause that we hope one day will find a cure”.

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Village Farms Donates Time on #GivingTuesday

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On November 28 a team from Village Farms and Produce for Kids celebrated #GivingTuesday by volunteering their time at Second Harvest Food Bank in Orlando, Fla. #GivingTuesday is a global day of giving fueled by the power of social media and collaboration.

“Being able to give back to our community alongside friends from the produce industry is so rewarding,” said Helen Aquino, Director of Brand Marketing and Communications. “We are so grateful for the ability to do our part in assisting in the fight against hunger.”

The teams spent the morning sorting produce that would go on to make more than 4,000 meals. Second Harvest Food Bank provides an especially important service in the Orlando area because 1 in 6 Central Floridians are food insecure and 1 in 4 kids in the area are at risk of going to bed hungry. Second Harvest supplies more than 550 local nonprofit feeding programs to help combat those statistics.

#GivingTuesday is celebrated on the Tuesday following Thanksgiving (in the U.S.) and has gained traction over the last six years amongst the widely recognized shopping events Black Friday and Cyber Monday.

About Village Farms
Village Farms is one of the largest producers, marketers, and distributors of premium-quality, greenhouse-grown fruits and vegetables in North America. The food our farmers grow, along with other greenhouse farmers under exclusive arrangements are all grown in environmentally friendly, soil-less, glass greenhouses. The Village Farms® brand of fruits and vegetables is marketed and distributed primarily to local retail grocers and dedicated fresh food distributors throughout the United States and Canada. Since its inception, Village Farms has been guided by sustainability principles that enable us to grow food 365 days a year that not only feeds the growing population but is healthier for people and the planet. Village Farms is Good for the Earth® and good for you.

See press release here.

 

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Generation Next: It takes a Village to be successful, says Krysten DeGiglio

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As seen in the November 27, 2017 issue of The Produce News
by Maggie Giuffrida
krystendegiglio
Growing up, Krysten DeGiglio was admittedly not a huge fan of tomatoes, but oh, how the times have changed now that the 30-year-old Holmdel, NJ, resident works as a regional sales manager for Village Farms — the oldest greenhouse grower in the United States, specializing in exclusive varieties of tomatoes, as well as cucumbers and peppers.

“I pop a Cherry No. 9 tomato like candy!” DeGiglio laughed. “The Heavenly Villagio Marzano is also one of my favorites. Although it’s great to snack on, I absolutely love to cook with it — and it is so versatile. If I’m trying to impress someone in the kitchen, it’s always my staple ingredient.”

A graduate of Fairfield University in Connecticut, DeGiglio earned her bachelor’s and master’s of business administration degrees in accounting. While in college, DeGiglio studied abroad in Florence, Italy, for one semester.

“This experience sparked my interested to learn about different cultures and travel,” she said.

After graduation, DeGiglio worked for Ernst & Young for four-and-a-half years, and then did a short stint with a pharmaceutical company before discovering her true passion for the produce industry.

“I was invited to attend the PMA Fresh Summit show in 2013,” DeGiglio told The Produce News. “It was the first time I was really exposed to the produce industry and I fell in love with it. Since then, I thought this is where my passion lies, this would make for a fulfilling career.”

But there wasn’t an immediate “in” for DeGiglio, despite the fact that her father, Michael DeGiglio, is co-founder and chief executive officer at Village Farms.

“Truly being a public company, there are no family ties here,” DeGiglio noted.

So she waited patiently, and in August of 2015, DeGiglio got a call from her father about an opening in the Village Farms sales department.

“There was a need to hire a Northeast sales manager,” she recalled. “Village Farms entered into an exclusive distribution agreement with Great Northern Hydroponics, a greenhouse grower with 70 acres of production capacity in Leamington, Ontario. This provided an opportunity to extend the company’s entire product line into the Northeast to new and existing customers, and gave Village Farms incentive to hire a millennial with a go-getter mentality.”

And just like that, DeGiglio knew she was the right person for the role. She interviewed with Bret Wiley, senior vice president of sales for the company, and a couple months later, DeGiglio was working her dream job.

“I will always remember what Bret told me before I joined the company,” she said. “He informed me that produce is one of the most challenging industries to work in and that I was going to need tough skin. Looking back over the last two years, I would have to say he was right.”

But those challenges haven’t come without their rewards.

“The most rewarding part for me is working for a company that I’m proud to represent. Village Farms is good for people and the planet,” she said. “I feel fortunate to be part of a team of experienced professionals. Many of my colleagues have worked in produce their entire careers. The knowledge they share is not something you can learn from a book — it’s invaluable.”

One of her greatest mentors, she noted, is her father, who without his help and guidance “this wouldn’t be possible.”

“I’ve never met someone who works so hard,” DeGiglio said. “He never gives up, he never stops, and he always follows through. Personally, I feel extremely fortunate to work for the company at the same time as my father. I get to observe what a great leader, friend, confidant and CEO he is to all at Village Farms.”

And being a part of that Village Farms family is something DeGiglio certainly does not take for granted either.

“Even though a lot of us work remotely, when we come together it truly feels like we’re a family, and that’s really unique,” she said. “It makes me want to keep working harder and harder.”

As far as obstacles she faces in her role as a sales manager, DeGiglio said those mostly revolve around fluctuating supply and demand, which can be difficult at times, but working with her team to identify and solve problems that arise is an essential part of the job.

“My position relies on all the other facets of this business, from production to transportation to marketing to sales. It’s a very integrated network, which is what I love so much about it,” she noted.

That sense of teamwork and camaraderie among her coworkers and clients is something DeGiglio plans to continue honing in on in the New Year.

“My goal is to take my relationships to the next level,” she said. “I want to become more of a consumer-focused specialist and help to integrate sales and marketing internally and externally, which in return will escalate the partnerships that we have.”

After all, it does take a Village.

 

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Village Farms Director Roberta Cook named One of Produce Grower’s 10 People Who Are Influencing the Produce Industry

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As seen in the October 2017 issue of Produce Grower
by Neil Moran

Dr. Roberta Cook
Director, Village Farms
A longtime academic economist now advises an industry-leading grower

roberta_cook-sizedAfter 31 years working at University of California, Davis, Dr. Roberta Cook remains as passionate about the produce industry as when she was still a graduate student at Michigan State University.

“In my career at UC Davis, I was tasked with looking at all the key supply and demand trends affecting markets for fresh produce in California,” says Cook, who held the position of extension economist in the Department of Agriculture and Resource Economics. She is now on the board of directors at Village Farms and Ocean Mist Farms.

Her research and consultations have allowed her to gain key insights into the trends affecting the product industry – information that should be valuable to both growers and retailers. Cook says consumers became very value-conscious during the recession and haven’t reverted to earlier buying practices, making competitive pricing even more important for retailers, which puts pressure on suppliers.

One of the biggest trends she sees affecting the industry, which will most likely continue for years to come is “channel blurring,” or the advent of more and more types of competing retail outlets for fresh produce, beyond the conventional supermarket of old.

“From Walmart Supercenters to club stores, dollar stores, convenience stores, drug stores, online sales and limited assortment stores, such as Aldi and Trader Joe’s, the proliferation of store formats is still expanding.” Cooks says.

 

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Village Farms Employees Offer Irma Relief to Second Harvest Food Bank

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In an effort to provide support post Hurricane Irma Village Farms employees volunteered their time at the local Second Harvest Food Bank in Orlando, Florida. Second Harvest Food Bank of Central Florida distributes tens of millions of meals per year through 550 local nonprofit feeding programs geared toward the most vulnerable people such as seniors and children. In addition, the Food Bank provides a vital emergency food supply for the community in time of need. Village Farms employees spent the morning sorting food donations slated for disaster victims residing in six counties in central Florida.

“Village Farms takes the business of growing food for people very seriously so having the opportunity to give back to our local Food Bank who makes it a business of feeding people in need was a real pleasure”, said Helen L. Aquino, Director Brand Marketing & Communication for Village Farms. “Our time spent here today really felt great and something we wish to partake in again very soon”.

For more information visit about Village Farms please visit our website at www.villagefarms.com.

About Village Farms
Village Farms is one of the largest producers, marketers, and distributors of premium-quality, greenhouse-grown fruits and vegetables in North America. The food our farmers grow, along with other greenhouse farmers under exclusive arrangements are all grown in environmentally friendly, soil-less, glass greenhouses. The Village Farms® brand of fruits and vegetables is marketed and distributed primarily to local retail grocers and dedicated fresh food distributors throughout the United States and Canada. Since its inception, Village Farms has been guided by sustainability principles that enable us to grow food 365 days a year that not only feeds the growing population but is healthier for people and the planet. Village Farms is Good for the Earth® and good for you.

See press release here.

 

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Village Farms Donates to Relief Efforts for Victims of Hurricane Harvey

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A vast expanse of 600 miles separates Village Farms’ greenhouse in Marfa, Texas from Houston but the distance to the heart is much closer.  Bright and early this morning a Village Farms tractor trailer hit the road to bridge the span of this great distance loaded with fresh produce for the Houston Food Bank.  Village Farms’ employees pitched in yesterday, Labor Day, a national holiday, to help pack the ten thousand plus pounds of fresh tomatoes slated for Hurricane Harvey relief efforts.

“Texas is a big state and many of us here at Village Farms have loved ones in Houston and the surrounding East Texas areas impacted by this storm, our hearts go out to them and so this is the least we can do to show we care”, said Jan Korteland, Regional Facility Manager of Village Farms in West Texas.

Village Farms is the largest greenhouse grower of locally grown fresh produce in Texas.  Village Farms’ hand-picked vine ripened sustainably grown greenhouse tomatoes, peppers, and cucumbers are sold in major retailers all over the state.  Village Farms is hoping its donation to the Houston Food Bank will help keep Texas strong.

About Village Farms

Village Farms is one of the largest producers, marketers, and distributors of premium-quality, greenhouse-grown fruits and vegetables in North America.  The food our farmers grow, along with other greenhouse farmers under exclusive arrangements are all grown in environmentally friendly, soil-less, glass greenhouses.  The Village Farms® brand of fruits and vegetables is marketed and distributed primarily to local retail grocers and dedicated fresh food distributors throughout the United States and Canada.  Since its inception, Village Farms has been guided by sustainability principles that enable us to grow food 365 days a year that not only feeds the growing population but is healthier for people and the planet.  Village Farms is Good for the Earth® and good for you.

See press release here.

 

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Village Farms Celebrates Local During BC Greenhouse Veggie Days

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DELTA, BC – Village Farms is celebrating local this week by participating in BC Greenhouse Veggie Days as a member of the BC Greenhouse Growers’ Association. BC Greenhouse Veggie Days was created to promote buying local, fresh, nutritious veggies provided by the greenhouse sector.

The event runs from Friday, May 26 – Saturday, June 3. During that time shoppers will see products stickered with the BC Greenhouse Veggie Days logo and point of sale materials highlighting local produce at 140 participating Real Canadian Superstore, Overwaitea and independent store locations throughout British Columbia, Canada.

The event culminates with in-store visits by greenhouse farmers for most of the day on June 3 at the participating retailers.  Village Farms will also be sampling exclusive varieties of tomatoes and provide giveaways for participants of the event.  “We are excited to be participating in BC Veggie Days again this year.  It is a wonderful program that provides greater awareness of the greenhouse sector and gives consumers the chance to talk to our farmers about Village Farms sustainable growing methods,” said Helen L. Aquino, Director of Brand Marketing & Communication for Village Farms.”

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Village Farms Celebrates 2nd Annual BC Veggie Day With Locally Greenhouse Grown Veggies.

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DELTA, B.C. – The springtime harvest of greenhouse veggies has begun! It’s time to celebrate their arrival.

This year, Village Farms is participating in the 2nd annual BC Veggie Day, sponsored by the B.C. Greenhouse Growers Association with support from the BC Government’s Buy Local Program.

Village Farms is supporting the event with on-package stickers throughout the entire month of May, and on Saturday, May 23, consumers will have the opportunity to meet the company’s farmers at several key retailer locations in the greater Vancouver area.

Farmers will be on hand all day to speak with consumers and hand out samples of greenhouse grown products. Meet some of Village Farms’ growers in the video above!

2015-05-19_11.41.08Village Farms’ Chef Darren Brown stopped by Vancouver’s CTV News to talk more about the company’s work for BC Veggie Day, and share his recipe for a Rebel Tomato Tart, with greek yogurt, feta, cucumber, and dill.

“It’s a perfect time, all the greenhouses in town are up to full speed and they’re full and lush, so it’s a great time for vegetables,” Brown says.

 

You can find this recipe, and more on the Village Farms recipe page here.

vf-true-rebel-tomato-tart1

Village Farms says it is pleased to be a part of BC Veggie Day, as it is a great opportunity to promote locally greenhouse grown vegetables in British Columbia and bring awareness to sustainable farming.

by Jessica Donnel / andnowuknow