April 15, 2013

OriginO expansion builds Oppy organic pepper program

VANCOUVER, B.C. — Origin Organic Farms is adding a welcome splash of color to The Oppenheimer Group’s sweet B.C. bell pepper menu, and greater volume to accommodate market demand.

Building on last year’s trial season, the Delta-based grower has expanded four-fold, and added yellow and orange peppers to the mix. Oppy will begin shipping the full range of OriginO-branded organic peppers at the end of April.

“We are pleased to expand last year’s highly sought-after OriginO red pepper program by offering the other colors as well,” said Aaron Quon, greenhouse and vegetable category director. “We now have the capacity to deliver value-added mixed packages in addition to single-color packs and bulk, which adds flexibility and gives retailers the chance to differentiate.”

Bulk OriginO peppers will be sold in the industry-standard 11-pound box instead of the eight-pound unit used previously.

Origin Organic Farms’ decision to add acreage was driven not only by the success of the 2012 season, but also by the continuing popularity and increasing demand for high quality organic fruits and vegetables, Quon said.

“Earlier this month, the Organic Trade Association released research indicating that eight out of 10 American families now purchase organic items at least sometimes,” he explained. “And produce leads the way, with 97 percent of organic buyers saying they had purchased organic fruits or vegetables in the past six months. This trend is encouraging news for the OriginO brand and for Oppy’s organic category.”

In addition to peppers, OriginO has been harvesting organic cucumbers since March. Tomatoes-on-the-vine and beefsteak tomatoes will follow in late April.

As a pioneer in sustainable greenhouse agriculture, OriginO continues to innovate and fine tune its growing methods. Compost, made from leaves, stems and fruit prunings, becomes soil for new plants. Fertilizer is water soluble at the perfect nutrient level, which helps the plants grow stronger and produce richly flavored cucumbers, peppers and tomatoes. All drainage and water run-off is recycled.

OriginO branded produce is a cornerstone of Oppy’s organic repertoire, which also includes apples, berries, kiwifruit, mangoes and pears, as well as other greenhouse items.

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