Premier's Award for Agri-Food Innovation Excellence


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2011 Regional Award Winner

 

Johnston's Cranberry Marsh & Muskoka Lakes Winery - Bala

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Photo of Jeff Leal, MPP Peterborough, Wendy Hogarth and Murray Johnston

Jeff Leal, MPP Peterborough, Wendy Hogarth and Murray Johnston

With a lifetime of experience growing cranberries and building a thriving winery and tourism business in the heart of Muskoka region, Johnston's Cranberry Marsh & Muskoka Lakes Winery went international. When the government of Latvia approached them to help establish a cranberry industry, they enthusiastically said yes. They travelled to Latvia to assess which of their cranberry vines would be most suitable for that country's climate. They also invited Latvians to tour their operation, who purchased two different varieties of cranberry vines from the Johnstons. No one had ever harvested cranberry vines, so new machinery had to be invented. No one had ever exported or imported cranberry vines, so there was a lot of interaction with government agencies in both countries to make it happen. In the end, 30,000 tonnes of vines were shipped to Latvia in 2011, and the Johnston-Muskoka team is now talking with Poland.


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