Premier's Award for Agri-Food Innovation Excellence


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2015 Regional Award Winner

 

TVF Farms Inc.

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Jeff VanRoboys and Deb Matthews, Deputy Premier and President of the Treasury Board

Jeff VanRoboys and Deb Matthews, Deputy Premier and President of the Treasury Board

Cucumbers are a rarer sight in Ontario these days, due to rising labour costs and a shortage of pollinators. But TVF's Jeff Van Roboys has found a way to beat both problems. His secret? Parthenocarpic cucumbers: varieties that don't need honeybees to produce fruit. Although these so-called "parth" varieties are prolific, growers have steered clear of them because the shorter fruit is difficult to sell to pickle producers. Undaunted, Van Roboys began experimenting. He started with handpicking small cukes for gherkins and baby dills and discovered the more workers picked, the longer the remaining cucumbers grew. The final machine picking produced perfect cukes for sliced pickles. By developing a system that enhances efficiency by 30 per cent, Van Roboys has created a brighter future for Ontario cucumbers.


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