Quebec Vegetable Shippers Gearing Up for New Season

Quebec Vegetable Shippers Gearing Up for New Season

NAPIERVILLE, Quebec — Most Quebec commercial growers have a mixture of different vegetables when it comes to shipping their produce to domestic customers and exporting to the U.S. and elsewhere.

Delfland of Napierville is shipping shallots from last year’s crop, but the new season will soon start. Movement is expected to be brisk as both France and Holland had less than stellar seasons. 

About 50 percent of Delfland’s carrots, onions and shallots are exported, with the remainder shipped to eastern Canadian markets.

Les Fermes Hotee and Van Winden of Napierville began farming 40 years ago with 100 acres, and now has 780 acres. Half of it is iceberg and romaine lettuce, a fourth is onion and the remaining fourth is bok choy, napa cabbage, yellow beets and celeriac. 

The company began shipping yellow onions the last week of July.

Some of their crops are processed for fast-food chains Taco Bell, Burger King and Subway, while others go into bagged salads for retail.

In winter, the operation grows product in Florida, but processes it in Quebec, before trucking it six hours south to the New York market.
Les Fermes Hotee and Van Winden ships 75 percent of its vegetables to the U.S., and 20 percent to Vegpro in Sherrington to be processed for bags for Quebec’s main retailers — Loblaw, IGA and Metro — and 5 percent goes to the fresh market. 

At Ferme A. & R. Trucot, of Saint-Roch-de-I’Achigan 80 to 85 percent of its products goes to destinations in the Quebec province, and the remainder exported to the Northeastern U.S.

At Ferme GNC, 70 percent of its vegetables goes to Quebec, and 30 percent is exported to the U.S. Customers are processors, retailers, food sellers and wholesalers — all with different packing needs.