Since the 1940s, various forms of marketing co-operatives have been involved with selling Manitoba fresh vegetables.
Peak of the Market (formerly the Manitoba Vegetable Producers' Marketing Board) markets Manitoba vegetables under the "Peak of the Market" label to wholesalers and retailers throughout Canada and the United States, and into several countries in Asia, Europe, Latin America and the Caribbean. Wholesalers and processors are attracted to the consistent quality of Manitoba's high grade, flavorful vegetables.
Over the past number of years, Peak of the Market has enjoyed tremendous success as it has continued to open new markets and revisit other markets with a top quality lineup of fresh vegetables.
Over 110 different types of vegetables are grown in the province, ranging from asparagus to zucchini. Those grown in the largest quantities include carrots, onions, cabbage, cauliflower and broccoli.
Vegetables are washed, graded and packed into consumer-sized bags or bunches by producers prior to being shipped to Peak of the Market, since almost all Manitoba vegetable farms have their own washing, grading and packaging facilities.
Many of these growers also have some of the most technologically advanced storage programs in North America, which allows them to store vegetables such as onions, carrots, rutabagas, beets, parsnips, squash and cabbage for periods of 6 months to one year.
About the Industry
The first recorded commercial vegetable production in the province was in 1936 and over the years, the area planted to vegetables destined for both the fresh market and processing facilities has increased.
Since the 1970s, the over 20 major commercial vegetable farms and approximately 300 market gardeners in Manitoba devote between 4,000 to 6,000 acres to vegetables each year.
Today, most of the commercial vegetable production is concentrated around Portage la Prairie, Winkler, Emerson and areas north and south of Winnipeg in areas located close to rivers and aquifers as nearly all the vegetable land is irrigated.
We always strive to meet the highest standards in food safety.
At Peak of the Market, our producers strive to provide the best Manitoba-grown vegetables for consumers in Canada and the United States. We are committed to providing top quality vegetables that are handled and packed following internationally accepted food safety principles.
Our Peak of the Market growers and Distribution Centre undergo an independent third party Food Safety Audit every single year. All Peak of the Market growers, and the DC once again passed the Food Safety Audits with flying colours!
In cooperation with the Canadian Horticultural Council (CHC), the Canadian Produce Marketing Association (CPMA), the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) and Agriculture & Agri-Food Canada (AAFC), a CanadaGAP food safety program was developed. Manitoba vegetable growers and packers follow the Good Agricultural Practices (GAP's) that are included in the CanadaGAP program and our producers undergo an annual third party audit by NSF International (certification body) to ensure their adherence to these practices.
Our Distribution Centre is proudly BRC-certified (British Retail Consortium) by NSF International, and C-TPAT-validated (Customs-Trade Partnership Against Terrorism). These measures aid our ability to provide a safe and secure food supply that is recognized world-wide. In addition to C-TPAT certification, Peak of the Market is also a certified member of the Canadian Border Services Agency - Partners in Protection program.
Peak of the Market is proud to support consumers in their decisions to provide different choices for their families.
Organic vegetables are also grown, stored and packed to meet or exceed the requirements of the Quality Assurance International (QAI) audited organic standard.
The goal of our producers is to deliver vegetables that are healthy, nutritious and delicious. It should be remembered that eating vegetables is part of a healthy diet and lifestyle. So please, don't forget to eat your veggies!