Cream of the crop

Karen Wells
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Triple E Farms first in the province to achieve special certification

When it comes to farming, Triple E Farms has grown a reputation for excellence.

Recently, the Comfort Cove farm earned a special certification that ensures that they adhere to good agriculture practices with a focus on food safety and quality. They have been awarded the CanadaGAP Food Safety Certification in the production and packaging of their beets, cabbages, carrots, parsnips, potatoes and rutabagas.

CanadaGAP is a food safety program for companies that produce, pack and store fruits and vegetables. It is designed to help implement effective food safety procedures within fresh produce operations. GAP stands for Good Agricultural Practices.

Certification was a four-year process that examined every aspect of Triple E Farms, from the time a seed is put in the ground to when the final packaged product is placed on a store shelf.

Inside the production facilities, every aspect of the operation came under close scrutiny, right down to how the packaging for products was stored. The cleanliness of facilities, being rodent free, employee hygiene, etc. — all aspects of the operation were scrutinized. They needed 80 per cent to pass and if certain criteria weren’t met it resulted in an automatic failure, but Triple E Farms came away from the process with a score of 96 per cent.

Father and son team Junior and Dwight Eveleigh believe it was worth the effort.

“The public is looking for safe food — they are more cautious,” said Dwight. “The younger generation is looking to have access to healthy, safe food.

“The industry is looking for this type of certification so that customers can be assured the safest food possible. Our products can be traced back to the source.

If there was a recall, we would know right away which product went where that needs to be recalled. We’ve never had to do a recall, but we are ensuring markets we have the ability to do this.”

Triple E Farms are the first producers of this kind to earn this type of certification in the province.

“The industry is evolving and we have to be able to keep with the demands and what is happening in the Maritime provinces,” Dwight said.

Proud history

Triple E Farms dates back  almost 90 years to when Raymond Eveleigh, Junior’s father, started out.

Junior and Dwight have also been involved with the fishery, but they sold that enterprise when the fishery collapsed and returned to the land. They’ve partnered since 1993 and turned a 10 to 12 acre farm into a 115-acre going concern. They employ 30 people at peak season and eight people for 10 months of the year. All told, they produce 2.5 million pounds of product a year — a rough estimate.

Junior said they are kept busy selling to two wholesale companies and several local retailers and restaurants. While the CanadaGAP certification brings them a step closer to having the ability to export their product outside of Newfoundland, Dwight says there’s no need right now.

“There’s enough of a market right here in this province to sell to, when you consider that only 11 per cent of what is consumed in the province is actually grown here,” Dwight said.

The Eveleighs extend their appreciation to the Department of Agriculture for its assistance in the certification process, and credit other provincial and federal assistance. They say they are also grateful  for their employees’ co-operation and understanding during the rigorous process to achieve certification.

 

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Recent comments

  • Barry Oxford
    March 22, 2014 - 18:59

    The location of Triple E Farms would be a nice addition to this good news story. Don't you think?

    • Dwight Eveleigh
      March 23, 2014 - 17:51

      Its located in comfort cove in central nl.

  • Corky
    March 22, 2014 - 09:29

    Congratulations to the hard working Eveleigh family!