Canada: 60 million dollars for lettuce reported yesterday that a Quebec-based agricultural firm is investing 60 million dollars buying land to grow salad greens and build a packing house in Coldstream. Between 150 and 200 jobs will be created, many of them full-time, when the company starts operating next summer.

Vegpro International Inc. has bought 700 acres of land from Coldstream Ranch to produce the baby leaf greens. These will then be washed and packed in the proposed facility, before being shipped throughout B.C. and Alberta.

Family-owned Vegpro International Inc. has been in operation for 20 years and employs 850 people in Quebec, shipping its produce throughout that province as well as into the Maritimes and Ontario.

“I never believed we could deliver a good product, or fresh, from growing on the east coast and shipping to the west coast,” said Gerry Van Winden, Vegpro president and chief executive officer, during the announcement on Wednesday. “That is one of the reasons we are here.“

Van Winden pointed out that most lettuce arrives in B.C. from California and Arizona over the winter but he wants to offer a local, not too expensive alternative.

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