Sunfresh Farms supplies, processes and repackages fresh fruits and vegetables from local farmers.
The company was founded in 1997 by five local growers who came together to market their produce. It did not take long to realize a much larger space was essential for growth. In 2007, a 58,000 square foot facility was built to incorporate additional space and services such as food service processing, increased repackaging lines and transportation and handling services.
The company continues to experience growth, but the concept of providing local, sustainable products has never changed.
“Over the past 25 years, we have helped many local growers get their products to market,” says Brian Ferchoff, General Manager. “We are owned by four local growers who are also contributing farmers. Sunfresh Farms is proud to work with over 75 different farmers and vendors throughout Canada and the U.S.. We continue to offer a wide variety of fresh and competitively priced produce to customers across Western Canada.”
Working directly with local area farmers has helped ensure that our customers are receiving fresh, high-quality produce. Turnaround time from farm to distribution is often within 24 hours.
“The quicker the customer can receive the product, the fresher the product will be,” says Marketing Manager Kyle Lynch.
“Often, there is a misconception that Sunfresh Farms is an actual farm. We are a modern, wholesale distribution center located in Edmonton’s west end. Not only do we distribute whole case produce but we also process and repackage products further,” says Ferchoff. “Further processing has allowed us to work with the food service sector. Providing to our food service customers has enabled us to see our produce directly on the plates of many local restaurants, whether it is diced onions, sliced carrots, peeled potatoes or shredded lettuce.”
Over the years, Sunfresh Farms has refined its efficiencies by anticipating and adjusting for paradigm and market shifts. The COVID-19 pandemic was no exception.
“The produce industry is extremely challenging. As a company, we have had to pivot in different directions at times, but our priority has always been the health and wellbeing of our staff. We have spent the past two years accustomed to face masks, shields, barriers, etc. Not only has this allowed us to remain open despite any closures but also ensures our local farmers are being supported,” says Kathleen Anderson, Controller.
“One of the most rewarding aspects of Sunfresh Farms is knowing that when a customer purchases our products through various retailers across Western Canada, they are receiving fresh, high-quality produce that is grown ethically with the goals of sustainability in mind by local Alberta farmers,” says Lynch. “The emphasis on shopping local has never been higher these past few years. The support we have seen for our growers has been incredible. Our growers have seen support at the grocery store, the farmers markets and the local restaurants. We love to see businesses helping other businesses, families helping families and people helping people.”
Sunfresh Farms is committed to being a good community partner. Ferchoff says, “We have charitable interests in the Healthy Hampers program during the Christmas season as well as the Prairie Gleaners Society and Edmonton’s Food Bank.”
The company is proud to maintain a continuous A or AA rating by their food safety auditing firm. Their food safety, packaging materials, storage and distribution, ethical sourcing and trading set the benchmark for good manufacturing practices and help provide assurance to consumers that their produce is safe and of high quality.
Ferchoff, Anderson and Lynch look forward to another 25 years of serving both local growers and Canadians alike with exceptional, high-quality, sustainable, and affordable produce. “We will continue to look for and add to our local grower base and local offerings.”
As we reflect on the last 25 years and the years to come, we would like to say thank you to our team. “Our success and growth are a direct result of the team around us. They share in our goals and visions for the future. Without them, the past 25 years would not have been possible. We truly appreciate the hard work and dedication of all our wonderful employees.”
They conclude, “Local businesses thrive on local support. When we support one another, it helps build a stronger Alberta.”
10471 – 176 Street Edmonton, AB T5S 2E4
Phone: (780) 413-4802
Fax: (780) 413-4804