In mid-2020, Canadian based greenhouse vegetable grower Pure Flavor® expanded their existing greenhouse operation in Leamington, ON with another 25 acres (Phase II). At the height of the global pandemic, COVID restrictions created a variety of challenges however due to timely project management, flexibility in the supply chain, and commitment of all contractors, the greenhouse project was completed on time with the first crop of Tomatoes being planted in September 2020.
During the construction of Phase II, the Pure Flavor® team decided to start preparing for the build of Phase III on the same site, another expansion of 25 acres (10 ha.), to be able to meet the growing demand for sustainably grown vegetables year-round. Due to the on-time delivery and overall positive experiences with the construction of Phase II, Pure Flavor® decided to build Phase III with the same partners, consisting of Havecon (greenhouse, screening, and heating), Zwart Systems (irrigation), Anchor Hydro (electrical & supplemental lighting system), Honey Electric (computer controls) and AAB INT (technical advice & project management).
The preparation for Phase III began in late summer 2020 with the goal of being ready for a lit crop in Winter 2021-2022. In order not to be delayed by deep ground frost during the construction, site work started in the autumn with the structure’s foundation and the installation of the underground lines followed by the assembly of the steel structure that continued into November & December. With global pandemic restrictions still in effect, the limited availability of international (container) transport and the limited availability of some materials, it presented some challenges during the construction process. Due to the commitment, flexibility and cooperation of all parties involved, the project is proceeding according to schedule and the desired planting date is expected to be achieved later this summer. Delivering Phase III on schedule gives Pure Flavor® the additional acreage they need to provide even more customers in North America with fresh, healthy, and tasty Tomatoes this coming winter.
“Increasing our acreage in Leamington is part of our strategic growth plan to meet the surging demand from our customers. Having gone through a successful winter growing season with Phase II, we look forward to seeing Phase III come to life this upcoming winter with even more fresh vegetables”, commented Jamie Moracci, President, Pure Flavor®.
Building a new greenhouse operation of any scope & size is not a daily activity for a horticultural entrepreneur. AAB INT has specialists who can assist horticultural entrepreneurs in the field of business administration, (technical) design and specifications, project management, etc. According to Marc Vijverberg, Project Manager at AAB INT, the Pure Flavor® project shows that strategic partnerships coupled with good project management, are important factors for the progress and success of a project. For a project such as Pure Flavor®’s, which will be realized in several phases, it is important that the program of requirements and the master plan of the total project are clearly defined in advance. Good preparation, planning and project organization are important success factors. AAB INT advised and supported Pure Flavor® in this.
“Pure Flavor® recognizes the added value of strategic partnerships and effective project management. It leads to better control of planning, resources, and budget”, said Marc Vijverberg, Project Manager, AAB INT. With two significant expansions in less than a year, Pure Flavor® recognized the need for strong project management, both on site and internally to ensure the project met the various milestones. “Pure Flavor® appointed a dedicated Project Manager who is responsible for the overall project and the day-to-day affairs of the construction site. This helps all aspects of the project to ensure clear communication for all parties involved”, commented Vijverberg. Meetings are held with the contractors at regular intervals. While challenging in the beginning to bring everyone together, all contractors now see the value in regular meetings to ensure the project is on track, avoiding any surprise hiccups in the process. By meeting on a weekly basis, any conflicts in the planning process are identified and timely action can be taken.
“We need to make sure everyone is on the same page daily given the size, scope, and the number of partners involved with this project. The AAB team have been a great resource for us on this project”, said John Neufeld, Project Manager, Pure Flavor®.
Marc Vijverberg is happy with the results of the Pure Flavor® project but the credits for this go to John Neufeld, the Pure Flavor® Project Manager and the various contractors he works with.
Photo's: Pure Flavor®