North America: NatureFresh mobile greenhouse roadshow continues to impress
In a release, the company said nearly 60 events had been completed since mid-April and consumers continued to flock to #GreenInTheCity events to learn more about how greenhouse vegetables were grown.
"The mobile greenhouse has not only been a conversation starter but a difference maker in how we connect with our customers," said director of business development Ray Wowryk.
The mobile Greenhouse Education Center (GEC) is a 38’ custom-built unit that is an exact snapshot of how NatureFresh Farms grows its vegetables in state-of-the-art high-tech greenhouses in Leamington, Ontario and Delta, Ohio.
Equipped with fruit bearing plants and complimented by a live Bumblebee Eco-System, the GEC serves as an education resource to inform consumers about how greenhouse vegetables are grown.
“We care about the future of fresh and all that it entails; we need to collectively increase fresh produce consumption. NatureFresh™ can help do that with the GEC and by getting front and center with consumers, we share our story to help inform them of the value of greenhouse vegetables," said Wowryk.
"Knowing who grows what you buy is important, understanding how its grown is just as important if not more."
Supporting the GEC this summer are five college students who serve as NatureFresh brand ambassadors at each event. The team is responsible for event day operations and interacting with retail partners to ensure their customers have the best possible experience.
With varied backgrounds ranging from agri-business to environmental science to marketing to biology, the team provides unique perspectives of the value of greenhouse grown vegetables.
"We are able to immediately impact consumers purchasing decisions at store level with the knowledge we share about how we grow greenhouse vegetables," said Cole Burkholder, GEC team member & 3rd year environmental science major from Ohio State University.
Agriculture is nothing new to Burkholder whose family operates a farming operation of more than 500 acres of row crops in central Ohio.
"The look on people’s faces when we explain the greenhouse growing process and they see the live plants with real fruit, it’s priceless, you kind of see that ‘a-ha’ moment in their eyes," he said.
"We’ve even had customers show us their shopping carts when leaving to show us the tomatoes or bell peppers they have purchased because of our conversation. It’s a pretty good feeling!"
Now in it’s third year, the #GreenInTheCity Tour has completed more than 200 events to date across eastern North America connecting with consumers at retail stores, summer camps, schools, and community fairs.
The 2017 tour will continue on through early November wrapping up at the Royal Agricultural Winter Fair in Toronto, Ontario on Nov. 12.