Fruit & Vegetable Magazine

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OFFMA presents awards during 40th anniversary gala

March 13, 2013  By Press release

March 12, 2013, Niagara Falls, Ont. – In 1973, a group of on-farm marketers decided to create an organization that could promote the direct farm marketing industry, encourage improvements and maintain integrity in the industry. Forty years later, the Ontario Farm Fresh Marketing Association (OFFMA) recognized some of its champions at an Awards Gala held in Niagara Falls in conjunction with the Ontario Fruit & Vegetable Convention.

Champions were recognized in four categories: Leadership, Food Innovation, Outstanding Farm Marketer and the Ambassador Award.

Joy and Earl Stanley from Stanley’s Olde Maple Farm were recognized with the Leadership Award. The Stanleys have given so much of themselves since they joined OFFMA a decade ago. They have personally visited several members across the province, hosted hospitality suites for many events, encouraged on-farm marketers to join OFFMA and put many miles on their vehicles to participate in the annual potlucks.


Geissberger Farmhouse Cider is the winner of the inaugural Food Innovation Award. The apples are pressed in a mobile cider mill that can be moved from farm to farm. The final product is presented in a vacuum-sealed bag in a box system without preservatives that requires no refrigeration and a terrific shelf life. It is a win-win-win for the grower, the processor and the consumer.

Brooks Farms was presented the Outstanding Farm Marketer Award for all the great products and activities they offer on their farm near Mount Albert. The serendipitous combination of Paul’s agricultural background and Kelly’s graphic design skills has created a brand second to none. Brooks Farms offers everything from a Maple Sugar Festival to Pumpkin PYO fields and a barnyard playland.

Mairlyn Smith, cookbook author and local food promoter, was thrilled to accept the Ontario Farm Fresh Ambassador Award. Mairlyn is a regular on both Cityline and Breakfast Television. Her gift to the direct farm marketing industry is that she never misses an opportunity to promote buying directly from a farmer. Humour is her secret weapon; she can make people laugh while she is teaching them to eat well and to make good decisions about their food.

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