Canadian group Oppy is marking its 160th anniversary this month, celebrating its growth into a leading international fresh produce company also eyeing future opportunities.
“We’re blessed with the enormous amount of perspective 160 years in business gives a company,” said John Anderson, chairman president and CEO, whose career with Oppy spans over a quarter of its history. “We’ve had a front row seat to world events, and participated in the initiatives that shaped our industry.
"Today, we couldn’t be more excited about the opportunities ahead," Anderson noted. "There will be challenges, of course, but like any enduring company we’ve been strengthened by the adversity and innovation that have ultimately shaped our success.”
Anderson said that among other things, the company is focusing on addressing the digital shopping trend, developing sustainable innovations across the supply chain, and driving sales through trade and consumer data and insights in the first days of its 161st year.
The company introduced products like Granny Smith, Royal Gala, Braeburn, Pacific Rose, Jazz and Envy apples, as well as green kiwifruit into Canada and gold kiwifruit across North America, with Anderson noting that the team at Oppy remained tireless in its pursuit of new product flavours and innovations.
“We are challenging ourselves to present solutions that satisfy shoppers’ needs, achieve positive results for retailers and growers, or differentiate in a way that drives profitability across the supply chain,” he said, pointing to Oppy’s recently launched Ocean Spray Family-Farmer Owned berry brand as an example of this holistic approach. “We’re constantly exploring what’s next, be it exciting new grape varieties from Chile, new types of apples, kiwifruit or tomatoes, or a pack that fills a niche – always striving for high quality, safety and an enjoyable eating experience.
“Oppy made its mark in fresh produce when we imported the first easy-peel, seedless mandarin oranges from Japan in 1891,” said Anderson. “Now that sweet, seedless oranges are in virtually everyone’s shopping cart, it’s gratifying to reflect on our long-ago contribution to the huge popularity of seedless citrus today, but also recognise that there are endless new possibilities out there.”
However, Anderson explained that innovation at Oppy was reflected in not just its product line, but also in its company structure and the way it goes to market.
“By investing with growers and serving the marketplace together – while also prioritising supply chain technology, logistics, marketing and service – we are more deeply integrated as a grower and marketer than ever before,” he commented. “In the hands of an amazing team, and powered by our expect the world from us promise, Oppy is well positioned for the complex challenges of today and the next 160 years.”