Kevin Batt returns to the Vancouver-based fresh produce group after more than a decade

Kevin Batt Oppy

Kevin Batt

Oppy has announced that Kevin Batt has returned as its category director of greenhouse, after more than a decade away.

From 2002 to 2010, Batt helped shape Oppy’s greenhouse programme from ground zero, and now, nearly 12 years later, he is back after honing his greenhouse expertise at BC Hot House Foods Inc. and Longvine Growing Co.

“We’re excited to have Kevin back and look forward to the growth he’ll undoubtedly influence,” said vice president of categories and strategy Jason Fung. ”With his background inside and outside Oppy, he’s the perfect person to inject some fresh energy into this flourishing category.

”From both an experience and culture standpoint, Kevin has all values and service levels that align with Oppy in spades,: Fung noted. ”That’s what made it such an easy decision.”

In recent years, organic and conventional greenhouse volumes have dramatically increased in peppers, tomatoes and long English cucumbers including from Oppy’s brands Divemex, OriginO and Perpetual Vegetable Co.

This is in addition to its fully-automated, high-density vertical growing system of leafy greens from the UP Vertical Farms brand to debut this fall.

“Our greenhouse category is in growth mode,” Fung continued. ”We look forward to continuing to build our programmes and product offerings at retail, and delivering on the expect the world from us promise every step of the way.”

“I couldn’t pass up the opportunity to come back to such a great organisation,” said Batt, who joined on 6 June. ”It’s been really exciting to entrench myself into something I’m familiar with, and discover how it’s grown and evolved over a dozen years. I’m honoured to be a part of the Oppy team again.”

Executive director of greenhouse and Canadian category development Aaron Quon and Batt will be working together hand-in-hand, the company said.