Driving collaboration within the Ontario tender fruit industry to solve complex industry challenges
The MaRS Solutions Lab is pleased to share with you the final report for the Ontario Tender Fruit Lab. The report describes the process that we facilitated to boost the Ontario tender fruit industry — where tender fruit, or ‘soft fruit’, includes peaches, pears, apricots, cherries and plums. You can read more about the challenge on the download page.
The Ontario Tender Fruit Lab brought together key stakeholders from across the tender fruit value network to drive economic, environmental and social benefits. As a result of the process of bringing together these different stakeholder groups, participants developed five intervention ideas to act on:
- Improving the consistency of quality of Ontario tender fruit for consumers to reduce poor eating experiences.
- Increasing tender fruit production efficiency on-farm to increase net profitability at the farm gate and boost environmental performance.
- Creating a supportive ecosystem to enable entrepreneurs to develop new products and engage with growers to create fruit processing businesses.
- Adopting standardized packaging to increase efficiency for the value chain and reduce costs and waste for a highly labour-intensive industry.
- Create a cross-sectoral collaboration for an updated virus testing procedure to speed up availability of new varieties across the value chain.
These five intervention ideas focus on important levers, such as creating better cold storage and supporting entrepreneurs in food processing. The final report outlines the actions participants are taking related to each of the intervention ideas above. We are energized by the impact these interventions will in Ontario, and how this is moving the dial towards a more sustainable, economically viable, and resilient tender fruit industry in Ontario.