Vineland Growers' Co-operative Ltd.

Vineland Growers' Co-operative Ltd.

May 24, 2006 21:21 ET

Vineland Growers' Co-op Hires General Manager

JORDAN STATION, ONTARIO--(CCNMatthews - May 24, 2006) - A Vineland man with huge experience in the food industry and enthusiasm for the potential of the Niagara fruit industry will manage Ontario's oldest agricultural co-operative.

The board of directors of Vineland Growers' Co-operative Ltd. hired George Mitges, president and owner of Rideau Holdings, LLC, of Columbus, Ohio, as the co-operative's general manager. Mitges began his new role at the co-operative's central office in Jordan Station yesterday. The co-operative's Director of Finance Mike Ryan and Vice President Mike Ecker who have acted as interim general managers for the business will remain at the co-operative.

Mitges is a graduate of the University of Western Ontario in London. After working in Toronto and Guelph at Kentucky Fried Chicken-Canada and then Golden T Foods Inc., he moved to the United States to become production manager at retail grocery supplier Fresh Express Farms of Greencastle, Pennsylvania. In 1998, he became director of sales and marketing for Blue Ridge Mountain Cookery, Inc., of Waynesboro, Pennsylvania where he developed new product extensions and led a national sales and marketing campaign for a new direct-to-consumer market. Since 2001, he has been president of Rideau Holdings which launched a successful Tim Hortons business in Columbus, Ohio.

"We look forward to our new general manager (developing new opportunities for our members) while keeping with the unique culture of the co-operative," says Vineland Growers' Co-operative Chair Phil Tregunno of Niagara-on-the-Lake. "We thank Mike Ryan and Mike Ecker for their extra effort while we sought a new general manager."

"There is huge growth potential for the co-operative," says Mitges. "Think seven years down the road to the co-op's centennial year of operations - bigger and more profitable at the beginning of a second century of operation."

Vineland Growers' Co-operative has $26.5 million in sales and service revenue, employing about 80 people in peak season at locations at Jordan Station, Virgil and Fonthill. It markets fruit on behalf of members, and provides containers to the fruit industry. It also supplies crop protection inputs to customers. The co-operative promotes food safety and its Vineland brand is recognized for quality. More than 300 members own the co-operative. Visit: The co-operative is a member-owner of GROWMARK, Inc., which has its Ontario Region office in Kitchener, Ont.

Please click on the following link to view a photo;

Cutline: George Mitges is new lead manager at Vineland Growers' Co-operative

Contact Information

  • Vineland Growers' Co-operative Ltd.
    Phil Tregunno
    Chair of the Board of Directors
    (905) 262-4755