For the first time in the award’s decade-long history, the DuPont Food Quality Award is going to a fresh produce company — Mastronardi Produce, Kingsville, Ontario. The presentation is scheduled during the upcoming Food Safety Summit April 20 in Washington, D.C.


Marketing the Sunset brand, Mastronardi’s “outstanding food safety initiatives” are what earned the company the award, which is annually given to a North American company and sponsored by DuPont Qualicon, according to a news release.


A panel of judges selected Mastronardi because of the company’s “contributions to food safety and consumer satisfaction with a positive impact on business results,” the release said.


“Mastronardi Produce is committed to food safety and food quality. We have a solid team of dedicated professionals leading our food safety department and maintaining the programs that continue to keep us ahead of the game,” said Paul Mastronardi, president, in the release. “Our goal is to provide the highest level of food safety and quality, and to continuously exceed government requirements. Our mandate is to constantly be proactive.”


With its beginnings in Leamington, Ontario, in the 1920s, Mastronardi is considered one of the pioneers in commercial greenhouses.