Veal Farmers of Ontario (VFO) is a producer-run organization dedicated to promoting and enhancing a viable and competitive Ontario veal industry through
innovation, marketing, advocacy and education.
Mississauga’s Kantene Restaurant is now home to Ontario’s Best Veal Sandwich
Sandwich maker places first among 83 nominations
Guelph, ON, June 15, 2019 – In a competition that was fueled by the fervour of veal sandwich lovers from across this great province, the Veal Farmers of Ontario (VFO) today recognized Kantene Restaurant in Mississauga, as home to Ontario’s Best Veal Sandwich 2019. With more than 80 sandwich makers nominated and three rounds of judging, their win has been well earned.
“Thousands of people in Ontario took the time to nominate their favourite veal sandwich maker,” said Jennifer Haley, Executive Director of the VFO. “We’ve found that the passion of veal sandwich fans is nearly equal to that of our members, who proudly raise grain-fed veal on their family farms. For our farmers, it’s fulfilling to know their hard work is coveted by so many!”
The final event in the sandwich search had the top three makers presenting their best in front of friends and family at The Market Kitchen in Toronto’s historic St. Lawrence Market. Judging was overseen by John Catucci, host of You Gotta Eat Here! and the new Big Food Bucket List on Food Network Canada, last year’s winners Sian Burns and Dina Marsillo of Kitchener’s Nostra Cucina and Tom Kroesbergen, Chair of the VFO. They were joined by Burlington’s own Melinda Paletta who won her spot at the judges’ table through a contest hosted by the VFO.
“Judging Ontario’s Best Veal Sandwich competition is probably the most Italian thing I have done in my life,” said Catucci. “It wasn’t a hardship by any means, but it was a real challenge to select just one winner. Each maker brings their own inspirations and history to this simple combination of Ontario veal and tomato sauce on a bun.”
Rounding out the finalists were California Sandwiches, Claremont in Toronto and Tutti Panini from Richmond Hill. In the end though it was Mississauga’s Kantene Restaurant who earned the title of Ontario’s Best Veal Sandwich 2019.
Chef Harith Darshana creates a spectacular veal sandwich that surprises with bright, fresh flavours. Kantene’s Panko-breaded Ontario veal is a little thicker than most but remains tender with a light crispy coating. Named Veal Supreme, it’s topped with grilled eggplant, melted bocconcini in a fresh tomato-based basil sauce with melted Provolone and crispy Parmesan on a soft bun.
For more about Kantene, visit kantene.com.
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The search for Ontario’s Best Veal Sandwich becomes an award-winning campaign!
Province-wide search earns edana and Veal Farmers of Ontario an IABC Ovation Award of Merit
BRAMPTON, ON May 30, 2019 – edana integrated marketing and the Veal Farmers of Ontario (VFO) not only found Ontario’s Best Veal Sandwich, but also earned kudos on the marketing campaign from the Toronto chapter of the International Association of Business Communicators (IABC). For building significant word-of-mouth for Ontario veal via social media, traditional media outlets and the foodservice trade the IABC Ovation Awards’ judging committee recognized the program with an Award of Merit in Marketing Communications.
The 2018 Search for Ontario’s Best Veal Sandwich targeted Ontario veal lovers, turning them into vocal brand ambassadors and advocates for their favourite sandwich spots. Consumers nominated their favourites via social media. Once securing 25 nominations the sandwiches were reviewed by a panel of judges. The contest, its celebrity spokesperson, John Catucci, host of You Gotta Eat Here! on Food Network Canada, ongoing social content and the final head-to-head showdown created a platform that generated 129 restaurant nominations, 1.7 million social media impressions and an audience reach of 4.2 million in traditional media.
“We are very proud to have the search for Ontario’s Best Veal Sandwich recognized by the IABC,” said Jennifer Haley, Executive Director of the VFO. “This program has played a significant role in helping the VFO share positive stories about Ontario-raised veal cattle and provided a catalyst for increased veal sales and menu adoption within the foodservice industry.”
“The search for Ontario’s Best Veal Sandwich leveraged the benefits of social media to ignite a positive conversation among Ontario consumers,” said Cara Ferguson, edana’s President and Chief Firestarter. “Being able to leverage that positive dialogue as proof of public interest in Ontario veal among mainstream media and foodservice trade has really been the greatest success of the entire initiative.”
Not to rest on their laurels, edana and the VFO have been back on the hunt for 2019’s maker of Ontario’s Best Veal Sandwich since mid-March. The response has again been significant, with new restaurants from previously unrepresented cities participating in the program. The next champion will be crowned at an exclusive event held at Toronto’s historic St. Lawrence Market on June 15, 2019.
Veal Farmers of Ontario elects Executive for 2019
Guelph, Ontario, April 17, 2019 –The Veal Farmers of Ontario (VFO) is pleased to announce the re-election of Middlesex County veal producer Tom Kroesbergen Jr. as Chair and Pascal Bouilly (Cambridge) as Vice-Chair, at a recent meeting of the Board of Directors.
Kroesbergen was appointed to the VFO Board of Directors in 2015 and has served as Chair since 2018. Kroesbergen, alongside his family, operates Sunnydale Acres near Ailsa Craig, which has been home to their grain-fed veal business for over 26 years. In addition, the family cash crops, and runs both a broiler operation and beef feedlot.
“Looking forward in 2019, I know we will have some challenges ahead with pricing and bringing veal cattle to market, but there will also be opportunities which we can harness both as producers and as an organization,” says Kroesbergen. “Collecting licence fees from our members in order to continue to do the work we have set out to do in our strategic plan is both a privilege and a responsibility that we do not take lightly and one that we will not defer.”
Bouilly, the Dairy Calf Supply Chain Manager with Grober Nutrition, will enter his fourth year on the Board and his second as Vice-Chair. Bouilly is responsible for the started dairy calves program and provides technical support for their sales team.
“As Vice-Chair, I look forward to continuing to address the issues directly impacting dairy calf and veal producers with my fellow directors,” says Bouilly. “No other organization focuses on the dairy calf and finishing veal cattle the way we do, and we will strive to further strengthen our relationship with the dairy sector to reach our common calf care goals.”
Along with Kroesbergen and Bouilly, Cameron Knip was acclaimed to the VFO Board at the 2019 Annual General Meeting and Producer Education Day in Stratford, on March 6. Knip raises veal cattle south of Exeter; he also has a finishing barn for market hogs and cash crops with his family.
Knip fills the seat of Jim Millson, a dairy and veal producer from Enniskillen, who has retired from the board following completion of his term.
“We thank Jim for his service and dedication to the Ontario veal industry and will miss his words of encouragement from around the board table,” says Kroesbergen. “We look to Cameron to bring a fresh and business-focused perspective to our board discussions.”
Returning to the eight member VFO Board of Directors are Judy Dirksen, Joyce Feenstra, Brian Keunen, Phil Kroesbergen and Rita Maciukiewicz.
Back row: Joyce Feenstra, Brian Keunen, Cameron Knip, Phil Kroesbergen, Judy Dirksen
Front row: Pascal Bouilly, Tom Kroesbergen, Rita Maciukiewicz
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Annual VFO Board of Directors’ award winner announced
Guelph, ON, 26 March 2019 – The Veal Farmers of Ontario (VFO) was pleased to announce this year’s VFO Board of Directors’ Award winner at its recent Annual General Meeting (AGM) and Producer Education Day held at the Arden Park Hotel in Stratford on March 6, 2019.
The VFO Board of Director’s Award is presented to individuals or groups who have helped the VFO Board achieve its mandate. This year, Ms. Laurie Nicol was recognized for her dedication and service to the veal cattle industry over her 33-year career at the Ontario Independent Meat Processors (OIMP).
“We have truly appreciated working with Laurie on many projects to advance the veal industry over the years, including the successful Homegrown Ontario program,” says Jennifer Haley, executive director, VFO.
Nicol has been instrumental in dealing with several challenges and political issues that directly impacted veal production. Her commitment to ensuring our industry thrives and continuously improves is second to none.
“We thank Laurie for all that she has done for the veal sector and look forward to her continued support in her new appointment on the Ontario Beef Cattle Financial Protection Board,” says Tom Kroesbergen, Chair, VFO.
VFO submits pre-budget consultation document
The VFO recently submitted its pre-budget consultation document to Ontario’s Finance Minister Fedeli. Together with our livestock industry partners, VFO appreciates the government’s commitment to the RMP and we believe that the continued investment in the RMP program is a top priority. Risk management programs must be predictable, bankable and timely. They also need to be free of unnecessary red tape and administration. The RMP was designed by farmers for farmers to achieve those goals and VFO is committed to working with the Ontario government to ensure taxpayers and farmers continue to receive value from the investment made in the RMP. Investment in this program will ensure the program works for farmers while making a significant contribution to Ontario’s rural Ontario economy.
Funding announced for new veal cattle research project
VFO Partnering with University of Guelph on meloxicam depletion study