Kelowna-based Farming Karma Fruit Co. took home Silver Product of the Year for its pear soda at BC Food & Beverage’s annual awards in Vancouver on November 3.
The farm-based value-added company, which Country Life in BC profiled in May 2020, is operated by the second generation of the Karma Gill family who have over 25 years of apple and cherry orcharding experience.
“We sat down as a family at the end of 2017 to talk about succession planning and how we can help build on the existing business,” Karma’s son Avi Gill explained at that time. “We decided that because of commodity prices and limited control of them, we should make value-added fruit products.”
“Each of the finalists and winners exemplify passion and leadership in driving success for themselves and the businesses they work for,” said BC Food & Beverage CEO James Donaldson.
BC Food & Beverage represents people and companies growing BC’s food, beverage and natural health product manufacturing industry.
“When we launched in January 2020, we were a farming family that didn’t have any background in food manufacturing, product development, marketing, packaging, selling, or any of the other things that go along with putting a product in the market,” say the younger Gill, who returned to the farm after a career as a pharmacist. “With consistent hard work, believing in ourselves, and tremendous support from our community and mentors, we were able to develop a product that we were proud of. To be recognized for that: it’s a dream come true.”
Vancouver-based food company Big Mountain Foods’s Soy-Free Tofu, made with 100% Canadian Fava beans, took the gold award. The product contains 95% more protein than leading soy-tofu brands.