Article: Lambton Farmer Fights Chinese Imports With Own Crop

Posted on September 24, 2014 - Category: News & Articles

Article posted Sept 22, 2014:

An Alvinston-area farming operation is being credited as the first producer of 100% naturally-grown edamame in Canada.

Ninety-nine per cent of the edamame, a specialized soybean, consumed in Canada is imported from China.

Yet MacKellar Farms grows a product that’s GMO-free and wholly owned and operated in Canada.

Owner is Jacob MacKellar who says while many Canadians balk at buying other produce, such as apples, from China, they don’t give a second thought to the origins of their edamame.

“We’re a fourth-generation Canadian farm that proudly distributes a premium legume from our own backyard,” said MacKellar. “Our family saw an opportunity ripe for the picking in edamame. With the vast majority of edamame coming from China, we thought – why not replace the imports with something that’s local and Canadian?”

The locally-grown vegetable provides consumers with protein, fibre and essential amino acids, says the young Lambton farmer.

MacKellar has been growing edamame for five years. The first two were experimental, while the last three years have produced the commercial product. About 300 acres are grown annually.

The product is flash frozen so it can be sold year-round.

“We own the product all the way through the supply chain,” said MacKellar.

The edamame is sold in about 350 small stores, mostly health food stores in urban areas, as well as to some re-packers.