Martin's Family Fruit Farm
growing for healthy communities
Based on strong family values that go back generations in our community, Martin's Family Fruit Farm is as much about people as it is about apples. As President Kevin Martin puts it, "We hire good people with a strong sense of values and a positive attitude; people who will fit in here and strengthen our team. Then we train them in the skills required for the job that suits them and now we have 65 to 200 people on the team depending on the season. Our family was raised on a solid foundation of caring for people. That includes developing good relations with growers, suppliers and customers. Our industry will only thrive if we work together toward a commonly shared goal of providing safe, healthy food for the people of Ontario."
The Martin family success can also be attributed to their passion for the business. Ever since 1971 when a young exchange student from Yugoslavia convinced Kevin's father, Leighton, to plant 100 apple trees on the home farm, the family has been caught in the excitement of establishing and expanding the family fruit business that has grown to become one of the largest of its kind in Canada. Since that small beginning more than 40 years ago, Martin's has become one of the most recognized names in the apple industry, and certainly one of the most respected, with 750 acres of orchard in production and a packing plant that handles and markets fruit from more than 30 other growers across the province.
"We're always looking for ways to grow our business," says Kevin, "but with growth comes additional risk. Forces of nature for example are always a challenge; frost, hail, drought, pests and disease have all farmers at their mercy. Years of work can unravel in a single bad season. We're always taking steps to mitigate risks, look to future trends and opportunities and take the long term view of all that we do."
It also helps to have the family on board. Along with President Kevin are brothers Ken as Operations Manager and Steve managing their Orchard Market on Lobsinger Line. Success is based on many factors. The steady growth of Martin's is a result of understanding market trends and making key investments at the right times. Over the past decade there have been new orchard acquisitions and plantings, the construction of a state-of-the-art cold storage facility, upgraded packing lines and a series of plant expansions. These carefully considered strategic moves position the company well to meet Ontario's increasing demand for fresh local apples.
The Martin family has strong ties to Waterloo Region. They've been farming the same parcel of land for seven generations. Like many families, they've always been ready to lend a hand to neighbours and the community. From support for the Oktoberfest Food Drive and Habitat for Humanity to their work with Nutrition for Learning and many other local causes, the Martin's are committed to community building.
There's clearly a deeply ingrained community consciousness thriving here, a natural fit for a company that's built on family values. It's family first, people first, relationships first ... the threads of deeply rooted beliefs in the goodness of human nature, a healthy way of life that's passed on from generation to generation of the Martin family.