Purée producer a finalist for prestigious prize

Supporters can vote for Kelly Beaulieu, founder of Canadian Prairie Garden Puree Products Inc., who was chosen as as a finalist for a food product award in 
California earlier this winter

woman with bowl of purée

Manitoba’s Kelly Beaulieu, founder and chief operating officer of Canadian Prairie Garden Puree Products Inc., has been nominated for a prestigious 2015 Nexty Award.

Beaulieu became a finalist after her line of vegetable, fruit and legume purées was chosen out of more than 3,000 exhibitors attending the Natural Products Expo West in Anaheim California in March.

Experts nominate products and brands on display at the show based on how they’re expected to shape the future natural products landscape and for how well they represent innovation and social and environmental values. In a process similar to televised singing contests, the final winners are now chosen by the number of online votes cast in their favour.

Beaulieu unveiled her business plan at the Food Development Centre in Portage la Prairie in 2012, which was to reduce the amount of waste in the provincial vegetable industry.

Approximately 40 to 60 per cent of Manitoba-grown produce wasn’t being used because it was mishappen, and therefore deemed unsellable so fed to animals or used for compost.

CPG’s steam infusion cooking technology transforms these less-than-perfect veggies as well as berries and legumes into packaged fresh purées with long shelf lives now sold to the food industry across Canada and around the world. “When we showed the products and the technology to some of the largest food manufacturers, they said it was a game changer,” says Beaulieu.

Nexty Award winners are chosen by popular vote cast online at the Natural Products Expo West website until May 19. Winners are announced in June.

To vote for Beaulieu visit the Nexty website and look for Canadian Prairie Garden in the category of Supplements and Ingredients.

About the author

Reporter

Lorraine Stevenson

Lorraine Stevenson is a reporter and photographer for the Manitoba Co-operator with 25 years experience writing news and features. She was previously a reporter with the Farmers Independent Weekly and has also written for community newspapers in Winnipeg and Manitoba's Interlake.

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