Hazelnuts Ontario is a dynamic, self-sustaining globally recognized centre of excellence leading and advocating for all stakeholders in the hazelnut sector. Vision: Lead the development of the hazelnut industry in Ontario. . The purpose of the Ontario Hazelnut Association is to:
Promote the development, sale and export of hazelnut agricultural products.
To provide educational opportunities to enhance hazelnut production in Ontario.
Set a vision for the hazelnut industry in Ontario for producers, aggregators, processors and retailers in the province.
Create a network for information and resource sharing, research and project collaboration.
Promote a brand "Hazelnuts Ontario" through the Ontario Hazelnut Association.
Actively advocate for the benefit of hazelnut industry growth and development.
Eric Beriault Chair of the Board of Directors
Eric grew up on the fertile north shore of lake Erie, just outside of Blenheim, in Southwestern Ontario. Growing up, countless hours were spent in the cucumber, tomato, pepper and tobacco fields with his father and working for other local farmers. In 1997 he moved to London, Ontario and obtained a Business Marketing diploma from Fanshawe College. Eric was bit by the entrepreneurial bug in 1999 when he owned a Student painting franchise for the next 2 summers. Subsequent to that he entered the Real Estate world as a property manager and Rental Sales agent. This lead to becoming a Real Estate Investor and Mortgage Broker. In late 2009 he accepted his biggest challenge with the support of his business partners and family to start a new venture in energy efficiency somewhere in the United States. That somewhere ended up being California - the land of innovation, energy efficiency and sustainability. What drew Eric to Hazelnuts was the fact that it is a perennial, multi generational, sustainable crop. With the help of family and friends, the first 6 acres were planted in 2017 surrounding the family residence.
Les High Executive Les High and his wife Pat are using 8 acres of their agricultural land base to grow Hazelnuts. Originally a hobby crop on their parents' farmsteads, they feel that Hazelnuts can add value in multiple ways as a commercial tree crop in Ontario. Les graduated from the Agricultural College at Guelph in 1974. His wife Pat was employed at Agriculture Canada. Later they formed Highview Orchards. Tender Fruit crops were grown for several decades. Their three children were involved into their young adult years. Les is again a start-up farmer finding new intrigue with Hazelnuts. Les believes Hazelnuts will add horticultural diversity within the Tree Crop Industry for Ontario with economics from use in processing and fresh markets. Environmental benefits also exist. It is a crop low in cultural management cost and good research has occurred rapidly in the last 5 to 10 years. The opportunity exists for early adopters.
Mark Whitmore Treasurer
Wayne McIntyre Secretary
Kevin Hodge Director
Andrew Dalgleish Director
Steve McNeil Director
Deb Hodge Director
Martha Sharp Director
Earl Hughson Director
Tori Walker Director