Clicking and connecting

Features - Technology

Ontario Greenhouse Vegetable Growers (OGVG) amps up its website to better serve its retailers, buyers and end users.

February 16, 2015

OGVG, a non-profit aimed at representing Ontario produce growers, needed a more visually appealing way to communicate online with its audience. Its new website does just that by promoting interactivity, especially with its consumers.

“We’re really trying to look at our target market, which is the actual end users as well as retailers and buyers for different retailers, wholesalers, including the family- the family looking at the differences and benefits of buying Ontario-grown produce,” says Richard Lee, operations manager for OGVG., adapted from, is enhanced with the bright blues, greens and red colors of its logo. The homepage pops with moving video of top stories that take up the whole screen.

It’s also much friendlier to iPad users. Instead of scrolling down an entire page to read all the content, the text boxes themselves scroll up and down, giving users more control of the experience.

Social media is also a bigger focus than before. An entire page is dedicated to engagement with an interactive pinwheel that highlights Facebook, Twitter, press releases and OGVG’s YouTube channel. The YouTube option also provides a two-minute, informational video right on the page instead of directing users out of the site.

“By reaching out to North America [and worldwide] with a website that is easy, clean, innovative and fresh, it gives the consumer the opportunity to see our product, see our recipes and see what you can do with these vegetables,” Lee says.

OGVG is part of the popular trend of creating recipes that include a company’s produce for consumers. The new site implements these recipes on an easy-to-view, easy-to-print platform. Storage tips adjacent to descriptions of the specific vegetables also give the user better snapshots of the product, a feature the old site lacked.

“It’s nice to see that the consumers are taking pride in what they’re choosing to put into their bodies,” Lee says. “So they’re identifying the benefits that greenhouse-grown produce has over some of the other suppliers of the world, and they’re embracing what we have to offer.”

But just because the site is complete doesn’t mean the work is done. To keep things interesting, OGVG will continue to hire chefs to create recipes from the produce so consumers have something fresh and new to look at when they periodically return to the

“They’ll see the promotions of the increased production of tomatoes at certain times of the year, peppers at certain times of the year, and know to go to the retailer and request Ontario,” he says.

JEV Marketing & Communications out of Windsor contracted the deal with OGVG for JEV worked hand-in-hand with Lee, the marketing coordinator and marketing committee of OGVG, to complete the project. It was a lengthy process, as there was a lot of back-and-forth with the drawing board between the 10-12 people working on the re-design.

“We have a strong-minded sector where they’re creative, they’re innovative and everyone has their own ideas. So somewhere in between, we had to agree to put it on paper and that’s where the creation of came from,” Lee says.

In order to re-design, Lee suggests surrounding your organization with a team that understands your industry and your goal, and once you do, you can choose the person or company to best deliver on those goals.

“When you have those good people participating and providing valuable input that has that common objective of trying to reach that goal, you have a winning team,” he says. ”You have the best minds contributing to something that’s bettering the whole group.”