Windsor

Highbury tomatoes 'in good shape' amid blight sightings in Chatham-Kent

Food processor Highbury Canco in Leamington, Ont., remains confident about the health of its tomato crop, despite cases of late blight that have been seen in Chatham-Kent.

Food processor Highbury Canco in Leamington, Ont., remains confident about the health of its tomato crop, despite cases of late blight that have been seen in Chatham-Kent.

Sam Diab, the company president, said Highbury has taken steps to protect its crop, though he can't speak about the health of tomatoes across the region.

"Our crop is in really good shape, luckily, and knock on wood, thank you to the help of our experienced growers and our field folks that work with the growers, we're very comfortable with the way our crop looks right now," Diab told CBC News on Wednesday.

Diab said the company gets about half its tomatoes from Chatham-Kent and the other half from Essex County.

Highbury took over the Leamington plant that Heinz had operated for more than a century, before closing down its operations there last year.

Earlier this week, Janice LeBoeuf, a vegetable crops specialist with the province's ministry of agriculture, food and rural affairs, posted notice online that late blight had been seen in "numerous tomato fields in Chatham-Kent."

The Chatham-Kent website says the region is the top tomato producer in Canada.

With files from the CBC's Aadel Haleem

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