Ontario Greenhouse Vegetable Growers: Nuturing Fresh Ideas Through Employee Engagement

Byron Mellon    February 12, 2017

  Ontario Greenhouse Vegetable Growers (OGVG) is a not-for-profit organization based in Leamington, Ontario. OGVG was formed in 1967, representing approximately 220 members who grow greenhouse tomatoes, cucumbers and peppers on over 2,500 acres in Ontario, Canada. OGVG works hard to promote and connect its growers with government agencies, consumers, retailers and foodservice operators across North America through various government lobbing events, research, marketing initiatives, trade shows and community activities. As a whole, OGVG strives to support the Ontario greenhouse vegetable sector and its growers, however possible, to ensure success for today, sustainability for tomorrow, and fresh, nutritious, quality produce for all!

 Greenhouse Hero was Born

As an organization that represents a large geographical area with just a small team of seven office staff , OGVG like to think of themselves as a small but effective group. The office still has that family type feel, and the way the office dynamic works is just that. Everyone has their area or department of expertise, but the employees are always open & willing to chip in when a project dictates. Staff are encouraged to generate ideas, best practises or develop new ways to engage consumers & grow the sector as a whole, whether it be by science, environmental or marketing based projects.

When the idea of creating a mobile app (Greenhouse Hero) game as a way to better engage and inform the customers was introduced, employees were more than happy to get involved and provide input and feedback in order to develop and create the most impactful & valuable experience for the end user. From gameplay styling, level design, level music, to the visuals of the vegetables used, staff had full input as to how the game would be developed from conception to completion. As the game reached its final development stages, OGVG employees we more than excited to get their hands on their very own test pilot version of the game to play on their mobile devices. As part of the employee involvement initiative, OGVG employees were tasked with developing some social media strategies, content & campaigns that will allow the fans and followers of OGVG social media channels (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram) to stay informed on game launch & availability details. Employees have also created a social media campaign that will allow the fans & followers come up with name suggestions for the main character of the game.

After months of brainstorming sessions, edits, revamping, product testing & hours spent playing on their phones at work, the Greenhouse hero app is in its final stages and is set to launch at the beginning of March. Greenhouse Hero will be available for free download on GooglePlay & App stores. Stay tuned, follow & like us on all of our social media channels for the latest news!

“From start to finish, the creation & development of the Greenhouse Hero game has provided staff with a great opportunity to get involved and have an actual measurable impact on what gets developed and launched to the public. The game provides OGVG with a great platform to engage & inform the public with information, facts about greenhouse produce all while having fun. On the other hand, the entire project  has benefitted the workplace by engaging and investing our employees by introducing, exposing them to aspects of marketing & social media that they would otherwise not get to be involved with ”  says Richard Lee, Operations & Compliance Manager, Ontario Greenhouse Vegetable Growers

Lessons for Others

Trust in your team

Often times organizations feel the need to outsource or acquire a professional opinion when it comes to marketing or social initiatives. Although I recommend this route in most business & marketing scenarios, I could also argue that often times the best ideas, input and constructive feedback can be found closer to home and at a more affordable cost. When it comes to marketing or social media projects that are designed to inform and engage consumers as a whole, It is important that you take advantage of your existing employees skill sets by engaging them for insights & input. The benefits are two fold, It empowers the employee and it promotes & cultivates an inclusive work environment. Everyone wins!


Organization: Ontario Greenhouse Vegetable Growers
Industry: Agriculture
Name of Organization Contact: Byron Mellon, Marketing Coordinator

Authored by: Byron Mellon

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