Last year was supposed to be John Griffin’s year. In 2017, the President and General Manager of W.P. Griffin Inc. received his fifth Top 50 CEO award – which should have meant that 2017 was also the year he was inducted into Atlantic Business Magazine’s Top 50 CEO Hall of Fame. However, an administrative snafu prevented him from receiving his award at the appropriate time. He was finally presented with his Hall of Fame induction recognition at the magazine’s 20th anniversary Top 50 CEO awards gala at the new Halifax convention centre on May 9. Not only was he presented with his award, but he was officially welcomed to Hall of Fame status by a receiving line of past inductees.
W.P. Griffin Inc. is a family-owned and operated potato farming and packaging business located in Elmsdale Prince Edward Island. John Griffin’s father, Wilfred (1928-1996), founded the business in 1947 and it continues to grow today 70 years later. In 1988, John Griffin graduated from Saint Mary’s University and returned home to work in the family business.
The Farming Division showcases new table varieties, sustainable farming practices, food safety & quality. They annually produce 4,000 acres of potatoes, grains, soybeans, hay and rye grass. Potatoes, however, are their passion and they cultivate many different potato varieties and types including Russets, Reds, White and Yellow Fleshed potatoes.
In the spring of 2016 the farming operation purchased 500 acres of prime potato land in a neighboring community. This investment was part of their long-term plan to improve their crop rotation while growing their business. In the summer of 2016 they also constructed one of the largest state-of-the-art potato storage warehouse in PEI. The new facility can store 10,000,000 lbs of potatoes.
Their Packaging & Wash Plant division has the ability to package a wide variety of traditional potato products as well as a full line of value-added specialty products. In December 2015, they completed the largest expansion/modernization project in their history. The facility was expanded by 50% to 38,000 sq. ft. This project also included several technological upgrades and new equipment additions; upgrades to optical potato grader, installed our first metal detector, new potato bagging and handling equipment, new cold storage facilities.
As Griffin Prince Edward Island Potato SpecialistsT they take great pride in growing, packaging and shipping a wide variety of potatoes and consumer convenient fresh potato product choices. Griffin retail potato products are sold across Atlantic Eastern Canada, primarily to Sobeys, Foodland and CO-OP stores. Their food service customers include Cohn Produce, GFS Gordon’s Food Services and The Keg Restaurant chain in Eastern Canada. WP Griffin also services the Eastern United States as well as international markets.
Internationally, WP Griffin has entered into a partnership with Albert Bartlett (UK) www.albertbartlett.com for cultivation of the ‘Red Rooster’T variety in Prince Edward Island, for retail stores in Eastern Canada and the Eastern USA.
Atlantic Business Magazine Top 50 CEO Hall of Famer John Griffin is unequivical about managing change: “New customers, new products, and new technologies, we like to keep moving forward.”