VeriFine Bradford

Today's post brings us to beautiful Bradford, Ontario. Located adjacent to the fertile Holland Marsh. One cannot swing a cat and not hit a vegetable field. In fact, the 7,000 acres of reclaimed land produces enough carrots (among other vegetables) to provide every man, women and child in Canada with four pounds every year . . . wow. Bradford is the town where many of the Marsh's produce are further processed, packaged, and put on a back of a truck to your grocery store.

With tight competition, businesses have to go big or go home. That is what happened to the Bradford location of Exeter Produce. They closed up shop on in Bradford but expanded their other locations. So, that brings us to the point of this post . . . the abandonment.

I first took note of this location in April, but thought to let the abandonment 'season' for just a bit more. Thank-goodness I did, evidence found inside during the exploration indicated that decommission work was still be done as late as June. What greeted me today was silent emptiness with only the overgrown weeds for company . . . excellent.

One item of interest noted during the exploration was the excessive use of all manners of signs and other postings. Typically these were safety related (they must have been busted by the Ministry of Labour - no-one is this proactive!). Other signs found related to the the logistics of the vegetables and their shipment, including this interesting above-right. Who knew that all pallets were not created equal.

On the production floor, it appeared that many of the pieces of equipment had already been removed, but enough did remain to give a fairly good idea of the how the vegetables were received, sorted, washed and packaged under the 'VeriFine' brand name.

From all the labels in one of the production floor offices, it appeared that carrots and onions were the order of the day. This was reconfirmed a number of carrot and onion lamented posters in the administration office. Above-right you can see our very own CopySix modeling with just such a poster.

Not often does one find a pitchfork in an office, let alone the abosolutely horrid dead canary yellow for wall colour. Anywho, much of the front offices were completely barren with desks, and office equipment removed. Only the front office 'lounge' had any furniture. I strongly suspect that the decommissioning contractors, had spent several lazy afternoons here producing puppies.

Speaking of workers, their lunchroom, kitchen and locker room, all located on the first floor at the front of building paled in comparison to the decadent luxury found upstairs in the administrative offices. The manager's office had it's own en suite with a shower (for those hot late night office romps I suspect).

I assume that when area farmers delivered produce, it would be weighed and then payment provided at the office. The weigh scale I could find was the one near the massive vegetable washer (sorry - it did not make for a good picture). This leads me to believe that (1) a larger weighscale had been removed some time ago or I simply just did not see it and (2) the smaller scale was used to weigh out solutions for the vegetable washer.

To maintain all the large complex equipment here on site, one would expect a maintenance department and workshop. The workshop appeared to have had all its tools removed but all the lubricants and other fluids were still present.

Remember explorers - eat your vegetables !

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