Chong Farms

Three generations are involved at Chong Farms, a 175-acre blueberry farm that’s been in operation for over 25 years. For Nancy, her parents, siblings and their children, it’s definitely a labour of love as everyone pulls from their diverse backgrounds to help make the farm successful.

“We’re a very tight-knit family,” says Nancy. “I’m actually a chartered accountant by trade. My husband is an IT director, my sister’s a teacher/librarian and my brother-in-law has a PhD and I have a brother who’s an investor in New York. But every summer, we all get together and come back to the farm to help out.”

It helps that her parents instilled a strong work ethic and core values into Nancy and her siblings. Nancy believes that has aided in helping her keep some perspective through the years. “When you’re brought up that way at a very young age, when you’re older, you really do appreciate all that’s offered in a farm.”

Chong Farms has been working with Silver Valley Farms for nearly five years although the connection began about 15 years ago when Nancy and Ray met at a North American Blueberry Counsel conference. When the Chongs needed to find another packer/processor, Nancy called on Ray to help out. “Ray was really good about it, he came and worked with us and the other company to make sure there was a smooth transition. It’s been a great experience for us.”

“Silver Valley Farms really treats their growers well. They treat them professionally, with respect, and they work really hard for them. As a grower, I really appreciate that. When you’re working with a company that’s committed to a long-term operation like you are with your own company, you can really plan and work on that long-term business relationship together.”

“They’re very supportive, providing us with training when we need it. They’re always available when we have questions and they go out of their way to make sure everyone is aware of marketing activities and industry news. We really feel like we’re part of the team with them. Plus they’re continually building on the relationships they have, which makes our farm and the whole industry that much stronger.”

It means a lot to Nancy and her family knowing they have someone they can turn to when they need help or advice. Nancy puts it this way: “It’s great to know that I have a good home for my berries, to know that they’re going to take all my berries and process them properly. It’s very comforting to me.”

Nancy attributes this care and commitment to the fact that Silver Valley Farms are also growers as well. “They really understand the issues and concerns we have. Plus we share similar values, both personally and at the business level, which is really important. It comes down to fairness, respect and trust and helping us improve the quality of our berries while working hard to ensure a good return and sustainability.”

The support that Silver Valley Farms provides to Nancy and her family also extends into the community in other ways as well. “They’re very generous. They donate a lot of berries to support the industry and for promotions as well,” says Nancy. “If you reach out to them, they’re there for you – no questions asked. They contribute so much to the industry – and the public – overall but they’re also really humble about it. We’re so fortunate to have Ray and his team involved in the industry.”