Steve Kroft: Growing a firm to help feed the world

February 18, 2013

Steve Kroft runs the kind of company that is on Canada’s endangered species list. Winnipeg-based Conviron is a mid-sized manufacturer with a high-value-added product that is the world leader in its niche. The product line consists of environmentally controlled chambers used for plant research, and exports account for 90 per cent of sales. The family company – whose official name is Controlled Environments Ltd. – has been export-driven since it was established 49 years ago. As Steve Kroft explains it, the high Canadian dollar has only made it stronger.

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Our core competence is designing controlled environments. We happened to focus on agriculture and plant growth, but controlled environments are needed in other industries. People come to us to test protective clothing for first responders, or for applications in pharmaceuticals and chemical storage, and we do a very good job. We haven’t marketed yet in those kinds of areas, but they are where we can make a contribution. -Steve Kroft, President & CEO, Conviron