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At 87th Annual Convention and Trade Show

Canada: CPMA awards industry leaders

On  April 16, 2012 – As part of their 87th Annual Convention and Trade Show, the Canadian Produce Marketing Association bestowed two distinct sets of awards on produce industry leaders.

As part of the Trade Show program, awards were given on Friday, April 13th to recognize the efforts of trade show exhibitors and product innovation.

Best Booth Award
In order to recognize Exhibitors for their efforts in creating outstanding displays, and providing high-quality experience to the Trade Show visitor, three Best Booth Awards categories were awarded:

  • First place: Peak of The Market
  • Second place: Mexico Pavilion
  • Third place: Fresh Direct Produce

The Best Booth Award Criteria includes overall booth presentation; company identity; product presentation; design elements; booth activity; interpersonal skills and professionalism.
Best New Product Award
This year’s winner, Naturipe Farms for their Mighty Blues product, was recognized for their innovative new product and selected by our judging panel (Eric Biddiscombe, Loblaw Companies Ltd.; Oleen Smethurst, Costco Wholesale Canada; Michčle McMillan, Sobeys National; Mike Furi, The Grocery People Ltd.; Brian Hampton, The Produce People Ltd.; Lori Carmen, Specialty Buyer at Thomas Fresh Inc Calgary; Christopher Sprentz CCC, Sysco Calgary; Chef Martin Makulowich CCC; Vanessa Peters, Canadian Grocer Magazine; Ghislain Perron, Metro Richelieu Inc.).

Best New Product Award Criteria was originality and product appearance and overall convenience and benefits for consumers.

As part of the Convention program, awards were given to industry leaders and a community outreach organization during events held on Thursday, April 12th and Friday, April 13th. Recipients were recognized for their ongoing commitment to the produce industry in Canada – and the overall health of Canadians.

The Produce News Fresh Health Award
Winner, the Timiskaming Health Unit is primarily located in New Liskeard, Ontario and works towards total wellness of the community, by promoting health and preventing illness. It also offers various programs and services in areas of health promotion, clinical and infectious diseases.

Timiskaming Health Unit’s Creating Healthy School Nutrition Environment in School Communities Program is about schools but integrates out into the community as part of a comprehensive health programming approach. CPMA’s Freggie Friday program has been introduced to support and enhance engagement with students and their families within the community. The Freggie Friday program has become an integral part of the Timiskaming Health Unit’s school and community outreach.

The Mary Fitzgerald Award
Awarded to Anthony Bisogno. Anthony is a young produce professional that has demonstrated,  during his first five years with the Burnac Produce group of companies, a true passion for produce often found only among the most seasoned and senior statesmen of the industry. Anthony’s passion for produce can be partially attributed to being a second generation produce person.  His father, Vince Bisogno, has been in the industry for 44 years, and also works for the Burnac Produce group of companies. Anthony recently became a first time father to a baby boy, born at the end of 2011- and is learning to find balance between family and work.

Anthony participated in the 2011 Passion for Produce mentoring program and returned to Burnac with only positive feedback from the program. His dedication to his customers is paralleled by his dedication to suppliers. Anthony constantly strives to achieve a balanced result for all of his constituents and he will demand of himself more and more until he achieves the desired result that is beneficial to all.

The Packer’s Canadian Produce Person of the Year
Awarded to Bernadette Hamel. Bernadette was born in Montreal Quebec as the youngest of eight children (seven girls). Having started as a young girl in her teens working on the farmers market at Marche Central, she has grown a love for the industry and a passion for produce. At 20 years old she was a co-owner of a fresh produce store.  For the past 28 years she has worked her way through the ranks of the produce division with Metro Inc. functioning in roles from junior buyer to now vice president, national procurement, produce.

She is an active member of the industry playing a role with regional and national associations. Bernadette has been a CPMA board member since 1998 and joined the CPMA executive team in 2009 working on a path to be only the second female chair of the CPMA in 87 years.

CPMA 2012/2013 Chair Jim DiMenna noted "Bernadette brings a strong-willed 'can do' attitude to everything she does. She is respectful and attentive to others and she displays outstanding management skills. Furthermore, she managed to carve out a spot for herself in a predominantly male milieu."

Bernadette is a produce professional who gives a tremendous amount back to the industry - locally, regionally and nationally.

CPMA Lifetime Achievement Award
Awarded to Glenn Baty. Glenn joined CPMA’s board of directors in 1991, and even before joining CPMA, he was an up and comer within the industry at Scott National. From 1991 onward, he regularly attended and participated in CPMA meetings across the country until he stepped down from the board in the early 2000’s. His service included chairing the Association’s Member Services Committee, which handled government relations and issues that impacted member’s business associations. His passion for fairness in all sectors of the produce industry led to Glenn being nominated for CPMA’s Canadian Board of Arbitration, appointed by the Minister of Agriculture.

Glenn played a founding role in the Fruits and Vegetable Dispute Resolution Corporation- attending NAFTA industry meetings in Mexico, the USA and Canada. He later accepted the CPMA recommendation for service on DRC’s Board of Directors and joined in 2001.

Glenn’s passion for the produce industry - and CPMA - was recognized by his peers in 1997 when he was awarded the Packer’s prestigious Canadian Produce Man of the Year during the 1998 CPMA Convention and Trade Show in Halifax.

For more information:
Lianne Wand
Canadian Produce Marketing Association
Tel: +1 613-226-4187 ext225

Publication date: 4/19/2012


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