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International Sustainability Summit aims to harmonize practices

Canadian Produce Marketing Association (CPMA), in partnership with the International Federation for Produce Standards (IFPS) and the Global Coalition of Fresh Produce, held a successful International Sustainability Summit on April 26 in Vancouver.

Attracting 100 participants from seven countries, this event brought together produce leaders to discuss leading sustainability challenges, barriers, and opportunities for the fresh produce industry.

Left to right: Garland Perkins, John Anderson

Among the speakers was Garland Perkins, director of innovation and sustainability at Oppy who kicked off the event with a keynote address and was later joined by John Anderson, chairman, CEO, and managing partner of Oppy for a fireside chat about what it takes to enable a globally sustainable fresh produce supply chain.

The event also featured panel sessions where speakers from Canada, Netherlands, and New Zealand expanded on the challenges and opportunities facing global produce supply chain sustainability, including:

  • An overview of the state of sustainability, efforts impacting global produce supply chains.
  • A fireside chat decoding environmental, social, and governance reporting and investing trends.
  • A review of United Fresh New Zealand's best practices for aligning global produce supply chain sustainability with UN Sustainable Development Goals.
  • Exploring sustainability in action - produce sector leaders taking a holistic approach to sustainability.

The Summit attracted 100 participants from seven countries.

"The harmonization of sustainability practices is integral to achieving the sustainability of the fresh produce sector both domestically and around the world," said Ron Lemaire, CPMA president. "Parallel to the industry's experience with food safety, harmonization is integral to achieving the sustainability required to make the industry resilient and sustainable in the long term. The International Sustainability Summit panelists and those in attendance reinforced the importance of working together to achieve the level of sustainability so critical to the fresh produce industry."

The International Sustainability Summit participants were offered an opportunity to identify key risks, priorities, and ongoing activities for the fresh produce sector to achieve the environmental, social, and governance (ESG) outcomes central to a sustainable fresh produce sector.

Following the event, a draft Fresh Produce Sustainability Charter will be developed in Q2 2024 to promote the importance of sustainability within the fresh produce sector, advocate for support of sustainability efforts and initiatives, accelerate the adoption of sustainability actions, and help achieve the desired state of sustainability for the fresh produce industry.

The International Sustainability Summit presentations and video recordings are available on the CPMA website.

For more information:
Daniel G.O. Duguay
Canadian Produce Marketing Association
[email protected]

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