Wednesday, April 26, 2023

2:00 pm – 2:30 pm
Wholesalers - Solution Providers in an Evolving Marketplace

Every day wholesalers provide fresh produce to a vastly varied clientele that includes “Mom & Pop” style retail stores, independent restaurants, and the traditional regional and national chains. But if the past two years have taught us anything, it is that we can no longer count on “business as usual”. Learn more about how these companies on the front line of fresh produce distribution are helping their customers adapt to a rapidly changing marketplace and their role in keeping fresh produce flowing to meet customer demands.

2:45 pm – 3:15 pm
The Independent Retailer and Foodservice – Adjusting Their Sales

Nobody says it like Dolly Parton: “We cannot direct the wind, but we can adjust the sails” and perhaps no other food distribution group has had to do as much adjusting recently as independent retailers and restaurants. Selling fresh produce requires many adaptations in an ideal marketplace, but today’s market is challenged constantly by supply pressures, combined with a tidal wave of consumer concerns about pricing and product availability. In addition, consumers expect a more personalized approach from independent retailers and restaurants and may be less forgiving of them if their needs and concerns aren’t met.  This panel will help the industry understand how these factors influence their buying, merchandising, and menu choices.

3:30 pm – 4:00 pm
Women in Produce – Leadership in Sustainability and Innovation

In a climate of ongoing change and advancements, the long-term viability of the fresh produce industry will depend upon our ability to leverage innovation. Effective leadership is essential to ensure sustainability and innovation across the industry and, more broadly, across the globe. This session will focus on female leaders who are helping move the food industry forward utilizing innovative solutions to challenges that impact the long-term sustainability of food in Canada.

Thursday, April 27, 2023

1:00 pm – 1:30 pm
Growing in Produce – The Evolving Workplace

Emerging leaders in the industry are well-positioned to consider and adapt to the rapid changes in the workplace. Regardless of whether they spent the past three years working at home, in the office, or both, everyone has had a crash course in technologies and ways of operating to support business in the new hybrid working environment. Young professionals are helping to change both the produce supply chain and the workplace. In this session hear about their recent experiences, lessons learned, and their thoughts on what’s next in the evolving workplace.

1:45 pm – 2:15 pm
Sustainability – A Global Effort Localized in Canada

In many ways, fresh produce is at the forefront of sustainability; it is not just a buzzword, but a way of life and a way of doing business. The eyes of consumers and supply chain partners are on the industry.  Social media elevates discussions daily while standards, measurement tools, and metrics abound. So how does industry cut through the endless information to ensure meaningful sustainability efforts that meet supply chain and consumer demands while building an industry that will feed Canada and the world? Representatives from organizations with a focus on sustainability, both locally and internationally, will share their efforts and impacts. 

2:30 pm – 3:00 pm
The Changing Supply Chain – A Buyer’s Perspective 

Supply chain challenges continue to impact the fresh produce industry. Compounding these issues, geopolitical, weather and economic impacts are now at the forefront of pressure to maintain the supply of fresh produce in a period of increasing concern about food prices. So how does the most visible portion of the supply chain balance all of these factors and what could this mean in the foreseeable future? Canadian buyers will speak to their biggest challenges, the potential impacts across their supply chains and what changes they may be anticipating in the year ahead.