In the short eight years since Adrian Abbott joined the Canadian Produce Marketing Association, the marketing services manager for BC Tree Fruits Ltd. has seen a lot.

The past year as chairman of the Ottawa association meant a whirlwind tour of not just Canada but also the U.S. and beyond.

“It’s a wonderful year because it really gets you deeply involved in all aspects of the produce industry.”

Abbott is enthusiastic about several accomplishments during his tenure as chairman.

First, the CPMA rolled out its new consumption education program, Fruits and Veggies — Mix it Up! this spring.

“It’s been a passion of mine to get the industry to revitalize the campaign and get the association behind it,” he said. “We put substantial resources from our reserves behind the campaign.”

Challenges facing incoming chairman Alain Routhier, president of Courchesne Larose Ltd., Montreal, include continuing the momentum of Fruits and Veggies — Mix it Up!

“There was a lot of excitement and a lot of money behind the announcement,” he said. “Now the real issue going forward is how to sustain it and make it grow. How do you get companies to really integrate it? That is a serious challenge for the incoming chair.”

Abbott said his time as CPMA chairman was a fantastic experience.

“Anyone who has the opportunity should certainly step up,” he said.

Alain Routhier, president of Montreal-based Courchesne Larose Ltd., is the association’s incoming chairman.

The Canadian Produce Marketing Association's annual convention and trade show is scheduled for May 12-14 in Vancouver. 

Adrian Abbott wraps up year leading CPMA