The Canadian Produce Marketing Association’s pilot program, Passion for Produce, has completed its first run, and CPMA is looking for confirmation to continue.

Candidates were selected among young employees in the produce industry by members of CPMA to learn more about and participate in the produce supply chain.

This year, there were 11:

  • Ryan Fisher and Gord Morrison of BC Tree Fruit;
  • Kiran Parghi of The Oppenheimer Group;
  • Jeff Phung of Loblaws Cos.;
  • Matthew MacEwan of the Ippolito Group;
  • Vaughn Smith of Thomas Fresh;
  • Kyle Moynahan of JD Marketing;
  • Melissa Vaughan of King’s Produce;
  • Shaun Doo of Wal-Mart;
  • Nikki McKnight of C.H. Robinson; and
  • Alex Monette of Courchesne Larose.

The theme of the program is “field to fork.” Candidates attended CPMA’s 85th annual convention, CPMA award brunch and tours through farms and facilities over the course of three days.

They were encouraged to interact with volunteer mentors at each event to increase knowledge and leadership skills. Bev Appleby, CPMA manager of standardization and government relations, guided the candidates through their activities.

Since this was a first-time event, CPMA is working now to get feedback from all of the participants before moving ahead with the program, but the group expects to see recognition for the candidates on behalf of their companies.

“We are looking forward to what the Passion for Produce program might have in store for the next generation of our industry.” Eric Biddiscombe, CPMA Education Committee chair and Passion for Produce mentor, said in a news release.

CPMA’s Passion for Produce teaches young employees 'field to fork'