James Milne has been named business development director at Vancouver, British Columbia-based The Oppenheimer Group.

UPDATED: Oppenheimer Group names business development director


Since taking the newly created post in late August, Milne has maintained his prior duties as director of the citrus and avocado categories, according to a news release.

In the new role he will guide the company’s nine-member business development group as it creates promotional strategies for each of Oppenheimer’s product categories.

“This is really just an opportunity to develop a cohesive approach,” Milne said. “The business has changed so much in the last five years. There’s a lot of pressure on just making sure the price is right. The value equation is harder for marketing reps to get across to the retail community, for understandable reasons in this economy.

“In the old days you went out with a broad-streamed approach, but that doesn’t have cachet anymore. It really has to be tar-geted to individual accounts. We have to really get the messaging nailed in for retailers, and our group is able to do that.”

Milne, 48, has been with Oppenheimer Group since 1996, including a five-year stint as director of marketing.

He was appointed to the citrus role in 2006, and avocados were added to his responsibilities in 2010. Milne also served as director of Oppenheimer’s greenhouse category from 2006-09; director of marketing from 2001-06; and as apple and pear category director from 1996-2001.

Milne began his food marketing career with New Zealand-based ENZA in 1987 as a brand manager for the Fresh-up fruit juices division.

He was soon promoted to marketing manager for fresh fruit exports to Asia. In 1994, James became vice president of ENZA Fresh in Vancouver, where he began interacting directly with Oppenheimer, ENZA's North American marketing arm.