As the Canadian produce industry — and a good number of U.S. counterparts — capped another successful Canadian Produce Marketing Association in Vancouver, British Columbia, a crowd gathered nearby outside the convention center to watch the Olympic cauldron.

Lit at the request of CPMA, the flames mean something, no matter what country you’re from, including pride and hope.

The CPMA is giving hope through the new Half Your Plate initiative, a collaboration that links the industry and health organizations to promote more consumption of fresh fruits and vegetables. That will gain momentum throughout the year as the association rolls out more parts of the plan. 

Also at the event, a group of well-known retailers doled out insights on what they’re looking for from suppliers. It is clear that viewing trade with retailers as a matter of who can bring the cheapest product will only ruin business deals and lead to dissatisifed customers and consumers. 

The goal is to solidify a partnership, according to the retailers.

Judging from the numerous new products on display on the show floor, companies aren’t complacent about their role in increasing consumption.

Not only are new flavors available — Envy apples and sweet kale salads — but convenience packaging is a common theme. 

It was Canada’s turn to showcase what it can do, but there was plenty to learn, no matter what side of the border you’re from.

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