Produce Talks: The CPMA Podcast

This exciting new tool to support professional development for industry is now ready for use. These podcasts offer industry the opportunity to hear about the latest research, new industry trends, innovations in food science and other topics to help provide insights into an ever changing industry.

Produce Talks sponsored by:

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Episode 40 – Ethnic and Exotic Produce – Part 2

There has been a steady growth the variety and origin of produce over the past ten to fifteen years. In part one we explore some of the factors that are contributing to this growth, including the influence the rising number of newcomers to Canada are having on the produce departments. We assembled a panel to discuss how the produce department is changing and the opportunity that exists with this trend.

This month we have the privilege of being joined by:

  • Davis Yung, President, Fresh Direct Produce
  • George Pitsikoulis, President, Canadawide Fruit Wholesalers
  • Michael Baird, Category Manager Ethnic, Loblaw Companies

Play the Podcast (to download, right-click then click "Save target as..." or "Save link as...")

Thank you to our podcast sponsor,  NatureFresh™ Farms.

Remember, if you have an idea for a podcast we want to hear from you.



Media Talks: 2016 Retrospective on Produce

This month on Produce Talks, we turn the mic over to Ron Lemaire the President of CPMA as he sits down with a panel of the media who cover our industry to review the year that was 2016 and predicting the major stories of 2017.

This episode is the first half of a conversation with:

Play Part 1 (to download, right-click then click "Save target as..." or "Save link as...")

Play Part 2 (to download, right-click then click "Save target as..." or "Save link as...")

Thank you to our podcast sponsor,  NatureFresh™ Farms.

Remember, if you have an idea for a podcast we want to hear from you.



Episode 38 – Ethnic and Exotic Produce – Part 1

There has been a steady growth the variety and origin of produce over the past ten to fifteen years. In part one we explore some of the factors that are contributing to this growth, including the influence the rising number of newcomers to Canada are having on the produce departments. We assembled a panel to discuss how the produce department is changing and the opportunity that exists with this trend.

This month we have the privilege of being joined by:

  • Davis Yung, President, Fresh Direct Produce
  • George Pitsikoulis, President, Canadawide Fruit Wholesalers
  • Michael Baird, Category Manager Ethnic, Loblaw Companies

Play the Podcast (to download, right-click then click "Save target as..." or "Save link as...")

Thank you to our podcast sponsor,  NatureFresh™ Farms.



Episode 37 – Social License to Operate – The Produce Perspective

In our last episode we explored the concept of Social License by connecting with Janice Tranberg, Executive Director of SaskCanola about their documentary License to Farm. This month we explore Social License from a different perspective when we talk with Steve Roosdahl, Executive Director of Supply Chain for The Oppenheimer Group. Steve gives us his perspective on Social License, how it is viewed at Oppy, and where a company can start to build a Social License plan.

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Thank you to our podcast sponsor,  NatureFresh™ Farms.



Episode 36 – Social License to Operate - License to Farm

Social License is a term that has become more prominent in the last couple of years. Closely linked with Corporate Social Responsibility, Social License has emerged as a concept that more companies are focusing on. On this episode of Produce Talks, we connect with Janice Tranberg, Executive Director of SaskCanola. Under her leadership, SaskCanola produced a documentary call License to Farm that explores the concept of social license. The document provides an overview of how producers can handle controversial topics and how it is crucial for producers to engage with the public to maintain public confidence.

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Thank you to our podcast sponsor,  NatureFresh™ Farms.



Episode 35 – Order up! A Look at Produce in Food Service — Part 2

This month on Produce Talks, part 2 of our conversation with a panel of experts on the Food Service side of the produce industry. This panel tackles everything from how technology is changing the industry, what is happening with the overlap between food service and retail operations, and what changes will come to the distribution chain within the next 10 years.
Please welcome to the podcast:

  • Dan Martin, Senior Director Produce, Sysco Canada
  • Colleen Goto, Vice President of Sales and Marketing, FreshPoint Vancouver
  • Sean Walsh, North American Director Fruits, Vegetables and Dairy, Gordon Food Service
  • Tim York, President, Markon Cooperative Inc.

Play the Podcast (to download, right-click then click "Save target as..." or "Save link as...")

Thank you to our podcast sponsor,  NatureFresh™ Farms.


Episode 34 – Order up! A Look at Produce in Food Service — Part 1

This month on Produce Talks, we have assembled a panel of experts on the Food Service side of the produce industry. This panel tackles everything from how technology is changing the industry, what is happening with the overlap between food service and retail operations, and what changes will come to the distribution chain within the next 10 years.
Please welcome to the podcast:

  • Dan Martin, Senior Director Produce, Sysco Canada
  • Colleen Goto, Vice President of Sales and Marketing, FreshPoint Vancouver
  • Sean Walsh, North American Director Fruits, Vegetables and Dairy, Gordon Food Service
  • Tim York, President, Markon Cooperative Inc.

Play the Podcast (to download, right-click then click "Save target as..." or "Save link as...")

Thank you to our podcast sponsor,  NatureFresh™ Farms.


Episode 33 – Women in Produce – Part 2

Once again, we’re turning the microphone over to Jane Proctor, Vice President of Policy & Issue Management at CPMA, for the second part of her conversation with female leaders in the industry. In the second half of the conversation our panelist provide their advice for young people entering the produce workforce and reflect on the near future of the produce industry.
Please welcome to the podcast:

  • Angela Santiago, CEO, Co-Founder, The Little Potato Company Ltd.
  • Bernadette Hamel, Vice President, National Procurement, Produce and Dairy, Metro Richelieu Inc.
  • Beth Pattillo, Director of Marketing, Kings Produce Ltd.
  • Stéphanie Larivière, Sales Regulatory Manager, Erie James Limited

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Thank you to our podcast sponsor,  NatureFresh™ Farms.


Episode 32 – Women in Produce

This month, we’re turning the microphone over to Jane Proctor, Vice President of Policy & Issue Management at CPMA to take a look at how the produce workforce is changing. With more women taking on senior roles in the industry and the increase of female participation in Passion for Produce both indicate a fundamental shift in the demographics of the industry. We’ve gathered together a small group of women to reflect on their different experiences, and what the future of the industry looks like for young women entering today. Please welcome to the podcast:

  • Angela Santiago, CEO, Co-Founder, The Little Potato Company Ltd.
  • Bernadette Hamel, Vice President, National Procurement, Produce and Dairy, Metro Richelieu Inc.
  • Beth Pattillo, Director of Marketing, Kings Produce Ltd.
  • Stéphanie Larivière, Sales Regulatory Manager, Erie James Limited

Play the Podcast (to download, right-click then click "Save target as..." or "Save link as...")

Thank you to our podcast sponsor,  NatureFresh™ Farms.


Episode 31 – Connecting with the CPMA Chair and Past Chair

This month on Produce Talks we turn the microphone over to Ron Lemaire, President of CPMA as he sits down for a conversation with Mike Furi from The Grocery People (CPMA Past Chair), and Sam Silvestro from Walmart Canada (CPMA Chair) to discuss the role of the CPMA chair and the direction of the CPMA organization. This month we are splitting the conversation into two episodes.

  • Play Part 1 (to download, right-click then click "Save target as..." or "Save link as...")
  • Play Part 2 (to download, right-click then click "Save target as..." or "Save link as...")

Thank you to our podcast sponsor, NatureFresh™ Farms.


Episode 30 – The Kids are Alright: Connecting with Post-Secondary Food Service

This month on Produce Talks we’re taking a look at foodservice at post-secondary institutions. To provide us with an informed perspective we’ve connected with Brent Brownlee, Director Ancillary Services at Algonquin College in Ottawa. The conversation with Brent went in a few directions but we mostly focused not only on finding out about the different changes that have come about in the foodservice part of post-secondary, but also what those changes could mean for changing consumer expectations as students complete their studies and gain purchasing power in the next stage of their lives.

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Thank you to our podcast sponsor, NatureFresh™ Farms.

Music in this episode is from bensound.com.


Episode 29 – Sub-zero Produce

This month, on Produce Talks, we turn our attention to a project aimed at addressing food security issues in northern communities. Glenn Scott, from Agriartic, joins us to discuss the Agridome, a controlled environment growing facility that is operating year round in Whitehorse, Yukon. Currently, Glenn is conducting a feasibility study supported by Yukon Research Centre – Cold Climate Innovations, Yukon Agriculture, HydeAway Domes and däna Näye Ventures to determine the viability of commercial production facilities throughout the north.

With a consistent drive to increase the consumption of fruits and vegetables it’s easy to see why projects like this one are intriguing, but what impact can this have on the capacity of communities in the north to grow their own fruits and vegetables year round? Glenn shares with us the origin of the project, how it all came together and his our look on the future of year-round northern agriculture.

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You can find more information on the project by visiting Agriarctic, their Facebook and Twitter.

Music in this episode is from bensound.com.


Episode 28 – Project Veggie and Space Lettuce

This month on Produce Talks, we connect with Trent Smith the Project Manager for the Veggie facility on the International Space Station. Trent was able to explain some of the unique considerations that exist when trying to provide plants with just the essentials of soil, water, and light. Project Veggie has implications not only for long-term space travel, but some of what they are learning can have impacts on production practices back on earth.

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Trent was kind enough to provide us with a few links for more information on the Veggie project, as well as, links to some of the content discussed on the podcast. Click on the embedded links below to access the pictures, videos and tweets.

Space Station Live: How Does Your Garden Grow in Space?

Veggie Plant Growth System Version-5

Wringing out a Washcloth in Space

Music in this episode is from bensound.com.


Media Talks: 2015 Retrospective on Produce, Part 2

In part 2 of the Produce Talks year in review, we have turned the mic over to Ron Lemaire, President of CPMA, to continue his conversation with a panel of media who cover our industry to review the year that was 2015 and predicting the major stories of 2016.

This episode is the second half of a conversation with:

In this episode, the panel reviews some changes in international trade, technology impacts, marketing trends, and predicting the big stories of 2016.

  • Play Episode (to download, right-click then click "Save target as..." or "Save link as...")

Music in this episode is from bensound.com.


Media Talks: 2015 Retrospective on Produce, Part 1

This month on Produce Talks, we turn the mic over to Ron Lemaire, President of CPMA as he sits down with a media panel who cover our industry to review the year that was 2015 and predicting the major stories of 2016.

This episode is the first half of a conversation with:

In this episode, the panel reviews some of the major events around sustainability, food trends, and food safety and regulation.

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Music in this episode is from bensound.com.


Episode 26 —The Underwater Greenhouse

This month on Produce Talks, we connect with Luca Gamberini from the Ocean Reef Group about a project they have been working on for the past three years call Nemo’s Garden. Nemo’s Garden is a project investigating the benefits of creating underwater greenhouses. Currently in operation off the coast of Italy, Luca explains how the project works, what they have learned, and what the future of underwater gardening could look like. You can find out more on their FacebookTwitter, and Youtube channel.

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Music in this episode is from bensound.com.


Episode 25 — Conversation with Retailers V The Produce Workforce And a Greenhouse on the Go Recap!

This month on the podcast we conclude our year-long conversation with Eric Biddiscombe from Loblaw, and Jean-Guy Mazerolle, formerly of Co-op Atlantic. In this episode, we speak to both of them about the produce workforce, how changing demographics will affect it, and the importance of training.

As a bonus, we also check in with Ray Wowryk from Nature Fresh Farms. In our June podcast, we heard about their mobile greenhouse operation. Ray joins us to tell us all about how their summer went and a bit about their future plans for the project. You can check out the Nature Fresh FacebookTwitter, and Instagram accounts for some great pictures of the mobile greenhouse in action.

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Episode 24 — All About the Beacons

This month on the podcast we explore a topic that has been popping up over and over again, beacon technology. Beacons are heralding a new way to interact with consumers, and the technology has potential to impact every level of the produce supply chain.

We are joined by Doug Thompson CEO and Co-Founder of Dot3 Ltd. As well as being a leading expert in the field Doug is the author of beekn.net, a blog that explores the latest developments in beacon technology.

Also joining us is Roland Hung, an Associate with McCarthy Tétrault. Roland has authored an article titled, "Beacon Technology: A Primer for Retailers". Roland speaks to us about how existing privacy legislation and Canada's Anti-Spam Legislation may impact any beacon technology strategy.

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Episode 23 — Conversations with Retailers Part IV

This month on the podcast we continue our year long conversation with Eric Biddiscombe from Loblaw and Jean-Guy Mazerolle formerly of Co-op Atlantic. In this episode, we explore the different nature of the relationships with international vendors and some of the challenges that come up with sourcing international product.

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Episode 22 — Village Farms Landfill Gas Project

This month we connect with Village Farms to discuss a new study that they have commissioned to examine the feasibility of using gas from retired landfills as a source of carbon dioxide.  Jonathan Bos a development director from Village Farms is able to join us to walk us through how the project came about, what are the potential benefits, and the partners they have gained along the way.

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Episode 21 — Greenhouse On The Go!

There are many different ways that partners in the produce supply chain help to drive the consumption of fresh fruit and vegetables. We have already done a podcast on the CPMA's major program the Half Your Plate program.

In this episode we connect with a member that is creating consumer education opportunities all over the place by using a mobile greenhouse.  Peter Quiring, President of Nature Fresh Farms joins us to discuss the project, how it all started, and some of the conversations he's having with people along the way.

You can check out the Nature Fresh FacebookTwitter, and Instagram accounts for some great pictures of the mobile greenhouse in action.

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Episode 20 — Conversations with Retailers III Vendor Relationships

We continue to connect with retail members of the CPMA to discuss issues relevant to the produce industry. This is the third part of our conversation with Jean-Guy Mazerolle from Co-op Atlantic and Eric Biddiscombe from Loblaw. In this episode, we discuss what it takes to build and manage business relationships between vendors and retailers.

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Episode 19 — CPMA Chair Address

In this episode we are pleased to bring you the speech from the new chair of CPMA, Mike Furi, of The Grocery People. Mike addressed the members in attendance to describe some of the activities that he expects CPMA to accomplish over the coming year including upcoming Town Hall events.


Episode 18 — Conversations with Retailers - Session 2

Over the course of the coming year we will be connecting with retail members of the CPMA to discuss issues relevant to the produce industry. This is the second of our conversations where we connect with Jean-Guy Mazerolle from Co-op Atlantic and Eric Biddiscombe from Loblaw to discuss expectations when working with vendors.


Episode 17 — The Half Your Plate Program

In this episode we will learn about this joint initiative from The Canadian Produce Marketing Association, the Heart and Stroke Foundation, the Canadian Public Health Association and the Canadian Cancer Society to improve fruit and veggie consumption in Canada. Featured are Sue Lewis, Director of Market Development at CPMA; Carol Harrison, a Registered Dietician; and finally Ethan Adeland - Managing Director, Partnerships & Marketing with Food Bloggers of Canada Inc.


Episode 16 — Conversations with Retailers – Session 1 

Over the course of the coming year we will be connecting with retail members of the CPMA to discuss issues relevant to the produce industry. This is the first of our conversations where we connect with Jean-Guy Mazerolle from Co-Op Atlantic and Eric Biddiscombe from Loblaw to discuss upcoming and ongoing trends for 2015.

We are also pleased to welcome our sponsor for the year, Martin’s Family Fruit Farm.


Episode 15 — Migration Nation

In Canada, as in many counties, immigration is the main driver behind population growth to the tune of roughly 250,000 people per year. With this growth comes an opportunity to tap into a customer base that can be incredibly loyal. This seems pretty important as according to CPMA research 1st Generation Canadians spend more on Fresh produce and shop more often. Joining us this month on the podcast are Robin Brown and Kathy Chen with Environics and the authors of, “Migration Nation,” a book that explores the growing cultural diversity in Canada.


Episode 14 — Passion for Produce

In this episode we explore the Passion for Produce program offered annually at the CPMA convention. This program is a once in a lifetime educational opportunity to learn about the produce industry and interact with a group of industry leaders as program mentors. Eric Biddiscombe from Loblaw; Stephanie Lariviere from Erie James, and John Corsaro from Giumarra Companies join us to discuss Passion for Produce and their experiences with the program.


Episode 13 — Some like it Mashed

In this episode we talk about all things potato. Kendra Mills, from the PEI Potato Board, was happy to fill us in on different varieties, proper storage, what that green stuff is, and much more!


Episode 12 — DRC and the Safe Food for Canadians Act

This month we are pleased to connect with Luc and Andrea from The Fruit and Vegetable Dispute Resolution Corporation (DRC). Luc Mougeot, Vice President of the DRC, provides an overview of the Safe Food for Canadians Act, the recent amendments, and their impact on the fresh fruit and vegetable industry. Luc and Andrea discuss why the act is important and how it will affect the Produce Industry as it comes into effect.


Episode 11 — Carol Dombrow – Heart & Stroke Foundation

At the 2014 CPMA/CPHA Health Summit in Toronto, Carol Dombrow, registered dietitian for the Heart & Stroke foundation, speaks about the benefits of consistent messaging.


Episode 10 — Heather Thomas – Middlesex-London Health Unit

 At the 2014 CPMA/CPHA Health Summit in Toronto, Heather Thomas, registered dietitian for Middlesex-London Health Unit talks about Cook It Up! a community based cooking program for at-risk youth.


Episode 9 — Lorelei DiSogra – United Fresh Produce Association

At the 2014 CPMA/CPHA Health Summit in Toronto, Lorelei DiSogra , VP of Nutrition and Health at United Fresh Produce Association, speaks about global strategies, policy and environmental changes needed to increase consumption of fruits and vegetables.


Episode 8 — Maxine Meadows – Manitoba Healthy Foods in Schools

At the 2014 CPMA/CPHA Health Summit in Toronto, Maxine Meadows, registered dietitian for Manitoba Healthy Foods in Schools, explains the vegetable and fruit program pilot project.


Episode 7 — Mary Lynn Biggley – Introduction to School Boards

 This is another presentation from the 2013 Health Summit. This discussion introduces school boards into the discussion of helping promote healthy eating habits.


Episode 6 — David McInnes – Canadian Agri-Food Policy Institute

 At the CPMA/CPHA Health Summit, David McInnes from the Canadian Agri-Food Policy Institute discusses a new perspective on food systems.


Episode 5 —Steve Manske – School Based Efforts to Increase Fruit and Vegetable Consumption

At the CPMA/CPHA Health Summit, Steve Manske discusses the various ways schools across Canada are trying to increase fruit and vegetable consumption among students.


Episode 4 —Hasan Hutchinson, Director General of the Office of Nutrition Policy and Promotion
Discusses the Federal, Provincial and Territorial landscape in regards to nutrition and promotion.


Episode 3 —Judy Rudman – Director of Bilateral Agreements with the U.S. Department of Commerce

The agreement signed by the United States and Mexico has implication for any Canadian company who purchases tomatoes from Mexico and decides to sell those tomatoes into the United States. This podcast will help answer any questions you might have about this important new agreement.


Episode 2 —Gloria Terhaar – ABC Customs Brokers

Gloria Terhaar discusses the basic information anyone would need to begin importing and exporting produce to and from Canada.


Episode 1 — Tim York – President of Markon Cooperative Inc.

Tim York discusses the sustainability initiatives undertaken by Markon Cooperative Inc.