Food and Beverage Ontario’s annual conference examines the future of the $40.6 billion industry

TORONTO – Food and Beverage Ontario, the professional leadership organization for food and beverage processors across the province, looked into the future of the industry at its annual conference yesterday.

The conference, titled Ontario’s Economic Engine in the Global Marketplace, discussed the directions that the industry could, or will be taking, in the next few years. The conference gathered many of the leaders from the province’s top food and beverage processors.

“The food and beverage industry in Ontario is one of extreme importance to our economy which makes it imperative that we examine where the sector is headed and what it could mean for our members,” said Michael Burrows, Board Chair of Food and Beverage Ontario. “Our goal is to promote and support a competitive Ontario industry locally and within the global marketplace but in order to stay competitive and successful we need to constantly be looking for new opportunities and preparing for what could come next.”

To bring insight into the potential directions that the industry could take, the conference hosted several speakers, including Director, Trade Negotiations at Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, Doug Forsyth, internationally recognized consultant, author and lecturer Tracey Goss, and keynote speaker, Executive Fellow at the School of Public Policy, University of Calgary, Martha Hall Findlay.

Findlay’s talk examined possible futures for importing and exporting Canadian grown products and the business and political considerations surrounding the topic. Forsyth spoke to the importance of international trade negotiations with a focus on what the Comprehensive Trade and Economic Agreement and Trans Pacific Partnership will mean for the industry. Goss’ discussion revolved around innovation and how leaders can build and direct their organization for the future.

Food and Beverage Ontario also voted in its 2015-2016 board of directors, adding several new directors with diverse backgrounds to its leadership. The new board is comprised of the following individuals:

Board Chair – Michael Burrows – Maple Lodge Farms

Board Vice Chair – Rory McAlpine – Maple Leaf Foods

Board Treasurer – Sarab Hans – Hans Dairy

Board Secretary – Dave Shepherd – The Ippolito Group

Board Member – Joe Abate – Abate Rabbit Packers

Board Member – Rob Anderson – Bonduelle North America

Board Member – Angela Bell – Speedo Foods and Flavours

Board Member – Adrian Jaques – Sunshine Farms

Board Member – Reza Mecklai – Sultan of Samosas

Board Member – Joe Medina – The Original Cakerie

Board Member – Doris Valade – Malabar Super Spice Company

Board Member – Mark Josephs – Kisko Products

Board Member – Paul Speck – Henry of Pelham Family Estate Winery

Board Member – Allan Kelly – Ingredion Canada Inc.

Board Member – Tom Hare – Dare Foods

Board Member – Brent Davies – Wellington Brewery


About Food and Beverage Ontario

Established in 2003 as the Alliance of Ontario Food Processors, Food and Beverage Ontario has evolved into the organization of choice for members of the processing community – a community that contributes over $40.6 billion annually and is the number one employer in Ontario.

Governed by an industry-led Board of Directors with guidance from a stakeholder Advisory Council and support from a dedicated staff team, Food and Beverage Ontario is a powerful advocate and facilitator of success for all categories of Ontario processor business. In 2015, Food and Beverage Ontario's Board of Directors completed a strategic plan for the organization that will guide the activities and performance of the organization over the next three years.

Our goal at Food and Beverage Ontario is to promote and support a competitive Ontario industry locally and within the global marketplace.

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