ANAHEIM, Calif. — The Ottawa, Ontario-based Canadian Produce Marketing Association has big plans for 2013, said president Ron Lemaire.

CPMA steps up focus on education, advocacyCPMA’s strategic renewal process is under way, Lemaire said, and the group plans to focus on developing new tools and products for members focusing on governance, education, advocacy and research, Lemaire said.

The renewal process includes 21 governance changes to the way CPMA’s board is structured to provide more transparency and better meet members’ needs, he said.

As part of the group’s expanded focus on education, it plans four areas of development for 2013:


  • a Career Pathways program in partnership with the Newark, Del.-based Produce Marketing Association to attract students to the fresh produce industry;
  • continuation of CPMA’s mentoring program for younger industry members;
  • a program to help industry members retain and expand necessary skills and knowledge; and
  • a development program for business executives.


Lemaire said CPMA’s focus on government relations and advocacy includes its Fall Harvest public policy event, scheduled for Nov. 19-21 on Parliament Hill in Ottawa. The event will focus on educating lawmakers about health, food safety and sustainability, and financial risk mitigation, according to CPMA.

Lemaire said the group also has plans to develop a spring health summit.

“It will bring produce myths and realities to health professionals” and allow those in the fresh produce industry to connect with healthcare industry professionals, he said.

CPMA’s research focus will include increased research into the marketplace, Lemaire said, starting with intitial research to determine the market’s needs and wants.

He said the group plans to release a sustainability study, which includes five to six case studies highlighting aspects of sustainability from gate to retail, sometime before Christmas.

Other facets of CPMA’s mission in 2013 include label review and a continuation of its Freggie children’s education program, which Lemaire said has been very successful. He said the group hopes to work with retailers on the program in 2013 as well.