“It’s built on another successful model we had, which we did originally with CVSA (Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance), and that model really worked for us,” Proctor said.
Proctor said issues on the table so far are food safety, fair and ethical trading, traceability, health of Canadians, pesticide and crop protection and the harmonization of standards, especially between the U.S. and Canada.
“We’re all sitting down and looking at issues that face the industry,” Dempster said.
The association wants a follow-up meeting by January.
“It’s pretty significant to have that many senior government officials in one room,” Proctor said. “So we’ll connect with government before, on what the issues are, what we want to propose as a solution, and what our needs are.”
Proctor said industry leaders will volunteer to be spokespeople on specific issues, and that helps keep meetings tight and focused.
Once a government official has been in a meeting and discussed an issue in front of his or her peers, it becomes easier to get access to that official and his or her team at a later date, Proctor said.
“It certainly facilitates the ease of us setting up other meetings,” Proctor said.
The association plans to fill two new positions in its communications department, Richer said.