MONTREAL — Canadian Produce Marketing Association conference attendees hit the expo floor Thursday, checking out new products and scouting business opportunities.

CPMA sold 15% more exhibit space than last year's record-setting show in Vancouver, British Columbia.

The conference continues Friday at the Palais des Congres convention center, with more business sessions and trade show hours.

Friday's business sessions cover a range of issues. "Do You Know Your Consumer?" features Metro Richelieu president and chief executive officer Eric La Fleche, and "Industry Hot Topics" gives attendees to ask a panel of experts on transportation and border issues and financial risk mitigation. Panelists include Fred Webber, vice president of trading assistance for the Dispute Resolution Corp.; Guy Milette, vice president of international and business development for Courchesne Larose; and Karla Whalen, chief of the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Perishable Agricultural Commodities Act branch.

The Packer will award its annual Produce Person of the Year Award at the awards breakfast.

Montreal welcomes CPMA conference

Pamela Riemenschneider

Ghislain Perron (from left), produce director for Metro Richelieu; Ron Lemaire, Canadian Produce Marketing Association president; Alain Routhier, convention chairman and president of Courchesne Larose Ltd.; and Danny Dempster, retiring CPMA president, officially open the expo floor April 14.