Pamela RiemenschneiderCheryl Hubbick, client services representative of Kitchen Pick Living Herbs, and president Steve Pelton, display products at The Oppenheimer Group's booth. Oppenheimer recently paired up to distribute the Maple, British Columbia-based greenhouse grower's herbs. CALGARY, Alberta — The Canadian Produce Marketing Association’s 87th Annual convention and expo mixed in some new with the old time feel of Calgary.
CPMA unveiled its new logo the last day of the April 11-13 event, but a little snow, which was a reminder from past years when the expo was scheduled in February, and a good mix of buyers and sellers, made it feel like past events.
John Burge, vice president of sales and marketing Watsonville, Calif.-based Classic Salads LLC, said he saw both big Canadian buyers and smaller regional buyers, from Calgary and nearby Edmonton.
“Montreal has hundreds of mom-and-pops,” he said, referring to last year’s host city, so he expected lower attendance numbers.
First time exhibitor Mike Kemp, chief operations officer for Market Fresh Produce LLC, Nixa, Mo., said he also saw a good mix of big players and smaller regional retailers.
About 3,200 attended last year’s Montreal expo, but numbers weren’t immediately available for this year’s event.
Pamela RiemenschneiderJeff Madu, director of sales for Delta, British Columbia-based Windset Farms, and Shiho Uzawa, marketing assistant, drew traffic to the company's booth with the "Windsetto Sorbetto," a red bell pepper sorbet. CPMA president Ron Lemaire acknowledged Calgary is the smallest of the four expo host cities, but he said the 400+ booths showed it was still a significant show.
“We’ll grow to the needs of the market but not change the culture” of the annual event, he said.
CMPA is looking at its governance structure and may have some changes to announce later this year, Lemaire said.
Jim DiMenna, president of JemD Farms, Leamington, Ontario, and 2012-13 CPMA chairman of the board, unveiled the logo April 13.
“This renewal was built on an 87-year-old foundation and was not an exercise to be taken lightly,” said DiMenna, who also was the chairman of the branding committee. “As an industry we bring health to consumers, solutions to government, economic prosperity to the market and much more.”
Next year’s convention is scheduled for April 17-19, in Toronto.
To view our facebook photo album of the CPMA convention in Calgary, go here.