For the first time, an American will lead the Canadian Produce Marketing Association (CPMA). Rick Alcocer, senior vice-president, fresh vegetable sales at Duda Farm Fresh Foods, Monterey, California will chair the board of directors for 2017/2018 and work with Ron Lemaire, CPMA president. Not only has he been involved with the Canadian produce industry from a business perspective, he is also a 17-year veteran of the CPMA board. The timing is fortuitous because he has a strong understanding of the importance and workings of integrated markets.
In other award news from the convention, CPMA’s Mary Fitzgerald Award is given to an under-40 individual, active in the industry who shows passion for produce. This year’s winner is Houman Madani, a senior producer buyer for Metro Inc. He started in the produce department, working up to more responsible positions as produce manager and eventually senior buyer. He has made his mark in developing relationships with farmers around the world. Examples include carrots from Mexico and fresh dates from Iran. Described as “one of the most genuine, sincere people in the produce industry,” Madani also contributes to his local community and is active in basketball and volleyball sports.
The Packer Person of the Year Award went to Hugh Bowman. For many years, he was vice-president of operations for the Ippolito Group, but more recently started Global Citrus Group. He was cited for a decade of unflagging volunteerism for many committees at the Canadian Produce Marketing Association including electronic tracking, trade, marketing and government relations.
Peak of the Market, based in Winnipeg, Manitoba, won the CPMA’s Most Creative Booth award. Congratulations to Larry McIntosh and his team.