Bernadette Hamel, the youngest of eight, has made her mark in the produce business since starting work at the age of 14. She has earned a well-deserved retirement from Metro Richelieu after successive promotions that led her to the top of produce procurement. During the last 30 years, she has also been a director of the Canadian Produce Marketing Association (CPMA) and chaired the board in 2015. She gave a heartfelt address upon receiving the CPMA Lifetime Achievement Award in Montreal.
In other highlights, the April 2-4 event exceeded the size of all past shows in Montreal. Exhibitors representing more than 300 companies accounted for 53,500 square feet of booth space on the trade show floor. Among those were 143 international exhibitors, 132 Canadian exhibitors (including 30 exhibitors from Quebec), and 39 first-time exhibitors. The 2019 New Product Showcase included 54 products from 39 different companies.
The following individuals and companies earned honours at this year’s event:
- · Fresh Health Award – EarthFresh
- · Mary Fitzgerald Award – Ryan Goad of Loblaw Companies
- · CPMA Lifetime Achievement Award – Bernadette Hamel formerly of Metro Richelieu Inc.
- · The Packer’s Produce Person of the Year Award – Les Mallard of Fyffes North America Inc.
Best Booth Awards
- · Best Island Booth Award – EarthFresh
- · Best Inline Booth Award – Fresherized Foods (Wholly Guacamole)
- · Best First-Time Exhibitor Booth – Greenhouse
- · Best New Product Award – Caulilini Sweet Stem Cauliflower by Mann Packing Co. Inc.
- · Freggie Approved Product Award – CuteCumber Poppers by Mucci Farms
- · Packaging Innovation Award – "Zip Pop" Dual compartment Steam bag by Schur Star Systems Inc.
- · Organics Award – SUNSET Organic Angel Sweet by Mastronardi Produce Ltd.
Next year’s CPMA convention and trade show will be held May 12- 14, 2020, in Toronto, to taste The Flavours of the World.
Source: Canadian Produce Marketing Association April 8, 2019 news release