2017 OPMA honourees 

Matt Ecker
Dr. Martin Gooch
Fred Webber

For 26 years now, the Ontario Produce Marketing Association has honoured the industry’s brightest lights, both early in their careers and after a lifetime.  This year’s Gala and Awards Ceremony was held November 17. 


“The feedback we received that night was extremely positive!” commented Virginia Zimm, president of the OPMA. “Every year, I am amazed by the camaraderie and friendship that exists in this industry considering many are competitors. This event demonstrates that no matter what part you play in the value chain, we are all in this industry to achieve one common goal – increase produce consumption! It’s an opportunity to publicly congratulate those who demonstrate their commitment to the industry above and beyond regular business, while enjoying great food, music and reconnecting with friends and business associates.”


This year’s awards were presented to three deserving individuals whose efforts have made a significant impact in the produce industry over the course of the last year.

- The OPMA Fresh Award, presented to a young individual [under 40] who demonstrates a fervent determination to improve the quality, distribution or consumption of fruits and vegetables, was awarded to Matt Ecker from Vineland Growers Cooperative.

- The Cory Clack-Streef Produce Person of the Year Award, presented to an individual who has worked tirelessly to increase the consumption of fruits and vegetables through innovation, collaboration and hard work, was awarded to Dr. Martin Gooch, CEO of Value Chain Management International.

- Lastly, the OPMA Lifetime Achievement Award, presented to an individual who has dedicated their life to improving the transaction process between produce sellers and buyers to ultimately increase the consumption of fresh fruits and vegetables, was awarded to Fred Webber from the Dispute Resolution Corporation.

The OPMA would like to congratulate all the award recipients for their hard work and dedication to improving the quality, distribution and consumption of fresh fruits and vegetables both inside and outside of Ontario!


Every year, one lucky gala attendee is eligible to win the grand prize - a $3,000 travel voucher towards a trip of their dreams. Congratulations to Val Costa from the Ontario Food Terminal Board.


Moving forward, the OPMA is getting into the Christmas spirit by preparing for their annual Food Share program. They will partner with the Toronto Wholesale Produce Association and Daily Bread Food Bank to distribute more than two thousand 50 lbs. fresh produce boxes to deserving families across the GTA. If you wish to volunteer or donate produce, please contact the OPMA to find out how to get involved.



Source:  Ontario Produce Marketing Association November 22, 2017 news release.

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