Members encouraged during Industry Day & AGM to ‘be unique’
Members of Manitoba’s largest industry were encouraged to develop the unique aspect of their product or service, during Food & Beverage Manitoba’s annual general meeting on May 15 in Winnipeg.
Keynote speaker Jana Sobey, vice president and fourth generation family member with one of Canada’s largest retail grocery chains, said a distinctive identity is key in growing market share and a top consideration when Sobeys picks products for its 1,500 stores.
Picture (left): Sobeys Local Business Development team for Manitoba answering questions during Industry Day 2019 – Jana Sobey, Craig Wilson, Brian Bouskill, Gary Hughes and Matthew Sobocan
Food & Beverage Manitoba’s 2019 Industry Day and AGM was one of the best-attended in the association’s 26- year history, with more than 140 members taking part in presentations, board elections and networking with industry and government representatives.
“These connections are the real value for members,” said Food & Beverage Manitoba executive director Dave Shambrock. “Through events and industry partnerships, we create opportunities for growth by connecting our members with mentors and decision-makers.”
Sobey credited Food & Beverage Manitoba with building demand for “Manitoba Made” items and helping local producers to successfully pitch and place hundreds of new products onto Sobeys shelves which is translating into millions of dollars in new sales.
“Market research shows that consumers and food buyers want local products,” said Food & Beverage Manitoba’s incoming board president Pina Romolo. “Our association has worked tirelessly since 1993 to effectively brand, market and distribute Manitoba products to Canada and the world.”
Romolo, the owner of Winnipeg-based Italian specialty foods manufacturer Piccola Cucina Inc, will lead a newly-elected volunteer board of directors that includes accomplished individuals from a cross section of the industry: Mark Colley, The Winning Combination Ltd; Brad Duma, Jet Label & Packaging; James Aitkenhead, Perfect Pierogies; Andy Van Patter, Smith’s Quality Meats; Susan Riese, Manitoba Pork; Paola De Luca, De Luca Specialty Foods; Brent Glesby, Thermo-Design Insulation Ltd; James Fletcher, Cavalier Candies Inc.; Carlos Melo, M&C Commodities; Ryan Bracken, Manitoba Harvest; and Chris Warwaruk, Farmery Estate Brewery.
Proudly representing the companies that feed consumers across the country and around the world, Food & Beverage Manitoba is growing the keystone province’s largest single industry with essential resources and leadership. Since launching our member-driven association in 1993, jobs have doubled and the value of goods produced has tripled to over $5-billion annually.
For more information, please contact:
204-982-6372 ext 102