QPMA's Annual General Meeting and Virtual Industry Brunch 2020: a new digital event under the sign of emotion

Montreal, August 17th, 2020 - Public health guidelines aborting any hope of physical gathering such as the traditional annual convention, the QPMA took this opportunity to create from scratch a digital event offering a program with a lot of content and emotion.

Annual General Meeting: An Unprecedented Year

The first part of the meeting was dedicated to the Annual General Meeting, an obligation in the Association's regulations. In a synthetic and dynamic format, Sophie Perreault, QPMA President and CEO reviewed the highlights and great achievements that have punctuated 2020. Moving to new offices at « La Place des Producteurs », keeping members informed and assisting them during the pandemic, strengthening relationships with government, participating in meeting affecting industry issues in collaboration with partners and government influencers, and a wonderful second year for the I Love Fruits and Veggies Movement are some of the topics we discussed.

Pascal Primiano, Chairman of the Board of Directors, came back on various internal projects such as "The Great Harvest of Members", an incentive program involving QPMA members and thanks to it, 28 new ones were recruited this year. Ashley Pinto, Category Director at Loblaws and a member of the Board of Directors, won an award for recruiting the most new members. Finally, participants expressed their opinion on the adoption of the amended QPMA statutes and regulations through a real-time survey application that gave this assembly more interactivity.

The Board of Directors has welcomed a new director as a broker. Christian Guitard, Senior Director at Bellemont Powell, was finally elected by the members following an online vote, unprecedented in the QPMA history, under the supervision of George Pitsikoulis, Canadawide and Governor of the Association. We also recognized the candidacy of two dear members of the Association, Catherine Hamel, Director of Business Development for Clark Drouin Lefebvre and Marie-Anne Verstraelen, Sales and Marketing Strategist for Mûr Conseil.

Industry Virtual Brunch: Emotion even across a screen

For the second part of the meeting, the 115 participants had one of the most entertaining menu! After a look back at the year's great accomplishments, Sophie Perreault was able to join Julie DesGroseilliers, I Love Fruits and Veggies Movement spokesperson, online from a resort to greet the members. Participants were also able to taste the three recipes developed by the nutrition interns of the I Love Fruits and Veggies Movement under the inspiration of Hugo Saint-Jacques. A contest was held and encouraged members to take pictures of their recipes in order to win a Ricardo gift card.

Josée Petitclerc of Patates Dolbec presented the actions to promote the consumption of fruits and vegetables undertaken by members as part of the I Love contest. Diverse projects in 4 categories that make the Movement shine throughout Quebec and beyond.

  • "Digital" Category: Les Fermes du Soleil 
  • "Social networks”  Category : VegPro International
  • "Print" category: Frescadel
  • "Original" category: GNC Farms

The industry brunch featured the “ Cultivating the Next-Generation ” program. The program, created in 2012, aims to encourage association engagement, encourage the development of talent, enhance and ensure the sustainability of human resources in the fruits and vegetables industry. This year, despite a pandemic launch, the program has still attracted applications and the motivation of the candidates has really been reflected in the online interviews. 

Jane Collin (Sobeys Québec), intern 2019-2020, looked back on her year, which was punctuated by beautiful human and professional encounters. This year was full of participation in activities, company visits, representations to governments and then turned upside down by the Covid-19.  Jane highlighted her experience at the Beauce School of Entrepreneurship, made possible by Desjardins' support.

Mr. Cyrille Néron, Senior Director, Major Accounts - Agri-Food Market for Desjardins Financial, marked a second year of partnership with the "Cultivating the Next-Generation" program and more broadly the Next-Generation network. This valuable financial boost and Desjardins' expertise will enable the QPMA to take the next generation to an even higher level. His speech ended with the announcement of the new intern of the program for the year 2020-2021, Vicky Blais, Head Buyer Fruit and Vegetables at Metro. A year that promises to be full of challenges that she is looking forward to!

Pascal Primiano, Marketing Director at Super C -Metro and Chairman of the Board of Directors 2019-2020 closed the meeting with a poignant tribute to his professional and personal friend, Stephan Dolbec, President of Patates Dolbec. He was honoured as a pillar of the Quebec fruit and vegetable industry for his career at the helm of Patates Dolbec, a family business well known to Quebecers, his involvement in the QPMA, particularly active in the outreach of the I Love Fruits and Veggies Movement and his contribution to the advancement of the industry through his perpetual desire of innovation. In order to align the term of office with that of the Association's fiscal year, which now extends over a calendar year (from January 1 to December 31), newly elected directors will now begin their roles and duties on January 1.

The QPMA has definitely taken up the challenge of making this virtual meeting more lively, dynamic and emotionally charged while offering quality content to its members. If we do not yet know the outcome of the pandemic, one thing is certain for the Association, digital will have its place in the future! See you next year from September 23 to 25, 2021 at Fairmont Mont-Tremblant for a conference in person with the theme "A proud and supportive industry".

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