As the industry anticipates the return and revitalization of Canada’s primary produce event in its new form, leading grower, marketer and distributor of fresh produce Oppy adds Canadian category development to the role of one of its most valued veterans.
Having spent the last 13 years building Oppy’s North American greenhouse business within the sector’s complex and highly competitive space, a few short months ago Aaron Quon stepped into his new role as executive director of greenhouse and Canadian category development. Continuing to guide the greenhouse team, Quon’s added responsibility is to develop import and off-shore programs for Oppy’s Canadian sales team.
Quon’s focus is to identify opportunities specific to the Canadian market. While some import produce items are not allowed into the U.S., they may pose a significant opportunity for Canada.
“Although we are a global company, regulations apply to certain items that impact our business. While we may not be able to bring them to the U.S. market, our acute focus on Canada holds a lot of exciting connection points,” he said.
Quon has teamed up with Oppy South Africa based grower relations expert Sila Louw, who brings deep local knowledge of various key categories and international operations, as well as Oppy’s Mexican sourcing strategist Sergio Ruiz and Peruvian partner Agroretail to help scan the landscape. Currently looking at countries of origin such as India, Australia and Morocco along with varieties from grapes, citrus and stone fruit, Oppy stands to reframe its Canadian product offerings in the near future.
Looking toward Canadian Produce Marketing Association’s Fresh Week, Quon anticipates more interaction and new relationships that may not have happened in the usual trade show setting. “I find our team is much more accessible through these virtual portals than busy show days with back-to-back meetings. It allows for more opportunities to connect because anybody can pop in. CPMA does such a great job at bringing everyone together during the convention, I’m really looking forward to this forum,” he said. Of course, like many, Quon anticipates the day he can see colleagues in-person when it’s safe to do so.
Having developed a strong organic Peruvian ginger program in the U.S. recently and expansion plans into Canada on the horizon, Oppy plans to feature it in the CPMA new product showcase. Visit Oppy’s showcase during Fresh Week for a complimentary gift and stop by the virtual booth to meet with the team.
Growing, marketing and distributing fresh produce from around the globe for more than 160 years, Vancouver, BC-based Oppy discovers and delivers the best of the world’s harvest. With over 50 million boxes of fresh fruits and vegetables grown on every continent moving through its supply chain annually, Oppy offers popular favorites from avocados and berries to apples and oranges year-round, alongside innovative seasonal specialties. Over the years, Oppy has introduced North Americans to a number of items across its diverse produce range, including Granny Smith, JAZZ and Envy apples, as well as green and gold kiwifruit. Go to www.oppy.com to learn more.