Often I hear from suppliers is that it is very difficult to get in to see retailers. This is true, so we have to get creative and find the opportunities. Recently, I attended a Canadian Produce Marketing Association (CPMA) town hall meeting in Tracadie PEI. What a great example of an opportunity to talk to retailers.
Sobeys, Loblaw and Walmart were all represented and it was a great chance to talk to them about the industry and get their perspective. Certainly not the meeting to negotiate next years program, but a great chance to say hello and continue to develop the relationship.
Why Tracadie, PEI? That just happens to be the home province of our federal Minister of Agriculture, Lawrence MacCaulay. Again, a rare opportunity to provide input and express your opinions to the people who shape programs like Growing Forward. Chef Michael Smith (CPMA’s half your plate ambassador) was there to provide his input and share some knowledge as well. The format allowed participation from anyone who had a contribution to make. Important industry topics were discussed and there was participation from industry stakeholders from across Canada.
If you are in the produce industry I hope you took advantage of this great opportunity.
If you did not attend you need to ask yourself…why?
Are you too busy to get away?
Does the day to day in your business rely so much on you that you can’t leave?
You did not believe it would be a good use of your time?
Our industry is changing. If you sell to any of these retailers or you want to sell to them you should be at this type of event. These are rare opportunities to be perceived as someone who is serious about produce. I know when I was working with Loblaw I would notice who was there and who wasn’t there.
If you aren’t in the produce department, what is the next industry event you should be attending?
If you are too busy to attend an event like this check out some of the great resources we have at SKUfood.com. We want to help you operate your food business and grow your bottom line. We have developed some great resources designed specifically for the food industry. You need to be perceived as a leader and serious about your category.
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