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2020 CPMA Convention and Trade Show Cancelled 

2020 CPMA Convention and Trade Show Cancelled 

March 20, 2020 (Ottawa, ON) – In light of the rapid escalation of safety precautions to decrease the transmission of COVID-19, and recommendations of municipal, provincial and federal governments regarding large gatherings, the CPMA Board of Directors and 2020 CPMA Convention and Trade Show Organizing Committee have made the difficult decision to cancel the 2020 CPMA Convention and Trade Show. 
We appreciate that many preparations for the show are already underway, however the health and safety of CPMA members, Convention and Trade Show registrants and the general public is our paramount concern. 
During this unprecedented global situation, CPMA strongly encourages all businesses and individuals throughout the produce supply chain to consult our COVID-19 Updates page, to strictly adhere to government guidance and recommendations and to prioritize self-care above all else. CPMA continues to work on your behalf with government and partners across the supply chain in an effort to minimize business disruptions.  
Exhibitors, sponsors and attendees who have already paid will have the following options:  Carry forward booth purchases and sponsorships to the 2021 CPMA Convention and Trade Show in Vancouver, B.C., with 100% of payments to date being transferred to the 2021 CPMA Convention and Trade Show. We thank the many companies that have indicated they will be pushing their support to the 2021 event in Vancouver.  CPMA will also be offering 100% refunds on ticket sales, including Full Delegate passes, Trade Show only passes, Retail Tour, Chair’s Welcome Reception, Companion Program, After Party, and CPMA Annual Banquet.  CPMA is offering refunds of 80% to any exhibitors or sponsors wishing to cancel their participation in the 2020 CPMA Convention and Trade Show (fees, expenses and penalties have been incurred for advanced preparations that prevent CPMA from refunding the full amount). 
CPMA will be contacting exhibitors and registrants over the next few weeks to address their decisions in this matter. 
The CPMA Annual General Meeting (AGM), which is traditionally conducted as part of the Convention and Trade Show agenda, will be changed to a virtual meeting. Details on this event will be sent to members as soon as they are confirmed.  

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CPMA Convention & Trade Show 2020 looking to ‘push flavours’ 

CPMA Convention & Trade Show 2020 looking to ‘push flavours’ 

The largest fresh produce event in the Canadian industry, the CPMA’s Annual Convention & Trade Show, provides a unique opportunity for industry leaders to enhance existing relationships and develop new business opportunities in Canada. After the successful 2019 edition, with over 300 exhibiting companies and 3,400 visitors from 27 countries, the 95th CMPA Convention & Trade Show will take place in Toronto from May 12th to May 14th 2020. “We want to focus on what companies can do to push flavour further. We want to show what innovations are out there; we know that packaging is going to play a big role, with alternatives and new solutions to meet consumers’ expectations coming forward. The event is about the community. Individual companies can be very successful on their own, but competition is a positive thing. Bringing the global community together in Canada is fundamental to driving that competition and making everyone successful,” said Ron Lemaire, president of the CPMA. The Canadian market continues to expand, with growth in organics, convenience offerings, and changes in package sizes to address seniors and aging demographics, but what is more exciting, according to Lemaire, is the country’s cultural mosaic which is really driving demand for a wide range of global products. “That is truly driven by the Canadian consumers, who travel and bring back home what they love. They are global consumers looking for flavour. Thee three keys to appeal to the Canadian consumer are price, quality and freshness,” said Lemaire.

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Canada’s largest fresh produce event taking place in April

‘Educate, Innovate, Create’ is the theme of this year’s Canadian Produce Marketing Association (CPMA) convention and trade show.

CPMA’s new initiatives optimise the show’s utility for busy participants and focus on the keys to increasing fruit and vegetable sales

‘Educate, Innovate, Create’ is the theme of this year’s Canadian Produce Marketing Association (CPMA) convention and trade show.

The largest fresh produce event in Canada, it will take place in Quebec from April 15–17 at Montreal’s Palais des Congress. The show is expected to attract more than 3,000 participants.

CPMA president Ron Lemaire said the event brings together members not only of the Canadian but also the whole North American and global supply chains. “It’s one of best events because it’s not as massive as Fruit Logistica or the PMA yet all the key stakeholders are still there.”

The ‘Educate, Innovate, Create’ theme reflects the three keys to increasing fresh produce consumption, Lemaire said.

President Ron Lemaire.jpg

CPMA president Ron Lemaire

Innovation showcase for new products

Price is naturally important to Canadian consumers but they are also looking for quality and taste, where innovation plays a big role.

The event’s trade show and new product showcase is a “must see,” covering diverse new retail ideas from around the world ranging from packaging – including new types enabling longer shelf life – to marketing – such as ready–to–eat programs, he said.

Speed learning in comfy lounge areas

New this year are ‘learning lounges’. Lemaire said these offer busy attendees a concentrated burst of knowledge as an alternative to longer sessions or workshops. The idea emerged from feedback that more and more people want opportunities to acquire useful information fast – something they can “consume when back in the office.” After all, they are at the event to build business and need to get back out among the diverse stakeholders present and more than 250 companies showcasing products, he said.

Spread around the venue, the  lounges will be relaxed settings where small groups of 25–30 people will gather for 15 minute informal discussions with experts. There will be repeats of the sessions topics, which will cover issues from marketing to retail, such as emerging trends and technology, how to use Canada’s new ‘Half Your Plate’ campaign to drive fruit and veggie consumption, and where the North American regulatory framework is headed.

Retail program

The event also includes a retail program which retail produce managers can attend for free to expand their product knowledge. Topics such as banana production, merchandising leafy greens, and in-store positioning of hothouse produce will be among those covered. “They then walk the trade show floor to see some of the new packaging and products and, in an ideal world, return to their stores to share their increased knowledge so their store can provide expert advice to consumers.”

The latter is increasingly important because product knowledge helps drive sales but is a challenge given Canada’s wide product diversity and a transient and often part–time workforce.

Some of Canada’s top retailers will be featured in the event’s opening session, and a lunch-time panel on the Thursday will bring together retail leaders from the US “to discuss what’s new and exciting and how the entire supply chain must work together to grow the market.”

During the Friday brunch, the CPMA will recognise leaders in the industry during its annual awards ceremony, Lemaire said.

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