What is your role in Business Development Branch?
I’m a Business Development Consultant and the Sector Lead for the Confectionery, Snack and Frozen & Prepared Foods categories. My role is to be a trusted resource for Ontario food processing companies to help them to succeed and grow their business.
What initiatives or projects are you currently working on?
My work engages companies from multinational companies to small firms across a range of topics including supports information and advice for new expansion or equipment investments, making connections and navigating within government and the Ontario food sector and providing advice and supports about opportunities to expand their sales markets. My colleagues and I offer industry and government level insight and provide confidential and complimentary services specific to the need of our clients.
What do you most like about the work you do?
I enjoy working with a such wide range of clients and companies across the province. Ontario is the leading food processing jurisdiction in Canada and there are so many innovative products developed and produced here in Ontario which makes for interesting work. I appreciate the opportunity to work with food companies to help them achieve their goals.
Professional background or How did you become involved with Business Development?
Before joining OMAFRA I was in the private sector working in agribusiness. I started out with a large Canadian company as an inside sales person where I was responsible for two production facilities, scheduling, inventory management and export documentation. I leveraged this experience and co-founded a trading business that brokered ingredients and services in the animal feed and petfood sectors.
What trends are you seeing?
Trends across multiple sectors are in health and wellness as well as sustainability. Consumers today are well informed and are seeking unique and trusted products as well as clean labels. They are also concerned about the planet which is driving many manufacturers to address their sourcing practices and environmental footprint.
How has COVID-19 impacted the work you do?
Pre-Covid I spent a lot of time on the road meeting clients in person and touring plants. Covid has changed that, but it has also opened up a lot of other doors to meet with people “virtually”. Thanks to platforms like MS Teams and Zoom, I can have a meeting with someone across the street or across the globe. It has also allowed me to work more closely with colleagues across the province. I can still “drop by their cubicle” virtually.
How do people contact you?
I can be reached via the OMAFRA website or via LinkedIn.