The EMC Food Sector Initiative has had a very successful, busy and informative year - with some phenomenal best practice presentations, great plant tours and wonderful speakers on a myriad of topics! It has been a year of true networking, collaboration and relationships! We have seen Manufacturers drive from one corner of the Province to another– from Lynn in Eastern Ontario to Woodstock, from Hamilton to Campbellford, and so forth - in an effort to take part in Food Sector Events!
This year, we held 15 regional networking sessions across the Province and partnered with the Operations Strategy Institute on the Food and Beverage Operations Strategy Summit this fall. We were delighted to have had best practices and plant tours with both small and large companies and rural and urban manufacturers!
The topics were varied and as always, came directly from our participants - focusing on the challenges and opportunities in business today. We tackled such issues as Workplace Literacy and Multiculturalism, Supply Chain Management, Lean, Risk Management, Attendance Management and Emergency Evacuation Planning, Project Office Management and Developing Employee Engagement and Accountability with Manufacturers - sharing best practices and offering plant tours all through the year!
The Food Sector Initiative also saw the full utilization of the resources available through Internships and Training Incentives. Over 250 people received in-house training through that aspect of the program and a number of Interns in a variety of fields were accepted.
As we look forward to 2012, we are thrilled to have companies volunteering to host events and share best practices. Karma Candy, Rich Products of Canada Ltd., Snyder-Lance, Sleeman Breweries, DC Foods, Chapman's, and Hobart Food Equipment are a few of the companies who will be hosting events in the coming year!
There are a number of great topics in the works for 2012 and my thanks to all of you who submitted thoughts in that regard. There is always a great deal happening within the Food and Beverage Industry and we appreciate your input with respect to opportunities that help you to grow your business. To that end, topics such as - Risk Management, Certification Processes and Compliance, Employers Programs, Engagement and Apprenticeships, etc. etc. - are ones that we are currently looking at for our Schedule. There is lots of room for best practice presentations and anyone interested in presenting on a special area of interest to their company, please feel free to connect with me at any time!
This has truly been a year of growth and development, of engagement and leadership, of relationships and collaboration! We have come a long way from our humble beginnings to a very dynamic and growing Food Sector Specific Consortium. Special thanks to our Hosts, our Members, our Guests and Best Practice Presenters and all of our Community Partners!
As our year comes to an end, I hope that your Holidays be full of love and laughter and special memories!
Looking forward to an exciting and dynamic 2012!
All the best!
Bren de Leeuw
Sr. Community Development and Food and Beverage Program Manager