Wishing all of our Friends in the Food, Beverage, Bio and Ag Sector and our Community Partners across the Country, our very, very best and most heartfelt greetings for a wonderful holiday season!
It has been an incredibly busy 2017 and one that will undoubtedly leave long-lasting memories for me for years to come. Fabulous Hosts, incredible participants, engaging topics, formidable training, enlightening Conferences and memorable plant visits! There was no shortage of learning opportunities, new things to see or great people to meet!
At this time of year, I thoroughly welcome the opportunity to reflect on the last twelve months that brought us to this point. It is certainly a perfect occasion as well to express our gratitude to all of those who have participated in our Networking activity and/or programs or services available through EMC – thank you so much for your time and commitment to helping others grow through your experiences.
Through our EMC GF2 (Growing Forward 2) Food, Beverage, Bio and Ag Sector Peer Networking opportunities, we have touched on subjects of Traceability and KPI Metrics; Packaging, Labelling and Innovation and Regulatory Matters; and best practices on Talent Attraction and Retention, Ergonomics and Food Safety. At each of these sessions, our Hosts and Guests, elaborated on their journeys to date, showcasing their facilities and encouraging ongoing dialogue with participants. Without a doubt there was a considerable amount of knowledge-sharing opportunities throughout the year and with that a chance to make new connections with industry and subject matter experts in a variety of fields.
Some of my particularly favourite memories from these Events include the Plant Tour at Siemen’s in Concord where we were able to see various concepts of lean methodology in place and a very interesting set-up for Meeting Circles. There was a great discussion around Branding and Marketing at our Packaging, Labelling and Innovation Session. Griffith Laboratories and Maple Lodge Farms provided excellent best practices to a full house on Talent Attraction and Retention and companies there also learned about how to become an “Employer of Choice”. In true peer networking fashion, it was amazing to watch participants share knowledge and insight on Ergonomic Opportunities at John O Foods and to appreciate everything that goes into safely grading eggs at Burnbrae Farms!On behalf of EMC, your Peers in Industry and our Community Partners from across the Provinces, we would like to thank our Hosts and Presenters for providing us all with such incredible hospitality this year and for sharing your wisdom and experiences with all who participated in this year’s networking opportunities!
Special Thanks to our GF2 Food, Beverage, Bio and Ag Sector Hosts and Presenters:
Siemen’s Canada, Concord, ON; IFPT – Institute of Food Processing Technology, Conestoga College, Cambridge, ON (with Presenters from Belmont Meats, Toronto/NSF International Inc., Guelph/Raining Inc., Toronto); Brampton Economic Development (with Presenters from Maple Lodge Farms, Griffith Foods, CPG Executive Search), Brampton; John O Foods, Wheatley; and Burnbrae Farms, Lyn)
Complimenting our Networking activity, our GF2 Productivity Workshops were offered across the Province in the Spring and Fall this year. These were free to Processors and those supporting the industry and were held both publicly and privately. Moving from Community to Community beginning in London, Ottawa, Brampton and Guelph in the Spring and Kitchener, Brampton, Belleville and Bradford in the Fall, Manufacturers throughout Ontario were invited to participate in introductory courses on: Introduction to Lean Productivity (101); Introduction to Lean Management Systems; Leadership and Culture for Productivity Improvement; Productivity/Lean Tools; Introduction to Value Stream Mapping; Root Cause Problem Solving; Leadership and Management of Change, and Introduction to the Kaizen Process of Implementing Change. These courses were also followed up with Action Plan Webinars.
Special Thanks to our GF2 Productivity Workshop Hosts:
The Original Cakerie, London, ON; HFS – Healthcare Food Services, Ottawa, ON; LV Lomas, Brampton, ON; Nestle Waters, Guelph, ON;
Sobey’s (Ira Needles), Kitchener, ON; Sun Rich Fresh Foods, Brampton, ON; Quinte Economic Development Commission & Loyalist College, Belleville; Bradford Library – BWG Economic Development, Bradford.
Beyond EMC activity, it was also an incredible year for Conferences, Tradeshows, Forums and Summits beginning with a Special Earth Day Exhibit at Campbell Company of Canada, Provision Coalition’s Food Loss + Waste Forum, the Food Safety Summit, Pet Industry Trade Show, a Local Craft Beer Show, The Meat Expo, GIC (Grocery Innovations Canada), Top 50 Packaging Ideas Expo, Canada’s Baking and Sweet Show, NSF State of the Industry 2017 and most recently the Farm Credit Forum – to name just a few! These Events provide occasions for participants to learn the latest in trends, see new products, perhaps cultivate creative ideas of our own, engage industry connections, learn from relevant subject matter experts and interesting panel discussions all in an effort to help build better, stronger, more competitive and efficient businesses.
Truly I feel fortunate to have been able to explore so many of the different nooks, crannies and urban spaces throughout Ontario where Manufacturing exists! Through visits this year, I have encountered some fabulous entrepreneurs just beginning their businesses or in the midst of developing concepts for products in the food and beverage market space. Equally exciting are those who are well on their journey in that regard growing their businesses, adding new equipment, capabilities and expanding labour forces. Then too, are those companies who are much larger in their footprint and production, who are leading industry and setting examples in areas such as sustainability, efficiency, culture development, IT, marketing and branding and so forth.
As we look ahead to 2018, we will be starting the year off in true networking fashion with a Special EMC GF2 Networking Event at The Original Cakerie on January 11th in London. The Rapid Improvement Team here will be sharing their experiences relating to Increasing Efficiencies. With just a couple of seats left, we are looking forward to another dynamic learning opportunity!
There will be more to come as the year unfolds and should there be a topic of particular interest to you that you would like to see addressed, by all means, please feel free to share that with us – we would love to hear from you!
With an appreciation for all that has come to fruition over 2017, we look to the year ahead with anticipation for continued chances to grow and discover!
On behalf of all of us at EMC, we wish you and your families a most treasured holiday season filled with memories that last a lifetime!
My very best as always,