Food, Beverage, Bio & Ag Sector: Fall 2020

October 2, 2020 Bren de LeeuwFood & Beverage 160 Views

The first thought that jumps to mind when September rounds the corner is “education”! 

I will be the first to admit that I was one of those people who was always excited when school supplies hit the store shelves and looked forward to the learning opportunities undoubtedly about to unfold before me in the weeks and months to come (save for Math perhaps)!  Later in life, as a mature student, I had a much deeper sense of respect and appreciation for what education afforded.  Work experience solidified the lessons taught even moreso.  Truly, learning never ends – it continues all of our life.  Subject matter differs, educators, mentors and peers take different forms and classrooms change from conventional desks and chairs, to forums and conferences, supplier and customer events, books and movies, to plant floors, internet learning and virtual networking events.  Along the way, our teachers, mentors, and peers can lend so much to our experiences helping us to grow and develop - supporting our passions in industry and beyond. 

Keeping to that spirit of learning, sharing best practices, experiences, stories of inspiration, and connecting with peers is one of the cornerstones of EMC (Excellence in Manufacturing Consortium).  Having the opportunity to recognize that wherever you may be in your journey, you are not alone.   Now moving close to 30 years as a not-for-profit association, EMC welcomes Manufacturers of all sizes and sectors in all Provinces of Canada to engage as Members.  Together with our Head Office Team, Field Service Advisors throughout Canada are ready and willing to assist companies with any needs they may have!

Glancing back over the past several months, we cannot help but appreciate what an incredible year of learning this has been already.  Our first case of COVID-19 in Canada occurred in January and since then, our day to day lives and work experiences have changed significantly.  We focused first on how best to keep our people safe and our plants running efficiently and to do so, we also considered innovative means and ways to move forward.  As we transition from the first wave, it is safe to say for the most part that we have come to accept that COVID-19 precautions will remain until a successful vaccine is produced and readily available.  Business must move forward and with proper protocols in place and an ongoing heightened safety awareness regarding our roles and interactions with others, we will continue to remain as protected as possible. 

Suffice it to say, there are any number of “lessons” to be extrapolated from our experiences to date.  The impact of COVID-19 has resulted in very unexpected and challenging journey’s for some company’s and for others has led to new products and significant growth.  It has also provided cause to rethink strategies and to review business continuity plans with a larger lens.  There have been customer changes, supply chain interruptions, employment shortages, and a good deal of legislation to comply with, and the list goes on.  Survival in manufacturing today requires the ability to be flexible, adaptable and innovative and this year, perhaps more than any other, Manufacturers across Canada have put this to the test.

With education in mind, we invite you to join us in our upcoming EMC Food, Beverage, Bio and Ag Sector Webinar Networking Events this Fall as we explore lessons learned, unfolding opportunities and the future of Manufacturing in our industry:

15-Sep-20 - “A Journey Through COVID-19 and Giving Cause to Thinking Forward”!

Kicking off the Fall, we are very pleased to be welcoming EMC Member Greg Rusciolelli, COO, at Reunion Coffee Roasters in Oakville, Ontario to our EMC Food and Beverage Sector Webinar Series to share his thoughts and down to earth honest perspective on their company’s experiences through this unmitigated time – where nothing is what it once was and the way forward unknown.  Change management and forward thinking become essential while trying to accomplish more with limited resources and finding new markets in an ever-shifting landscape.

08-Oct-20 -  “Growth, Innovation and Collaboration”

EMC and Niagara College have partnered on a very special session and are extremely delighted to present a panel discussion on Growth, Innovation and CollaborationAppreciating our interconnectedness from a supply chain perspective, we will examine the importance of collaborating and supporting business growth and global competition.  Taking seats around our virtual table will be representatives from Sobey’s, Pillings Foods Inc., Northbridge Consultants, Niagara College and EMC.  We’ll be learning about the competitiveness of the sector, what innovations are going to help meet the needs of the consumer, importance of collaboration in a changing market, leading ways on idea generation, adaptation and innovation.  Through polls and breakout rooms, we look forward to hearing from participants and providing opportunities for you to virtually connect with your peers in industry as well! 

17-Nov-20 – North American Food Safety and Food Regulatory & Quality Assurance Summit

In November, from 17-19th, 2020, EMC is once again pleased to participate in the Strategy Institute’s Food Safety and Food Regulatory & Quality Assurance Summit.  This is going to be a phenomenal 3-day forum as the Spring and Fall Summits have been combined this year - presenting a tremendous opportunity for anyone interested in participating!  As always, there will be presentations by CFIA and FDA and a robust line-up of Manufacturers’ and SME’s sharing information relating to conference themes.  Now in its’ 16th year, this forum has brought participants together from across North America searching for the latest knowledge, gaining insight from best practice presentations and subject matter expertise. 

02-Dec-20 – “Environmental Monitoring Best Practices”

Casting a glance further down the schedule, we’ll finish our 2020 EMC Food & Beverage Sector year with an educational Best Practice Session on Environmental Monitoring hosted by 3M Canada in Milton, Ontario.  3M Canada - Food Safety, in partnership with Cornell University, recently completed an Environmental Monitoring Handbook for the food and beverage industry.  At this special event, we look forward to exploring the concepts of environmental monitoring, including controls, risk assessments, and recalls.  We are hoping that this will remain an in-person event, but COVID-19 may require us to move this virtually.

Complimenting our EMC Food, Beverage, Bio and Ag Sector Networking Events and Regional SIG (Strategic Interest Group) Sessions across Canada, there are many different programs available to enhance your skills and if you would like additional information regarding any of the following, please reach out to us and we would be happy to assist:

  • Lean Management, Tools and Methodologies
  • Human Capital Programs
  • Health and Safety
  • Sales and Marketing

Supplementing these is also a robust Online Skills and Learning Portal which was designed to help small and medium-sized manufacturers enhance productivity and performance. With bilingual learning on thousands of topics, courses and programs, we have something for everyone!

The EMC-Harvard Supervisory Certificate Program is also a phenomenal training opportunity and uses a blended approach of online technologies and training workshops, encouraging the development of critical thinking, leadership and management skills.  This program runs twice a year with the next Session beginning in September.

And finally, our Manufacturing Essentials Certification (MEC) for Production Workers and Certification for Supervisors are designed to engage production workers in continuous improvement methods/projects to support increased results on productivity of their companies and better employee engagement.  The MEC program for Supervisors encourages the development of critical thinking, leadership and team management skills with increased results on productivity, better workplace and team functioning and employee engagement.

From Coast to Coast, we have embraced the concept of learning and the opportunity that comes with those experiences, whether formally or informally!  We are always eager to help where we can, providing you with assistance and resources that will take you to the next level of your journey.

Yes, September is definitely a time to appreciate not only the educational opportunities we have available to us, but also where we have been and where we have yet to go!

On behalf of our Hosts, our Presenters and EMC, we look forward to enhancing your opportunities to learn!

Upcoming Food and Beverage Sector Events follow:

  • 16th Annual North American Food Safety, Food Regulatory and Quality Assurance Summit Toronto, ON

November 17 - 20, 2020
An interactive Summit hosted by the Strategy Institute that provides insight from CFIA, FDA and Industry Leaders on all matters related to Food Safety

  • EMC Food, Beverage & Bio Sector Networking Event

December 2, 2020

Host:  3M Canada Company – Milton, ON
Best Practices – Environmental Monitoring

How do you get involved?  If you are interested in learning more about EMC (Excellence in Manufacturing Consortium) and the Food Sector Initiative, please feel free to touch base with
Bren de Leeuw, Vice President, Community Partnerships and Stakeholder Relations ( anytime!