Keynote and Business Session Speakers

Delegate and Companion Breakfast

Wednesday, April 25th  •  8:00 a.m. – 9:45 a.m.  •  VCC West–Ballroom C

KNOW GMO - Will Agriculture be ALLOWED to Feed 9 Billion People?

Robert SaikRob Saik

Since the dawn of agriculture, man has been genetically modifying plants and animals to better provide food.  This technological evolution continues today in the form of Bio-Engineering. There is a “disconnect” with what is going on at the farm; how technology is being used and what people “think” is going on at the farm.  It’s time to change the conversation from NO GMO to KNOW GMO. It’s time to stop shouting and start listening. And it’s time we had an uplifting discussion about food. Rob's TedX Talk which was titled "Will Agriculture be ALLOWED to feed 9 Billion People?" would go hand in hand with his "KNOW GMO" presentation.

As a professional agrologist who works with all types of farming operations, Rob Saik is in a unique position to observe what is going on both in agriculture and society at large. He travels a lot, and sees things especially in urban markets… He's a techie, and is in-touch with trends and is connected to agriculture directly, providing him with a unique perspective on what constitutes the perception vs the reality of modern agriculture.

Keynote sponsored by: Breakfast sponsored by:
BC Tree Fruits

Delegate Lunch

Wednesday, April 25th  •  11:30 a.m. – 1:15 p.m. •  VCC West–Ballroom C

Innovation and Disruptive Technologies

Terry StuartTerry Stuart

Companies are scaling and failing faster and more than ever. With the changing economic and demographic landscape at home and abroad, combined with the rapid onslaught of exponential technologies, the future for organizations has never been more uncertain. Today, Leaders require a different toolkit, they must learn to develop new strategies and evaluate potential opportunities in order to survive and thrive in an age of disruption. The word innovation can sometimes be used in a cavalier way, but in my mind it matters. Canada’s productivity is on the line and innovation is what will propel the country forward to help future generations be successful.

Terry Stuart is Deloitte Canada’s Chief Innovation Officer, a core member of the firm’s Global Innovation Network and a Partner with the Canadian Financial services consulting practice. Terry applies his passion for innovation and the experience gained from more than 25 years in consulting to help clients solve business problems and create new offerings at Deloitte.

Keynote sponsored by: Lunch sponsored by:

Business Session

Wednesday, April 25th  •  10:00 a.m. – 11:15 a.m.  •  VCC West – Room 109/110

Ben Hughes

Zespri: A Global Brand for Local Consumers

Presented by Ben Hughes, Zespri

Celebrating its 20th anniversary last year, Zespri has become an iconic brand in the international fresh produce business. How does the single-desk marketer make the global brand resonate with local consumers across diverse markets and demographics? How is Zespri bidding to take fresh produce marketing down the CPG path to make a stronger emotional connection with consumers?


Forces Impacting the Canadian Produce Industry: Increasing Demand-Side Complexity Collides with Supply-Side Constraints

Roland FumasiPresented by Roland Fumasi PhD, Rabobank

Rising global incomes, led by a growing middle-class in developing countries, favours increased produce consumption. At the same time, limited availability of land, labour, and water, increasing regulatory pressures—coupled with increasingly complex consumer purchasing habits and rising consumer expectations of a holistic approach to food production, environmental sustainability, and social responsibility—are challenging the F&V value chain to think differently about how it can sustainably meet growing demand. We will explore these seemingly colliding forces, and the opportunities and challenges they create.