BC’s best of the best in the food processing industry were honoured on June 18th at the BCFPA annual Awards Gala in greater Vancouver.
Over 300 of BC’s top food processors and industry leaders came together to honour their colleagues at the prestigious Gala Dinner hosted by the BC Food Processors Association as part of its annual conference, FoodProWest. The food and beverage processing sector contributes approximately $8.2 billion to the provincial economy and is the largest manufacturing sector in British Columbia.
Hall of Fame Award: The Hall of Fame Award recognizes a B.C. company that has been in the business for 25 or more years and shows a commitment to prosperity and environmental stability. Nature’s Path Foods joins Olympic Dairy, Pacific Coast Fruit Products, Gizella’s Pastry, Vanderpol Food Group, Avalon Dairy Ltd., Purdy’s Chocolates and Freybe Gourmet Foods in the BC Food Processor’s Hall of Fame.
Leadership Award: The Leadership Award recognizes an Industry leader that provides business leadership and inspiration; makes a positive contribution to the community, practises mentorship, environmental sustainability and is a role model. Jason Longden of Garden Protein International received the award.
Member of the Year Award: The Member of the Year Award recognizes a BCFPA Member (processor or associate) that has demonstrated a high engagement level in BCFPA activities and made a contribution to industry efforts. Neutron Factory Works excelled by supporting the BCFPA on many fronts and is also always ready to support industry and association. Rising Star Award: The Rising Star Award celebrates a processor who has demonstrated innovation, shown leadership in industry and the community. The award was won by Jillian Hull of JillyV’s.
Innovation Award: The Innovation Award recognizes a processor who has demonstrated innovation in any aspect of the company (e.g. processes, technology, ingredients, human resources, culture, engagement, sales and marketing, product development, health and safety, research and development). Kaslo Sourdough Pasta with its unique spin on the Italian hallmark received the award.
Sustainability Award: The Sustainability Award recognizes a processor who has demonstrated energy conservation and sustainability in their operations. Fine Choice Foods received the honours.
Product of the Year Award: The Product of the Year Award recognizes a product that shows innovation; criteria include taste (if applicable), product packaging, marketing, innovation, and environmental impact.
Twenty-one companies participated in a fierce competition before a panel of judges. Gold was awarded to FreeYumm for their Oat and Hemp Bars. Silver was awarded to Left Coast Naturals for their Hippie Garden Chips. Bronze went to Kaslo Sourdough Pasta for their namesake noodles.
“We are delighted with the fabulous work of all nominees, finalists and recipients of our awards,” said Rick Gagner, newly elected BCFPA chair of the board. “The people who envisioned these food products and built a company around them are the hardest working and most inspirational breed of entrepreneur; totally inspirational. We are delighted that we could honour them in this way.”
The awards were presented at FoodProWest, the premier annual gathering of BC food processors. The two-day event also included a buyers’ day and conference, followed by the Awards Gala. During the event, attendees networked and browsed the trade show with over 55 exhibitors.
“This is our eighth year of FoodProWest,” added James Donaldson BCFPA CEO. “We are very happy to see the event continue to grow. FoodProWest featured an International Buyer’s Day, showcasing B.C. food products to an exclusive audience of local, U.S. and Pacific Rim buyers representing eight countries. “We’re going to be excited to report on the business that will have been generated as a result of the Buyer’s Day at FoodProWest,” says Donaldson.