Courchesne Larose sending large team to CPMA
For more than 100 years, Courchesne Larose Ltd. has been a major player on the Canadian fresh fruit and vegetable market, driven by a strong commitment to its customers.
At this year’s Canadian Produce Marketing Association show, the company will be exhibiting in booth No. 1115, and is always grateful when the show is in Montreal.
“When CPMA is in Montreal, we are very proud to exhibit,” said Guy Milette, vice president of business development and international for the Anjou, ON-based company. “Our booth this year will be showcasing the different companies of the Courchesne Group. We will be exhibiting what we believe is most precious to us, our people.”
With more than 50 representatives of the group on-hand, team members are expecting a vast number of customers, vendors, and friends to come and have a nice discussion while sipping on a glass of wine or enjoying a great coffee.
“After a few years of online events, people cannot wait to meet again,” Milette said. “In the U.S. there were already a few in-person events, but in Canada, this is the first one after a few years.”
While it’s a coincidence that the last in-person CPMA was in Montreal, the team can’t wait to return.
“We are back to meet and greet and we need a well-organized event such a CPMA where people can attend again but also have their space,” Milette said. “For the last couple years, while attending online events instead of in-person ones, many companies have saved a lot of money due to not traveling. But, if we’re being honest, the produce industry is a people business where our circle of influence builds at these in-person events. You can do 1 or 2 years like the COVID-19 period, but now it’s time to get back to a somewhat normal.”
While Milette wants to keep things upbeat, unfortunately, the talk of the moment is not all positive, and he know some of the conversations at the show will be about the challenges.
“These days, there are worrisome topics such as supply chain disruptions and many more, but we need to remain positive,” he said. “That being said, one of our hot topics will include our new sister company, which was just recently launched, Ocean Vert; this company uses vertical farming technology and is all locally grown.”
With the largest team of buyers and salespeople in Canada, which includes almost 70 traders, along with the fact that everyone is eager to participate, Courchesne Larose needed to craft a savvy strategy for the show.
“So, a strong schedule along with a smart game plan is a must when you are moving such a large team to a trade show,” Milette said. “After two years of COVID-19, keeping in mind that Quebec is the province where the restrictions are the strictest, the latest buzz at the company is clearly the CPMA. Getting back to meeting up with suppliers and customers in person is our top priority.”
Throughout the last couple of years, even though there were many challenges, business still saw mostly positives.
“After very important growth in 2020 and a smaller one in 2021, we are still trying to find our balance after the two-year pandemic shake up,” Milette said. “Labor is a priority, more specifically in the warehouse operation and in transportation. We see a light at the end of the tunnel, but we are not there yet.”