The 2019 Speakers
VP of NA Consumer Insights
Carman Allison serves as VP of Consumer Insights for Nielsen Canada. Carman has his finger on the pulse of the CPG landscape and is relied on by manufacturers and retailers to provide them with the consumer insights they need to make strategic and impactful business decisions. With 25 years of experience he shares his insights on consumer shopping, industry trends and buying and media consumption behaviours and attitudes through thought leadership reports, industry presentations and his two monthly columns in Canadian Grocer and Grocery Business magazine.
Nielsen studies consumers in more than 100 countries to give you the most complete view of trends and habits worldwide. And they're constantly evolving, not only in terms of where they measure, or who they measure, but in how their insights can help your organization drive profitable growth.
Farm to Fork Accelerator
Brett Brohl, Managing Director of Techstars Farm to Fork Accelerator, will discuss how Artificial Intelligence will affect value-added agriculture in Saskatchewan. Topics include AI in products and packaging, increasing food safety compliance, improving cleanliness, deciding what new products to make, and helping consumers decide what they want to purchase.
Techstars Farm to Fork Accelerator is the first program focused on the tech/digital side of food and agriculture. Partnered with Cargill and Ecolab, the program is looking for the best entrepreneurs across the entire food value chain, from AgTech, manufacturing and supply chains, to food safety, waste reduction and traceability. The program is based in Minneapolis-St. Paul, Minnesota.
Chief Marketing Officer
Protein Industries Canada
Protein Industries Canada (PIC) is a $153 million dollar super cluster, matched dollar for dollar by the private sector industry-led value chain consortium of small- to large-sized enterprises involved in food and food ingredient manufacturing, agriculture and food-related services, research and development, technology, economic development, finance and investment, education and training. It is projected that this supercluster will create more than 4,500 jobs and add more than $4.5 billion to Canada’s economy over 10 years. PIC will be giving an overview of their year ahead, as well as insight into their venture capital opportunities.
Fieldcraft simplifies sourcing by harnessing better data. Their search engine enables buyers to access thousands of plant varieties across hundreds of data points per ingredient and supplier simultaneously. Fieldcraft is opening new markets and opportunities for buyers and suppliers while promoting greater biodiversity.
The platform also makes it easier for buyers to find clean label solutions to replace artificial ingredients, and plant-based alternatives to replace animal-derived ingredients.
Since launching, buyers from emerging brands to global food companies have saved months and thousands of dollars in sourcing.
Michael is a veteran of the 101st Airborne Division and graduate of the US Army Ranger School. After September 11, 2001, he was selected by the CIA as a Paramilitary Officer. He led special operations teams in counterterrorism missions and served as Chief of Base in a number of locations. Michael then served in the White House Situation Room. Michael graduated from the University of Virginia School of Law and advised businesses in diverse government matters for several years before launching Fieldcraft.
Cher is one of Canada’s leaders in food manufacturing sustainability. As Executive Director of Provision Coalition, an organization she founded with the country’s top food and beverage professional associations, Cher works directly with manufacturers to transform their business culture and operations. An advocate for change and a passionate spokesperson, Cher has dedicated her career to advancing sustainability concepts within the Canadian food industry and sustainability solutions at the firm level. Most recently, Cher has sharpened Provision’s focus on the reduction of food loss and waste, responsible sourcing and climate change mitigation, by developing innovative technologies and on-line tools that will modernize facility processing.
Cher’s career has included time with the Guelph Food Technology Centre where she established and directed the Sustainability Consulting Business Unit, and executive positions in environmental economics and policy with the Canadian agri-food think tank, the George Morris Centre. Cher holds a Bachelor and Master’s degree in Environmental Economics and Policy. Cher has also been awarded the Canadian Grocer Generation Next award for her leadership, innovation and excellence in sustainability within the food and beverage industry.
Sr. Manager of NA Sustainability
Sustainability challenges are complex that demand innovative solutions and collective action. As one of the world’s largest restaurant companies, McDonald's has the responsibility and opportunity to take action on some of the most pressing social and environmental challenges in the world today. They embrace this opportunity to drive meaningful progress, and to do so by collaborating with millions of customers, employees, Franchisees, suppliers and other partners.
These initiatives are most impactful when they go beyond the direct reach of the company to influence action both within the business network and beyond. McDonald's call this using their Scale for Good. They hope their efforts can drive real change, so they become tomorrow’s standard. It’s an ongoing effort, and they’re always looking to what’s next.
Jeffrey has been working in Sustainability with McDonald's for 14 years, with extensive experience in building and managing results-oriented strategies in stakeholder and influencer engagement, sustainability, and corporate social responsibility.
Jeff Hilton is partner and co-founder of BrandHive, a leading global healthy-lifestyle branding agency. Since 1996, BrandHive has provided high level strategic planning and branding expertise to consumer packaged goods and value-based ingredient companies in the U.S. and across the globe. Jeff brings 40+ years of advanced business and marketing insight to his market-leading clients in the dietary supplement, functional food and beverage, and health and beauty categories. Jeff's background also includes leadership positions with Nature's Way as Vice President, and Nutraceutical Corporation as President of their KAL supplement brand. He has been recognized by Advertising Age magazine as one of the nation's Top 100 Marketers.
Jeff has been an invited speaker at healthy lifestyle events worldwide, including Natural Products Expos East and West, NBJ Summit, Fancy Food Show, IFT and Vitafoods Europe and Asia.
At the Agri-Value Forum, Jeff will be talking about a consumer paradigm shift that impacts the entire health and wellness space. This move to a more digital-first, consumer-centric marketplace is making it necessary for brands to reach consumers with an integrated content marketing strategy. That said, there is so much inaccurate information being disseminated as well, that making sure the “truth wins out” is increasingly an uphill battle.
"We don’t know much about marketing for real estate. Or for cars, detergents, or life insurance. We leave that to the generalist ad agencies out there. But helping our clients sell more food, that’s something we know an awful lot about. Because that’s all we do. So, if you grow or make food and you’d like to increase your sales, then you might want to talk to us."
Nourish is Canada’s only full-service marketing agency working exclusively with clients in the food, beverage, and agricultural industries. From product feasibility studies to product naming and branding, from food packaging design that’s cart stopping to recipe development that is tested and guaranteed to be original, all the way to social media, influencer outreach and PR, they do it all. Nourish works with clients that have a global presence to food entrepreneurs that are just starting out.
Jo-Ann’s first half of her keynote will be a workshop focused on enhancing the branding of organizations in order to boost sales – from improving your pitches to retailers, to increasing the communication of your packaging, followed by an overview of Canadian Consumer Trends that she sees impacting Saskatchewan based added-value organizations.