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Industry News2018 Grocery Business Cutting Edge Innovator Award in Produce

2018 Grocery Business Cutting Edge Innovator Award in Produce

Grocery Business Cutting Edge Innovator Award in Produce

Our 2018 Grocery Business Cutting Edge Innovator in Produce

Oleen Smethurst

Oleen Smethurst, assistant vice president/general merchandising manager for produce at Costco Wholesale Canada, is the 2018 recipient of Grocery Business’ inaugural Cutting Edge Innovator in Produce award, which recognizes innovation in this category.

Since joining the industry more than 25 years ago, Smethurst, the first recipient of the Grocery Business’ Cutting Edge Innovator in Produce award, has been a strong advocate of innovation in produce. Throughout her career, she has helped to highlight leading edge initiatives, including championing creative packaging technologies such as Top Seal, which helps promote longer shelf life for produce and reduce plastic waste. Smethurst spends half of each year travelling to meet growers and find new varieties and flavours of produce. She also meets twice a year with seed companies to learn about what’s coming for the future.

“The more I have been educated by the growers, the more I understand how much they can and also wish to innovate with us, and how excited they are to know that flavour is the key to what we are trying to achieve.”

A native of Montreal, Smethurst moved to Vancouver to join Costco more than 25 years ago. In 2005, she became the assistant general merchandising manager in produce. Currently based at Costco’s Canadian headquartes in Ottawa, she has been active in the Canadian Produce Marketing Association (CPMA) on the executive committee, and will take on the role of chair of the CPMA executive committee in 2020.

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Help us find the next Grocery Business Cutting Edge Innovator in Produce

Send in your 2019 nominations now!

 

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