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Awards gala celebrates sustainability in food and beverage processing


November 12, 2010
By Bakers Journal

nov12gftcmereweatherNovember 12, 2010, Brampton, Ont. – The Guelph Food Technology Centre held a gala event last week to celebrate leadership in sustainability among food and beverage processing facilities.

The event marked the release of key findings from the first phase of the Guelph Food Technology Centre’s (GFTC) “Raising the Bar for Sustainability Performance in Ontario’s Food and Beverage Processing Industry” research project. Facilities that participated in the study and showed exceptional initiatives in sustainability were nominated for special recognition. Winners in various award categories were recognized at the November 4th gala.

Fifth Town Artisan Cheese Co., a small facility in Picton, Ont., took home the highest honours of the evening, walking away with the award for Corporate Social Responsibility.  

Cher Mereweather, director of the GFTC’s sustainability consulting business unit, noted that what made the win so impressive was a small facility’s ability to excel at incorporating sustainability into their everyday practices.

“With fewer than 20 employees, Fifth Town Artisan Cheese Co. demonstrated that corporate social responsibility can be done well at any size,” Mereweather said.
 
Other facilities nominated in this category included Kraft Canada Inc. (Scarborough, Ont.), Hiram Walker and Sons Ltd. (Windsor, Ont.), and Cargill Value Added Meats – Foodservice Canada (London, Ont.).

In other award categories, winners included:
 

  • Energy Management: Heinz Canada (Leamington, Ont.)
  • Waste Management: McCormick Canada (London, Ont.)
  • Environmental Sustainability: Cargill Value Added Meats – Foodservice Canada (London, Ont.)
  • Community Contribution and Employee Engagement: Kraft Canada Inc. (Scarborough, Ont.)
  • Strategic Leadership: Frito Lay Canada (New Minas, N.S.)

In the Water Management award category, no winner was selected, however all nominees were recognized for their excellence.

Mereweather is pleased with the industry’s willingness to share sustainability experiences, and its enthusiasm for celebrating successes.
 
“The fact that so many companies agreed to be part of the project and attended the gala shows how much the understanding of the business case for sustainability has grown in food and beverage processing,” Mereweather said. “Our industry is really getting behind the global drive for sustainability and realizes that it not only makes business sense, but it’s the right thing to do.”
 
The keynote speaker for the event was Dr. John Izzo, a business consultant and author of the best-selling books Awakening Corporate Soul and Values Shift: Recruiting, Retaining and Engaging the Multigenerational Workforce. Izzo encouraged attendees to have a bold vision for their facility or company and highlighted the importance of senior buy-in throughout the sustainability journey.

The evening also featured a silent auction for Second Harvest, the Toronto-based perishable food recovery organization. The auction raised $3,155, which will be used to deliver approximately 6,310 meals across the GTA.
 
Annex Publishing & Printing was a proud media sponsor of the GFTC’s gala event.