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COPA announces Chris Vervaet as new director


January 28, 2015
By Bakers Journal

Jan. 28, 2015, Winnipeg – The Canadian Oilseed Processors Association (COPA) welcomes Chris Vervaet as executive director, effective March 23, 2015.

“We are very pleased to have Chris come on board to lead COPA,” says Patti Miller, president of the Canola Council of Canada (CCC). “He brings a breadth of experience in market access as well as regulatory and trade policy to the association.”

Since 2011, Vervaet has been an agriculture counsellor for Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada (AAFC) based in Beijing, where he worked collaboratively to direct market access strategies and provide regulatory advice for Canada’s agriculture and agri-food industry. Recent contributions include maintaining access for canola seed exports, facilitating trade of canola oil in an unpredictable regulatory environment and providing timely advice to ensure the smooth re-establishment of canola meal exports. Previous positions include Senior Trade Policy Analyst with AAFC and Agriculture Trade Policy Manager for the Canadian Federation of Agriculture.

Vervaet holds a M. Sc. in agriculture economics from the University of Guelph, and a B. Sc. in Agriculture Business from the University of Manitoba.

“Based on strong international demand, I am drawn to the growth dynamics of Canada’s oilseed processing sector,” says Vervaet. “I am excited to take this leadership role and help drive this growth and develop strategies that will enhance the business interests of COPA, as well as bring value to the CCC.”

In 2013, the boards of directors of COPA and the CCC established a service agreement through which COPA secures the requirements of its association management from the CCC. Based on this agreement, Vervaet will be based at the joint COPA-CCC office in Winnipeg and serve on the CCC’s management team. This arrangement better aligns the activities and maximizes the effectiveness of the two associations.

COPA is a federally incorporated non-profit industry association that represents the oilseed processors in Canada. The members of COPA are ADM Agri-Industries Company, Bunge Canada, Cargill Limited, Louis Dreyfus Commodities Yorkton Corp., Richardson Oilseed Limited, TRT ETGO du Quebec, and Viterra Inc. The canola processing industry (including crushing, refining, and oil and meal delivery) contributes more than $1.5 billion to the Canadian economy annually, including more than 9,700 jobs.