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BC celebrates its food leaders and winners

The BC Food Processors Association honours "the best of the best" in food and beverage in the province


Langley, BC – The BC Food Processors Association (BCFPA) held its annual FoodProWest 2017 in Vancouver on June 8.

FoodProWest is an industry event open to BC food, beverage and natural health products manufacturers and their suppliers. The show’s theme this year, its 10th anniversary, was “BC Feeds the World.”

The BCFPA also holds an Awards Gala & Dinner during FoodProWest to honour, as it said in a statement: “the best of the best in the food and beverage processing industry.” This year 400 guests attended the evening event.

The winners, as announced in the statement, included:

  • Debra Hellbach of Grounded Strategies, a company that helps food and natural health product entrepreneurs get to and grow their markets, won the Leadership Award
  • Sylvia Martinelli of Otimo’s/S&B Gluten Free, which makes a line of naturally gluten-free and frozen products, won the Rising Star Award
  • Mazza Innovation – which specializes in extracting bioactive compounds including polyphenols, alkaloids, glycosides and specialty carbohydrates – won the Innovation Award
  • Left Coast Naturals, which is an organic and natural food manufacturer and distributor, won the Sustainability Award
  • Garden Protein (Gardein), which manufactures high-quality meatless foods, won the Workplace Safety Award

The BCFPA also inducted JD Sweid Foods, which manufactures beef and chicken products, into the BC Food Processors Hall of Fame. This award “recognizes a BC company that has been in business for 25 or more years and is committed to prosperity and environmental stability,” says the statement.

The Leadership Award went to MNP, an accounting, tax and consulting firm. MNP was recognized for “its support and effort in such areas as the Membership Committee and partnering with the BCFPA on an industry Economic Impact Study and SWOT Analysis.”

The BCFPA also announced the winners of the Product of the Year Award at the Awards Gala.

The BCFPA awarded the Gold Medal to Chez Christophe, which makes fine chocolate products and pastries, for Christophe Bonzon’s puff pastry Flutes.

The Silver Medal went to Spread ‘Em Kitchen for the company’s line of vegetable and cashew spreads.

The Bronze Medal went to Quesava Kitchen’s Quejos Gluten Free Cheese Buns. Quesava Kitchen makes baked goods that are gluten-free, vegan, wheat-free, yeast-free and non-dairy.

An Honourable Mention went to Wooden Boat Food Company, which specializes in authentic Vietnamese sauces and other foods, for its Nuoc Cham sauce.

For the Product of the Year Awards, the BCFPA says 26 companies participated “before a panel of judges in a Dragon’s Den style format, which took place on March 16 at the BC Institute of Technology.”

The judges included Mijune Pak, who chaired the panel; Vikram Vij of Vij’s; Ken Clark of Overwaitea Food Group; White Spot Executive Chef Danny Marcowicz; Charles Chang of Lyra Growth; Jeff Nadon of Sobey’s; and James Street with the BC Ministry of Agriculture.

To win the Product of the Year Award, the product must show innovation and criteria include taste, packaging, marketing and environmental impact.


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