Providing fuel for a day of discussion
Thought Leaders Breakfast Panel
THURSDAY JUNE 8, 2017
07.30 – 09.15
The Perishable Pundit Jim Prevor as he probes the minds of the following produce-industry experts.
- Richard J. Dachman
Richard J. Dachman, Vice President of Produce, Sysco Corporation lives in Sugar Land, TX, began his produce career at his family-owned business in Denver and attended Colorado State University. He joined Kraft’s corporate office in Chicago as National Director of Produce in 1987. He started working for FreshPoint Inc. in 1992, and when Sysco acquired FreshPoint in 2000, he became Senior Vice President, Western region. In 2007, he was promoted to Vice President of produce for Sysco. Dachman also served as Chairman for PMA in 2012.
- Amy Lance
Amy Lance has worked in the UK retail sector for nearly 10 years, previously working in commercial and technical roles at Tesco and Waitrose. Last year, Amy worked with fresh produce businesses in Senegal, South Africa and the USA. Amy has now taken on a new challenge at a box delivery service HelloFresh, recently named as the fastest-growing company in Europe, where she is now working as head of technical.
- Paul James Morgan
Paul James Morgan is the Category Manager for fruits and vegetables for Spinneys Dubai. He has been involved in the buying and sourcing of fresh foods for nine years and started his career in the fresh produce department at Musgrave Retail Partners GB, managing categories for the Budgens and Londis brands. After four years purchasing fruit, vegetables, fish and meat he joined Sainsbury’s to work in the food-to-go category (sandwiches, sushi and salads). In 2015, he moved to Spinneys Dubai, a leading retailer in the Middle East with over 65 stores across the UAE and Oman. As category manager of fresh produce he sources directly with growers around the world. Spinneys is the first retailer in the region to join GLOBALG.A.P. and hold the license for Waitrose stores in the Middle East.
- Prue Leith, CBE
Prue’s main interests — food, business, education and writing — have led to a varied career. She is much in demand as an entertaining and amusing speaker on her career, and as a serious and knowledgeable speaker on education, the importance of good food and on women in business.
She started in catering with Leith’s Good Food, followed by Leith’s Restaurant, which won a Michelin Star, and Leith’s School of Food and Wine. The group employed 500 people when she sold it in the nineties.
She has been a food columnist for the Daily Mail, Sunday Express, the Guardian and the Daily Mirror, has written 12 cookbooks, her autobiography, Relish and seven novels. She was a judge on the Great British Menu (BBC2) series, My Kitchen Rules UK (Channel 4) and is now a judge on The Great British Bake Off (Channel 4).
She has been deeply involved in food in education, starting and chairing the charity Focus on Food, which promotes cooking in the curriculum, and the Hoxton Apprentice — a not-for-profit restaurant training the most disadvantaged long-term unemployed young people. She was the Chair of the School Food Trust, which was largely responsible for the improvement in school food and is now Patron of Let’s Get Cooking, part of the Children’s Food Trust. She is also Patron of the Prue Leith Chef’s Academy in her native South Africa.
Prue has been a non-executive director of British Rail, Safeway, Halifax, Woolworths, Omega, Whitbread and Belmond (formerly Orient Express Hotels) and is also a director of two start-up companies, one an organic baby food and the other an on-line publishing company.
She received the CBE in 2010, Veuve Clicquot Business-Woman of the Year in 1990, and holds 13 honorary degrees or Fellowships from UK Universities.
She has published The Food of Love; Laura’s Story, the first book in a trilogy — a family saga, with the development of food from wartime rationing to organics and telly chefs as the background. The second book, The Prodigal Daughter, is out now.
She has a son and an adopted Cambodian daughter, and three grandchildren.
- Laurence Olins
Laurence is a fourth generation fruit industry professional who started his career in 1969. His managerial experience has covered a wide range of fresh produce crops and activities ranging from importing, marketing, sales, foodservice supply and wholesaling. He was MD of Poupart Produce for 18 years from 1987, and retired as Chairman in 2016. He is now Chairman of British Summer Fruits Ltd and a non-executive consultant to G’s Fresh, Shropshire Investment Board and Reynolds Catering Supplies Ltd. He is a Leader in Residence and Advisory Board member at Leeds Uni Students University Business School.
- Bardur Nielsson
Bardur Nielsson is the Purchasing Manager of Bananar ehf, the main importer and distributor of fresh produce in Iceland. In 2015 the company celebrated its 60th anniversary, and it has grown into an integral part of the Icelandic food landscape. With tourism to Iceland reaching an all-time high, Bananar is in a unique position to capitalise on its strong relationship with Icelandic retailers, as well as the growing number of hotels and restaurants. Over many years Bardur has created an enviable network of growers and suppliers all over the world. He is considered to be an authentic fresh produce specialist.
- Bruce Peterson
Bruce is the former Senior Vice President of Perishables at Wal-Mart Stores, Inc., and a 45-year veteran in the produce industry. He started his food-industry career bagging groceries in his hometown of Detroit, Michigan in 1970, later working for several notable supermarket chains, and owning and operating a wholesale produce company. He joined Wal-Mart as Produce Director in 1991 and spent 17 years with the company, during which time Bruce saw the company grow from six supercentres to more than 2,300, 117 Neighbourhood Markets, and establish 42 food distribution centres. He is now President of Peterson Insights, Inc., a consulting company helping fresh food companies successfully navigate through a wide variety of complex challenges.
- Sumit Saran
Sumit Saran is the Head of International Foods at Future Consumer Limited, a FMCG company of The Future Group, India’s largest retailer. His responsibilities include setting up distribution channels for imported foods, establishing international tie-ups and handling international food promotions across the various retail formats that Future Group owns and operates.
Sumit has more than 20 years experience managing and implementing food projects in India and various other countries. His expertise lies in food marketing and establishing successful food brands through market research, retail promotions and supply chain interventions.
He holds a Masters degree in international relations, specialising in international food business, and has been specially trained with USAID in the United States in management and dissemination of agribusiness information.
He regularly advises wholesalers and retailers in India on issues of retail merchandising, cold chain management and ways to overcome the fragmented supply chain that exists in the market.
He is also a regular speaker at major events on food business in India and abroad and is always willing to share his experiences for the overall benefit of the industry.
- TIM YORK
Tim has nearly 40 years’ experience in the produce and foodservice industries. He began his career in 1977 at H. Hall & Company, a grower/shipper of strawberries and mixed vegetables. He joined Markon in 1985 as Purchasing Director, and was named President in 1990. His numerous industry positions include Chairman of Produce Marketing Association’s Foodservice Division (1994-1996), and Chairman of the Produce Marketing Association (2002-2003), and member, USDA Fruit and Vegetable Advisory Council. He is currently on the Canadian Produce Marketing Association‘s board of directors.
Tim was instrumental in bringing buyers and sellers together in 1996 to address the food safety crisis and in the formation of the Center for Produce Safety, which he chaired from 2007-2012. He remains involved in several multi-stakeholder collaboratives working on food safety, food waste, sustainability, and environmental protections.