New executive director at AMI
November 3, 2015 By Agri-food Management Institute
Nov. 3, 2015, Guelph, Ont. – Alison Robertson is the new executive director of the Agri-food Management Institute (AMI).
“We think that Alison will be a great fit, with her extensive experience and connections in the industry,” said Doug Alexander, chair of the board for AMI. “Under her leadership, we look forward to giving farmers and food processors more and better ways to help them succeed in business.”
AMI promotes new ways of thinking about agribusiness management. It develops business management tools, information, resources and training for agri-food and agri-based producers, processors, and their business advisors. AMI also creates links to existing resources and conducts research for the industry.
“I will be a champion for AMI,” Alison said. “I want to get out there with our stakeholders, engage with them, listen to what they’re looking for, and help meet their needs.”
Robertson comes to the job with an impressive list of qualifications, including working as program manager for the Ontario Fruit and Vegetable Growers’ Association (OFVGA) for 11 years. The OFVGA is dedicated to the advancement of horticulture, working proactively through effective lobbying for the betterment of the industry and its producers as a whole through advocacy, research, education, and communication.
There, she helped introduce and ran an innovative program that puts more fresh fruits and vegetable snacks into the hands and stomachs of school children in northern Ontario. The program continues to be successful in helping improve the health of 38,000 kids in 191 schools. It’s also instilling good eating habits that will last a lifetime.
She also ran Fresh from the Farm: Health Fundraising for Ontario Students, a program in which students raise funds for school activities from the sale of local fresh fruits and vegetables. More than $112,000 has been raised at 152 schools since the pilot started in 2013.
Alison sits on Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada’s Horticulture Value Chain Roundtable and is chair of the Consumer Focus Working Group and past chair of the Horticulture for Health Working Group. She is a member of the steering committee of the National Health Summit: Increasing Fruit & Vegetable Consumption for a Healthier Canada. She sits on the selection panel for the Premier’s Award for Agri-food Innovation Excellence and is a member of the board of directors of the Ontario Food Terminal.
Food processors are invited to attend AMI’s Food Entrepreneurs: Building Ontario Innovation One Product at a Time conference that will be held in Barrie, Ontario, on March 3 and 4, 2016.
AMI is funded by Growing Forward 2, a federal-provincial-territorial initiative. It is led by a board of directors with diverse backgrounds and experience in primary agriculture, agriculture business and food processing.
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