Cambridge, ON — The board of directors of the Alliance of Ontario Food Processors (AOFP) has appointed Steve Peters as Executive Director, effective May 2, 2012
Peters is a former MPP for the riding of Elgin-Middlesex-London from 1999-2011. He was Minister of Agriculture from 2003-2005, and Minister of Labour from 2005-2007. Most recently, Peters served as Speaker of the House until his retirement from politics in 2011. Prior to his election to provincial government, Peters served as mayor of St. Thomas.
“We are delighted that Steve has joined our team,” says Craig Richardson, chair of the AOFP board of directors. “We believe that his experience in and long-standing commitment to the agri-food industry in Ontario will help us to achieve our goal of raising the profile and strengthening the Ontario food and beverage processing industry.”
“I am passionate about this industry,” says Peters. “I have long recognized its importance as an economic driver in Ontario, and see great potential for growth and job creation. I am looking forward to the opportunity to be a champion for a manufacturing sector that is so vital to Ontario’s economy.”
AOFP is a member-driven organization representing over 650 food and beverage processing companies in Ontario, including the members of the Association of Ontario Chicken Processors, the Baking Association of Canada, the Dairy Council of Ontario, the Ontario Independent Meat Processors, the Ontario Fruit and Vegetable Processors Association, and the Wine Council of Ontario. It employs more than 110 000 Ontarians, making it the largest employment sector in the province. In addition, the industry purchases over 70 percent of Ontario’s agricultural production making it the farm community’s most strategic partner.
Among AOFP’s priorities for strengthening the industry is a partnership with Conestoga College in Cambridge, Ontario to develop the Institute of Food Processing Technology, a training facility to address the significant shortage of skilled labour in the industry.