Skip to main content

2023 Star Women in Grocery Award Winner Jane Proctor (Q&A)

Senior-Level Star
Jane Proctor
Jane Proctor

Jane Proctor

VP, Policy & Issue Management
Canadian Produce Marketing Association

How did you get into the produce business, and what has kept you in it all these years?

It was mostly luck that got me into the business. I have a Bachelor of Education and was supply teaching. When a summer job came up at CPMA, I took it as a chance to augment my income until the fall, but the produce industry draws you in and I just never left. That draw is really about the people and the personal satisfaction you get from supporting an industry that brings amazing, healthy food to Canadians and the world. I can’t imagine working in any other industry. 

What are some of your proudest career achievements?

Given the global nature of produce, working on efforts to improve the global supply chain and bring standardization to every business has given me deep professional satisfaction. Helping to establish the International Federation of Produce Standards, globalize the produce identification system, and act as a lead in global produce standards makes me feel like I will leave the industry a bit better than when I found it. At a Canadian level, my team and I work to remove barriers to business, mainly from a regulatory/policy perspective, and that makes me proud of my team and the industry volunteers who work so hard to keep the produce industry moving forward without unnecessary impediments.

What do you like most about your current role?

By far, it is meeting people and participating in events and meetings in Canada, the U.S. and around the globe. Learning about the industry first-hand and working with colleagues to establish solutions to industry issues is so rewarding. I could never have imagined the places I’d go and the people I’d meet throughout my career; even participating in meetings at the U.N. in Geneva. In addition, at CPMA we have a fantastic staff and amazing volunteer leaders on our board and in committees. Working with them is such a pleasure.

What is the most challenging part of your job, and how do you deal with it?

There is no question that addressing problematic regulations and policy is the most challenging thing my team and I, along with others at CPMA, deal with. Helping regulators understand the needs and limitations of industry, along with the unintended impacts existing or proposed regulations may have, requires patience and constant attention. We are all very focused on finding solutions and often that means working with other associations in the agriculture industry. There is power in the collective ag [agriculture] voice.

What is your best quality?

From a business perspective, I hope people would say my best quality is my dedication to the industry and my commitment to finding solutions that benefit industry without adding unnecessary burden. I’m also very organized and detail-oriented, which I think has helped in many of the files I’ve worked on. 

How do you spend your time outside of work?

I’m an avid traveller, gardener and reader, plus I spend a lot of time with family and friends doing things that make us happy.

Anything else you’d like to add?

I was so lucky to “fall into” the produce industry and it has been so fulfilling; it’s a cliché, but I love my job!

Click here for the full list of 2023 Star Women in Grocery award winners.

This ad will auto-close in 10 seconds