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2023 Star Women in Grocery Award Winner Kate Beresford (Q&A)

Senior-Level Star
Kate Beresford
Kate Beresford

Kate Beresford

Vice-Preisdent and General Manager, Loblaw Customer Business Team
Maple Leaf Foods

What are some of your career highlights?

I’ve had such a rich career so it’s hard to choose one! My previous role as vice president of sustainable meats marketing at Maple Leaf Foods is a career highlight. Having the opportunity to lead this important initiative and grow our North American business in poultry and pork that is humanely raised without antibiotics and doing it with an amazing cross-functional team makes me incredibly proud. It represents pride in the people I work with and pride in Maple Leaf’s leadership in sustainable meat. Now, I can build on that role serving one of our major customers. 

Why is sustainability in grocery/CPG so important to you?  

The United Nations has spoken on this topic: It’s now or never when it comes to fighting climate change. Sustainability is a global imperative and represents our planet’s and our generation’s future... Becoming the world’s first major carbon-neutral food company in 2019 was [Maple Leaf’s] biggest and boldest step in tackling climate change. For me, this is a perfect example of fit between a company’s mission and my personal values. 

What is the best advice you’ve received?

My dad is my mentor and cheerleader and always gave me amazing guidance. The first piece of advice is to think about what new tool you are putting in your toolbox. Every role, every opportunity is the chance to hone a new tool, and adding more tools to your toolbox will make you a better leader. The second piece of advice is put your head down and focus on the work and the rest will follow. Both pieces of advice have been foundational in my drive for personal growth and development.

How would you describe your leadership style?  

My leadership style is based on winning together as a team. It takes a full team effort to deliver great results year-in, year-out. Excellent performance and putting people first are re-enforcing—not conflicting—forces. I enjoy creating space for teams to feel empowered to do their best work and have some fun and celebrate together. At the end of the day, we either win or we learn, 

How do you spend your time outside of work?

At this point, raising teenagers, supporting their interests and helping them find their path—just as my dad helped me find mine—keeps me very busy! Beyond that, I enjoy getting outside at the cottage in the summer, skiing in the winter and getting lost in a book. My TBR (to be read) list would require a sabbatical to conquer!     

What is a fun fact about you?

I have a Boston Terrier named Lola who I’m obsessed with. I’m also always taking photos on my phone and documenting everything. My camera roll has 63,000 photos on it: 50% are Lola, 25% are family and friends, and 25% are photos of grocery stores, bacon and hot dogs! 

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

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