2023 Star Women in Grocery Award Winner Teresa Mastrodicasa (Q&A)

Senior-Level Star
Teresa Mastrodicasa
Teresa Mastrodicasa

Teresa Mastrodicasa

VP, Nutrition Policy & Regulatory Affairs
Food, Health & Consumer Products of Canada

What are some of your career highlights?

Most recently, I was able to contribute to the front-of-package labelling and supplemented foods regulations, which took years to develop. These regulations will impact many products on the grocery store shelves and will influence how Canadians make food choices. In addition to representing industry to ensure policy and regulation proposals are balanced and science-based, I am also helping shape these regulations so they will make sense to consumers and, ultimately, help them make more informed food choices. I am also very proud to bring the food industry’s perspective to discussions surrounding global food standards (i.e., Codex), and represent the group on a global forum. Over the years, I developed several promotional and educational materials for consumers and stakeholders, but the one that stands out is developing content for a national resource, The Menu Planner, which was used to promote healthy eating using menu planning and Canada’s Food Guide. 

What qualities do you possess that have helped you succeed in shaping food policies? 

Strong leadership skills, deep knowledge of nutrition science and policy, proficiency with Canadian food regulations, excellent communications skills, collaborative work ethic, and a balanced experience set, allowing successful partnership between industry and government.

Why is it important to you to mentor students? 

I recall being a student myself and how tough it was sometimes. I learned so much from my placements, from those who took the time to mentor me, share insights about a particular job or even offer career advice. My placements allowed me the opportunity to work in different areas and to learn key on-the-job skills which increased my understanding of job opportunities and, ultimately, helped me choose the area that was right for me. I learned so much from those experiences and I think it is important to give back.

What is the best advice you’ve received? 

The best advice I ever got—which came during a transition time in my career when I was wondering what was next—was to write down your ideal job description. At the time, I thought it was a bit silly because you don’t get to write your own job descriptions, but doing the exercise helped me determine what I wanted to do and to strive to find a job I would love. I am very fortunate that my current job description is very similar to what I had written down. The other piece of advice that has always stuck with me is “be confident in what you have to say and what you bring to the table.” 

How do you spend your time outside of work? 

I have two boys (six and four) who keep me busy and there is a lot of trekking to different activities. When I am not doing that, I like to go for hikes with my family and if I’m lucky to get some solo time, I like to go for a run.

What is a fun fact about you? 

Here’s a few: I grew up in rural Portugal and came to Canada with my family when I was seven. I am one of six children (second youngest). And I ran the Toronto Waterfront Marathon, achieving my goal of finishing in less than four hours. 

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

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