Fresh Direct Produce's dedicated Vancouver team
For two decades and counting, Fresh Direct Produce has brought a world of produce to Canadians’ plates. It all started in 2003, when Davis Yung and his partners, Albert Lum and the late Kam Chiu Lee, co-founded their ambitious produce business in Vancouver.
The trio had a collective passion for the produce industry and a vision to source the best that nature has to offer from around the globe. Fresh Direct Produce (FDP) started with just 11 employees and two trucks serving the local market and has been growing strong ever since.
Today, FDP is a leading fresh produce importer, marketer and distributor, with more than 430 employees, an ever-expanding fleet of trucks that covers B.C. to Ontario, and thousands of products sourced from a global network of growers.
The company is truly a one-stop shop with an offering that includes ethnic, tropical, specialty, organic and conventional produce; fresh-cut and repackaged fruits and veggies; and snacks and grocery items. In addition to its headquarters and distribution centre in Vancouver, FDP has repacking and ripening centres in Vancouver and Calgary, a fresh-cut processing centre in Victoria, and distribution in Toronto.
After 19 years at the helm, Yung retired from the President and CEO role in 2022, transitioning to the Board of Directors. David Lawrence – a 17-year produce industry veteran – has stepped into the CEO role as FDP celebrates its 20th anniversary this year and begins its next growth chapter.
“The produce industry is evolving, and the opportunities that change brings are exciting and invigorating and ultimately what brought me to Fresh Direct Produce,” says Lawrence. “There’s a lot of room for growth and a growing appetite for fresh produce. We have the right resources to take advantage of this space and satisfy the demand that’s coming.”
Below, Lawrence shares what brought him to FDP, his leadership style, and some of the company’s biggest strengths.