Michael McCain, president and CEO of Maple Leaf Foods, and Vince Scorniaenchi, executive vice-president of Fortinos Supermarkets, were honoured by the Food Industry Association of Canada when they received the food industry’s highest honour, the Golden Pencil Award, on Nov. 14 before approximately 500 industry people.
In his acceptance speech Scorniaenchi thanked his extended family and singled out a number of Loblaws executives who helped him in his career, including Richard Currie, the former Loblaw president; David Williams, former executive vice-president; John Lederer, former president, and the current leadership of Galen Weston and Galen Jr.
In his speech, McCain offered serious thoughts for the industry to consider.
“Looking forward, we will surely face an accelerated pace of change. That is the world we live in," he said. "Disruptive business models, a sharing economy, a millennial generation with different life goals, big food and conventional retailing under attack, the fourth industrial revolution driven by a digital future. These are all daunting thoughts."
McCain said there were two observations he's absorbed over his lifetime in the food industry, sitting ‘round a table’ with partners in the food chain.
“First, our food system globally is broken. It has become disconnected with the needs of humanity. It is not sustainable in its current form. There are challenges of affordability, access, nutrition, animal welfare and our environmental footprint. We own this together, and committing to a fully sustainable future is something we should view as a moral imperative.
“Second, in pursuit of the values of a “Golden Pencil”, I have found that collaboration wins over provocation, mutual success is more enduring than individual success, and strategic, transparent relationships drives better long-term results than transactional relationships. I’ve experienced all of the above. I see a tidal wave of movement towards these more evolved relationships in the entire value chain, and that is an extraordinarily healthy thing. Let’s keep that up!”