John Anderson, Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer, The Oppenheimer Group

John Anderson is a leader who is known for his strategic vision and guidance within Oppenheimer and throughout the produce industry.

When he joined our company in 1975, we were a single-office produce sales operation earning just a few million dollars in annual revenue. In the 36 years that Mr. Anderson has been with Oppenheimer, we have become an international marketer — now moving 40 million packages of fresh produce and generating half a billion dollars in sales each year — and he continues to lead our company on an aggressive growth path.

John has experienced the produce industry from many angles, first-hand. He started as a warehouseman at Oppenheimer’s Vancouver facility as a teenager and soon advanced into sales and sales management roles.

From 1979 to 1988, John applied his talent for fostering business relationships with grower/shippers, retailers and wholesalers. Among his first accomplishments was the sale of the first Chilean product — grapes, stone fruit, onions, apples and pears — into the U.S. in 1979. Notably, John was instrumental in establishing demand for New Zealand apples and kiwifruit in the U.S. and Canada.

John Anderson was also dedicated to developing our business in the U.S. In 1985, he established our first U.S. office in Seattle, and by 1992 he had opened and managed six more. Today, there are eleven permanent Oppenheimer offices strategically located in the U.S. and Canada and one more in Santiago, Chile.

In 1988, John was promoted to chief operating officer, and with his guidance we became a full-service marketer, offering a comprehensive range of products in key categories, along with quality assurance, transportation, logistics and promotional services.

In 1993, John became our president and chief executive officer, and he continues to lead the company in this role. He added the distinction of chairman in 2001 when he became the majority shareholder. His strategic leadership has assured that we continue to advance in technology, food safety and security, and category management while continuing to introduce new varieties from around the world into the North American market. John also keeps abreast of emerging trends and has established himself as an industry leader. He has held various director-level positions at the Canadian Produce Marketing Association — including serving as its chairman in 2000. He has also provided leadership in various committees within the U.S. Produce Marketing Association. John has completed terms as the chairman of the PMA’s International Advisory Council and its Retail Board. He currently sits as a member of the Board of Directors of the PMA and also is chairman of the organization’s North American Trade Committee and the Foundation for Industry Talent (FIT).

John’s contribution to the produce industry has also resulted in several professional awards. He was named The Packer’s “Canadian Produce Man of the Year” for 2000, and was chosen as Ernst and Young’s “Entrepreneur of the Year” for Canada’s Pacific Region in 2002. Since December of 2001, our company has been designated as one of Canada’s “50 Best Managed Companies,” as determined by Deloitte & Touche, the Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce, the Queens School of Business, and the National Post, and for the past three years we have had the added distinction of being a Platinum member.