For a woman dedicated to artisan cheesemaking—who famously chucked a high-level career in publishing to pursue her passion for cheese, it must have been a particularly sweet moment to learn that her tiny creamery beat out giant Kraft Canada for a prestigious national award.
Petra Cooper of Fifth Town Artisan Cheese was honored at a gala event hosted by Guelph Food Technology Centre (GFTC) to celebrate leadership in sustainability among food and beverage processing facilities.
The November 4 event signalled the release of key findings from a GFTC research project, “Raising the Bar for Sustainability Performance in Ontario’s Food and Beverage Processing Industry.”
Fifth Town Artisan Cheese, located in Ontario’s Prince Edward County, won the recognition plaque for the most prestigious overall category, Corporate Social Responsibility. Cher Mereweather, director of GFTC’s sustainability consulting business unit, says what makes the win so impressive is that a small facility has been able to excel at incorporating sustainability.
“With fewer than 20 employees, Fifth Town Artisan Cheese Co. demonstrated that corporate social responsibility can be done well at any size,” says Mereweather.
Other facilities that were nominated in this category were Kraft Canada Inc. in Scarborough, Ontario; Hiram Walker and Sons Ltd. in Windsor, Ontario; and Cargill Value Added Meats – Foodservice Canada in London, Ontario.
Guelph Food Technology Centre is a world leader in food industry solutions, helping companies along the entire food value chain compete globally by strengthening the very foundations of their business: their products, processes and people. Each year, GFTC assists more than 1,500 companies, providing confidential services in food safety and quality consulting and auditing, training, product development, packaging, labeling and sustainability.