We believe that companies, and the communities that they create, need time and the right conditions to grow and flourish.
FRESH DIRECT - CELEBRATING 15 YEARS
When we first sowed the seed for what was to become Fresh Direct Produce, our intention was to introduce an unparalleled service providing cost-effective selection of the best produce the world has to offer. We wanted to provide the fruits and vegetables that will go on the table in homes and restaurants, to nourish the body and soul. Our vision is to be a healthy difference in people's lives through food that is the basis for celebration and bonding, and a connection to each other's communities and heritage. Over the last 15 years we have tended to this vision, and it is our commitment to the future.
When we started, we were 11 people and two trucks serving our local community. Today we have grown to over 220 people and a fleet of 26 trucks that operate out of three distribution centers (two in Vancouver, one in Calgary). In order to deliver the best quality freshness to our customers, timing and conditions are critical. Our operations are supported by advanced data sensors and logistics systems to get things to where they need to go quickly; as well as large climate-controlled ripening rooms, for when things just need a little more time. Along every step of the way, our knowledgeable team works hard to ensure that the food on your table is deliciously fresh and nutritious. Beginning with our global buyers, to the logistics planners, warehouse workers, inspectors and managers, and ending with the driver that delivers pallets of fresh produce to the loading bays of large chain stores or the backdoor of a neighbourhood grocer; everyone plays a vital part. On the inside, it is a complex operation, from the outside it's just Simply Fresh®.
Just like the foods we sell, our growth and
success comes from strong, well-tended roots.
Our produce comes from local and domestic farms, as well as international suppliers from thirty two different countries. This established partnership network allows us to provide the tastes of the world at a fair and affordable price that benefits everyone along the way. Being an innovative, independent business, we thrive on providing everything from reliable kitchen staples, to introducing new exotic products and nutritious organics. As a part of our mission, we help our clients by developing fresh marketing ideas and packaging concepts that benefit consumers and the environment. All of these relationships are important, and we provide the same commitment and service to our suppliers and clients, from rural farmers and large growers; to family owned neighbourhood stores and national chains.
Farming and exchanging goods is as old as civilization, and we are proud to be at the forefront of this tradition in the twenty first century, servicing a rapidly evolving retail landscape with wide availability due to extensive global sourcing, and satisfying the sophisticated multicultural tastes of the modern consumer. Come grow with us!
Davis started his produce career in 1992 when he joined a fast-growing produce company in Vancouver. With a strong desire to learn and grow, Davis worked in logistics, import, buying, sales, and became the Director of Sales & Marketing. After the owners retired and sold their business in 2001, Davis decided it was the right time to start his own consulting business and explore future ventures. With a vision of building a global produce company, Davis and his two partners, Albert Lum, and Kam Chiu Lee, founded Fresh Direct Produce in 2003. The company has since grown rapidly for the past 15 years and has been recognized as one of Canada's Best Managed Platinum Companies.
Davis's business acumen and contributions to the industry has led to... many professional awards: Produce Business and Business In Vancouver's Forty under Forty, Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year award, The BC Ethno Business Award, and The Packer 25.
Davis is committed to the development of the produce industry. He is currently on the Executive Committee (within the Board of Directors), and Education and Marketing Committee, of the Canadian Produce Marketing Association (CPMA). He was Past Chair of the Audit Committee for the Produce Marketing Association (PMA). Davis holds a Bachelor's Degree in Business Administration from Simon Fraser University, an MBA from Queen's University, and the CPA, CMA designation.
DIRECTOR OF SALES, CO-FOUNDER
Albert has over 30 years of sales and business development experience in manufacturing and food service, along with 17 years of sales leadership within the produce wholesale industry. Deriving passion from the relationship-building aspects, Albert explains that, "It's just about people ... providing them with the same high standard of quality produce and service you would bring home to your own family."
Albert is also actively involved in the produce industry serving as a Director of the BC Produce Marketing Association since 2011. He also leads the company community outreach efforts with Quest Food Exchange, the local Schools, Churches, and other community groups. In his down-time, Albert enjoys carpentry and spending time... in outdoor activities with his wife and two young children. Albert holds a Building Construction Certificate from Vancouver Community College, a Bachelor's degree in Urban Planning from Simon Fraser University, and went on to graduate studies in sales and marketing at University of British Columbia.
Kam Chiu Lee
SALES MANAGER, CO-FOUNDER
With over 30 years of experience in the produce industry, focused on sales and sales management, Kam is an expert in working closely with retailers to help them develop their businesses. With his strong work ethic, product knowledge, and intimate customer relations, he spearheads our business development in ethnic markets.
Always eager to learn more about food, Kam loves watching cooking shows, and enjoys preparing meals for his wife, Iok-Ping, and two sons, Alan and Raymond. Kam together with his partners Davis and Albert, was selected as a recipient for the BC New-Canadian Entrepreneur Awards.
CHIEF FINANCIAL OFFICER
Jozef directs the company's support functions (finance, accounting, information technology, human resources, real estate, and marketing) and he plays a key role in developing the company's corporate strategy. In addition, he leads the company's Calgary Distribution Centre.
Jozef Co-Chaired the Marketing Committee of the BC Food Processors Association from 2011 to 2013 and he currently Co-Chairs the Finance Peer Group. In 2013 he was elected to the BCFPA's Board of Directors and was appointed Treasurer for three years, and currently he serves on the Executive as Secretary. He also serves on the Board of the Calgary... Produce Marketing Association and the Finance & Budget Committee for the Produce Marketing Association.
Previously Jozef was Senior Vice President, Corporate Finance with Wolrige Mahon Corporate Finance Ltd. where he provided strategic planning, business planning, and cost reduction programming initiatives to support the growth in corporate sales and profits for a roster of clients. He was the President of the Surrey Board of Trade, the Treasurer of Silver Star Adaptive Snow Sports and a Mentor with the Canadian Youth Business Foundation. Jozef holds a B. Comm. from the University of Toronto, he is designated as a CPA, CMA, and he is designated as a Chartered Director (C. Dir.).
Having grown up working on his family's vegetable farm, where he did everything from planting, growing and harvesting, Zan's knowledge of the produce industry runs deep. Zan also worked as a supervisor at a retail chain store, and his background gives him a well-rounded understanding of the industry from the field to store shelf. Zan joined Fresh Direct Produce as the head of our buying department in 2003. He credits his upbringing with helping him forge strong relationships with growers and suppliers to source premium products. In 2012, Zan received the 40 under 40 award by Produce Business. In addition, Zan serves as a Career Ambassador in the PMA's / CPMA's Career Pathways Program which connects the Produce Industry to future leaders. Zan loves the fast paced nature of the business, where... every day brings a new challenge. He, his wife and 2 young sons enjoy a healthy lifestyle including eating large servings of fruits and vegetables, along with regularly engaging in golf, biking, tennis, basketball, and fitness routines. Zan holds a Bachelor's degree in Economics from Simon Fraser University.
SENIOR IMPORT & EXPORT MANAGER
Susan, who leads Fresh Direct Produce's Import and Export team, has extensive international food distribution sales and marketing experience that includes the development of leading brands such as Lindt Chocolate, Fisherman's Friend Lozenges, and Hero Preserves in the Asian markets. Since arriving in Vancouver in 1991, Susan has thoroughly developed both supply and sales channels for a multitude of produce items in various markets across the globe. Passionate about produce, along with a keen eye for business development opportunities, Susan initiated the import of numerous new produce items from China into the Canadian marketplace, such as Fei Zei Xiao Lychee. Susan is a graduate of administrative studies from the Hong Kong Polytechnic. Outside of her business activities, Susan enjoys travelling, singing, workout and yoga.
DIRECTOR OF OPERATIONS
Danny has over 30 years of distribution and manufacturing operations experience, including 20 years related to fresh produce distribution, and the food services industry. As leader of the FDP Operations team, Danny and his team continuously improve on operating processes as well as food safety and work safe programs. As a Certified LEAN Black Belt Champion, Danny and his team are committed to providing Fresh Direct Produce customers with safe, top quality produce in a timely manner, on a daily basis. They seek to not only do the job but master it, make their actions speak louder than words, not to "Just do it!" but more importantly "Do it Right!". Danny is a graduate of the Hong Kong Polytechnic in the field of Manufacturing Engineering, and is also a member of the Guild of Industrial, Commercial, and Institutional Accountants, Canada ("ICIA"). In his leisure time Danny enjoys playing guitar, and is also an avid golfer and tennis player along with his wife and children.
PROCUREMENT MANAGER, ORGANICS
Steven started his career in the produce industry with Fresh Direct Produce in 2003, upon graduating from UBC with a Bachelors' Degree in Commerce, and a concentration in Transportation and Logistics. He initially joined Fresh Direct as an Assistant Buyer, and shortly thereafter was promoted to a Buyer in 2005. His responsibilities included buying for a broad basket of produce commodities and working with key strategic customers. Steven continued to hone his skills, and was promoted to Senior Buyer in 2010 with larger buying responsibilities, and customer relationships.
In 2014, Steven was promoted to the Management Team as Assistant Procurement Manager and subsequently in 2016 he was promoted to Procurement Manager, Organics. In this key management role..., Steven developed a strong team of organic produce Buyers and significantly grew the category from 3% to 15% of sales. Steven has been an Alumni member of the Passion for Produce program since 2012, and is an active member within the BCPMA, CPMA and attends the PMA Conference each fall. Steven enjoys playing basketball, soccer, and travelling with his wife, and four sons.
SALES MANAGER, CALGARY
Dale has been in the produce industry for over 20 years, with experience in retail, wholesale, and brokerage environments. Prior to joining FDP, Dale was a key Account Manager where he developed valuable industry relationships, and experience, working and dealing predominantly with large national grocery chain stores. He brought this experience to our Calgary Sales team in August, 2014, as a Senior Account Manager. He has since been promoted to Sales Manager for our Calgary branch, and is a strategic member of the Management Team.
Dale and his wife have two children who are very active BMX cyclists and are members of the Canadian National Team. Dale's interests include cycling, photography, travel, and spending time with his family.
Come join our growing team!
At Fresh Direct Produce, our values guide our actions: Focus, Relationships, Enthusiasm, Sincerity, and High Standards
We have experienced tremendous growth because of our passion, innovation, and commitment for excellence. We believe in developing and providing opportunities for our team, and rewarding for performance. We also believe in providing a healthy work environment with wellness initiatives, activities, and a supportive team setting.
If you share our values and beliefs, and enjoy working in a fast paced team environment, come join our team! We may be the right fit for each other!
Below is a list of current job openings at Fresh Direct Produce. Please click on an opening in the list to view details and apply.
While we don't expect to solve all of the problems in one of the poorest neighbourhoods in the country, we believe we can help bring the community together.
We've had an abundance of good fortune at Fresh Direct Produce and believe in sharing that success with the community that is the soil in which our business has flourished.
Sometimes giving back means sharing the fruits of our labour—literally. Each week, we fill a truck from Vancouver's Quest Food Exchange with pallets of produce that we donate. Fresh Direct also donates produce to the Strathcona Community Centre's breakfast, lunch, and backpack program. We hold annual drives to provide hot soup, fruit and snacks to people living in the Downtown Eastside of Vancouver.
Since our inception, we've been proud supporters of the BC Children's Hospital Foundation. Every year, a corporate team composed of members of our staff, their families, and friends participates in the Foundation's annual Race for the Kids. We also give some of the proceeds of our annual mandarin orange sales to the Foundation. Over the years, we've raised $300,000.
Some of the other benevolent organizations to which we contribute include the Vancouver Food Bank Society, Truck Stop Dining, Critter Care Wildlife Society, and the United Way. Local churches and school fundraisers also benefit from our donations.
We believe in giving back to the produce industry as well. We’re an active member of both the British Columbia Produce Marketing Association and the Canadian Produce Marketing Association. Each year, we attend the CPMA and PMA (Produce Marketing Association in the U.S.A.) conventions as well as the Asia Fruit Congress to promote international produce trade.
It is our privilege to be involved with the many non-profit organizations and volunteers who donate their time and efforts to helping each other and our community at large.
"We are so grateful for the ongoing support we receive from Fresh Direct Produce. Your commitment to healthy communities and your passion for pediatric health care has a positive impact on the 1 million children we serve in BC and the Yukon. It is thanks to donors like Fresh Direct Produce that we are able to aim higher for our kids."
President and CEO, BC Children’s Hospital Foundation
Since I have started working for Fresh Direct there have been multiple opportunities for my colleagues and I to improve our skill sets. Fresh Direct truly believes in providing training(internally as well as externally) for its employees to better not only themselves professionally but personally as well. This open-mindedness provides a wonderful environment allowing us to not be afraid to ask questions and seek the answers no matter where that takes us. It has been a great pleasure of mine to work for Fresh Direct and I look forward to the future.
Account Manager, Fresh Direct Produce, Calgary, Alta.
"The customer service at Fresh Direct is one aspect that stands out for our operation. They are responsive and always willing to work within our needs. Having a location in our city of operation has been a another big plus! Our business together has grown more than anticipated and this is a sure sign they are doing good work."
Fresh & Bulk Foods Category Manager, Community Natural Foods, Calgary, Alta.