Oppy's Vice President of Canadian Sales Walt Breeden Announces Retirement; John Anderson and Tadashi Suzuki Comment
VANCOUVER, BRITISH COLUMBIA - An influential leader is marking the end of a very successful career, as it has recently been announced that Walt Breeden, Oppy's Vice President of Canadian Sales, will be retiring after more than three decades with the produce grower, marketer, and distributor.
In 1987, Breeden joined Oppy from Vancouver-based retailer Woodward’s to sell California-grown produce to Western Canadian customers, according to a press release. His role continued to evolve as he added New Zealand apples, pears, kiwifruit, and other items to his sales portfolio. In 1997, he was promoted to Vancouver Sales Manager, where he went on to open Oppy’s Calgary and Toronto offices to enhance its presence across Canada.
Breeden’s leadership extends throughout the industry, as he also served as Chairman of the Canadian Produce Marketing Association (CPMA) and as the past President and former Director of the British Columbia Produce Marketing Association (BCPMA).
In 2019, Breeden was recognized as the BCPMA Produce Person of the Year.
“Throughout his career, Walt put his heart into our Canadian business,” said Chairman, Chief Executive Officer, and Managing Partner John Anderson. “Taking a special focus on citrus, his relationships with Asian mandarin grower partners has kept a beloved holiday tradition alive. On behalf of myself and Jo-Anne, and the entire Oppy family, we wish Walt and Debbie all the best in retirement.”
This tradition—a seedless mandarin gracing the toe of many a Canadian stocking at Christmas—came to life when Oppy first imported Japanese oranges to North America in 1891, the press release noted, and Breeden took on this piece of history as he and the team created new sales opportunities with easy peelers throughout the year.
“We cannot thank Walt enough for his support, having become a bridge between Japanese growers and Canadian customers,” said Japan Fruit Growers Cooperative Association Managing Director Tadashi Suzuki. “On behalf of many friends and fans in each region of Japan, we express our heartfelt congratulations on his retirement.”
The AndNowUKnow team sends our biggest congratulations to Walt Breeden on such a successful career in the produce industry and his exciting next steps toward retirement!