Gregory Connell, co-owner of Clarity Marketing and former retail and wholesale professional, is stepping up his involvement with Nova Scotia-based TruLeaf Sustainable Agriculture Ltd.
As an advisor for TruLeaf, Mr. Connell has helped lead its market-development activities to date. Mr. Connell will also help oversee and lead the development of its farm operations and consumer products using alternative farming methods in the interest of year-round supply, freshness and sustainability.
TruLeaf was started in Nova Scotia, and its technology — the TruLeaf Smart Plant System — is “a multi-layer plant farm that grows fresh produce anywhere in the world, regardless of environment, 365 days a year,” according to the company website.
“I always felt that produce was the pharmacy of the future and happened to make that comment over three years ago in a meeting,” said Mr. Connell. Since that time, a keen interest in his experience in the supply of fresh product in Canada had been noted. “I was a good fit with the company and that’s when our collaboration began.”
While he was born in New Brunswick, Mr. Connell’s first experience in the food business was in 1979 as a teenager bagging groceries for Dominion Stores in Labrador. What followed over the next 30 years was a steady climb in food sector and product marketing experience that has included store management, category management, wholesale management and consultation.
As co-founder and partner in Clarity Marketing, Mr. Connell’s talents also include product marketing experience from an agency perspective. With his latest professional move, his career will now cover most aspects of the produce industry.
“I’ve always been interested in gaining experience throughout the supply chain, and farming was an area I hadn’t been involved in and I was curious,” he said.
Not one to shy away from challenges, Mr. Connell is passionate about anything that involves getting consumer products to market. “I like to learn, and knowledge can help fit various pieces of a puzzle together,” he said.
Mr. Connell currently serves on the board of directors for CPMA and often volunteers for other food organizations, including the Canadian Horticultural Council. This past year his firm donated creative services to develop a new logo for CHC in celebrations of its 90th anniversary.
“This business is more than a profession — it’s a passion,” he said. “For some reason I’m hooked on the produce business.”