Premier Campbell makes surprise visit to BC Foodservice Expo

VANCOUVER, April 27 /CNW/ - Premier Gordon Campbell met with dozens of restaurant owners, suppliers and future industry leaders when he dropped in to the final day of the BC Foodservice Expo, the province's largest annual event for the hospitality industry. The expo, which is owned and operated by the Canadian Restaurant and Foodservices Association (CRFA), ran April 25 and 26 at the Vancouver Convention Centre.

"The BC Foodservice Expo is a major event, and foodservice is a major industry in our province," said Premier Campbell. "We want to work with the CRFA on ways to build on British Columbia's Olympic advantage and expand the market for this important industry."

In addition to talking to industry suppliers at many of the 300 exhibit booths - from locally grown foods to sustainable packaging - Premier Campbell took time to speak with restaurant owners and made an impromptu awards presentation to the winners of a student chef competition.

More than 5,500 people were expected to attend the two-day showcase of British Columbia's $10-billion foodservice industry.

"During the Olympics we heard time and time again that the culinary experience was superb," he said. "B.C.'s restaurants are clearly a key ingredient in any plan to heighten our profile as a cultural destination."

After touring the expo, Premier Campbell met with representatives of CRFA on the HST and how the government can assist the restaurant industry as it braces for the impact of an increase in the sales tax on restaurant meals.

"Premier Campbell knows we're unhappy with the HST, and he indicated very clearly in our meeting that he is open to working with CRFA to make things better for our members," said Garth Whyte, CRFA President and CEO. "The Premier's presence at our show is an important step forward and sends a strong message about his willingness to work with CRFA on solutions that will help restaurant operators grow and prosper."

NOTE TO EDITORS: A photo of Premier Campbell's visit is available at: http://crfa.ca/news/photogallery/images/photogallery_campbell_large.jpg

Cutline: Premier Gordon Campbell (second from left) joins CRFA President and CEO Garth Whyte (left), and Chairman Gerard Curran for a sample of B.C. blueberries at the BC Foodservice Expo on April 26 in Vancouver.

SOURCE Restaurants Canada

For further information: For further information: Mark von Schellwitz, CRFA VP Western Canada, (604) 809-5719 (cell) or mark@crfa.ca; Jill Holroyd, CRFA SVP Marketing and Communications, (416) 738-7134 (cell) or jholroyd@crfa.ca


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