FoodGrads Podcast Ep 61: From Farm to Table: How a Communications Coordinator Bridges the Gap in the Food Industry with Sandra Ulewicz, Communications Coordinator at the Ontario Produce Marketing Agency

On episode 61 of the FoodGrads Podcast we interviewed Sandra Ulewicz, Communications Coordinator at The Ontario Produce Marketing Association (OPMA). The OPMA is a not-for-profit organization that represents and connects individuals and businesses across the produce industry in Ontario. OPMA prides itself on being a hub of information for all things fruit and veg across the province of Ontario.

On this episode Sandra and Veronica talked about all things communication and why she decided to go into field of communications after she graduated from Ryerson with a degree in Foods, Nutrition and Wellness Studies. Sandra shared some insights into what she does for her role in the OPMA, the skills essential to the role and some misconceptions associated with Ontario produce industry. Additionally, as organizer of the Young Produce Professionals group Sandra gave out some good tips on what students can do if they feel nervous to network. Finally, we rounded the episode out with what skills Sandra herself if looking to level up.

If you are a student that is currently going through school unsure about what you would like to do when graduate than listen to this episode. Sandra’s story is one that will provide comfort and remind you that you don’t need to figure everything out when before you graduate. Just take your time.

Show Notes


[1:53] Sandra talks about going to Ryerson for their Food and Nutrition Program and getting in the Ontario Produce Marketing Association

[10:08] What roles are available to young people looking to go into the produce industry? How is the OMPA helping them finding these roles

[17:46] Sandra speaking about how she didn’t know what to do when she graduated

[23:05] Strengths that someone needs to be successful in a communications role

[28:09] Misconceptions about the product industry

[31:40] Where people can learn to the Ontario Produce Industry

[35:37] Skills that Sandra is looking to improve

[39:04] What advice Sandra would give to students

Ontario Produce Marketing Association

Toronto Metropolitan University (Ryerson) Nutrition and Food Program

Ontario Food Terminal

Ontario Berries

Ontario Apple Growers


Sandra Ulewicz quotes from the Interview

Whether it’s people who are young and new in their career or new to the produce industry it’s always good to connect with others. [The Ontario Produce Marketing Association] hosts speaker sessions and workshops to help people with their professional development and learning about other people’s journey in the industry, me having mentors speak, doing fun networking events, things like that.

– Sandra Ulewicz

What’s your biggest fear? I feel like mine is standing there really awkwardly and nobody talks to me. But that’s not going to happen. Someone will talk to you or you just have to go up to someone. Maybe prepare three conversation starters in your head and just go up to someone. I don’t know what our biggest fears are with these situations is it where someone might say, “I don’t want to talk to you?” No that’s not true.

– Sandra Ulewicz

I think using those four years of university to explore is important. You get to meet many people, join clubs, and take different classes as electives. It doesn’t matter what degree you’re pursuing, there’s always an opportunity to be more open-minded and trust that life will work out.

– Sandra Ulewicz

Even if they’re not in the same industry or role, you never know who they know. You never know what could inspire you out of a conversation that’s completely random and about something different. Everything happens through people always.

– Sandra Ulewicz

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