A conversation with Gary Haley, CEO and Founder, Vantage Foods Inc.
Gary, when did the Vantage Vision originate?
In the mid-1990’s, we saw a niche case-ready market opportunity emerging in North America. Leading food retailers were seeking to achieve superior meat department performance by addressing challenges such as finding skilled labour, ensuring unassailable food safety, and creating quality differentiation strategies in an increasingly competitive marketplace.
How did the opportunity come to fruition?
We assembled a strong, dedicated management team and skilled, experienced staff to build a business model based on global best practices to deliver value-added case-ready fresh meats programs.
In 1997, a visionary Western Canadian retailer opened their doors to us. Together, we built our first case-ready Service Centre and forged a long-term partnership agreement that held us accountable for unmatched value, superior quality, cost leadership, and open-book transparency for 20 years.
That first agreement stood the test of time. Today, it is the basis of all our long-term partnership agreements. It drives our High Performance Culture and our Core Purpose, which is to position our partners to lead their markets by delivering value-added protein products through customized processing solutions.
What does Vantage’s future look like?
We are extremely excited about growing our case-ready business in Canada and the US, which continually evolves to embrace innovation in value-added products and services for our customers.
Vantage is now broadening into value-added protein processing solutions in partnership with leading food brands. For example, 2018 will see the launch of our first case-ready fresh seafood Service Centre; and customized processing of value-added export-ready fresh pork for Asia, which is now underway in our Winnipeg Service Centre.
Why do you believe in Vantage’s future?
I can answer that question in two words — exceptional people. It may be a cliché that people make the difference, but facts are, Vantage people really do.
Our High Performance Culture has been integral in our evolution, and that is because of our employees’ unwavering commitment to living our core values and cultural practices; all focused on meeting our customers’ changing needs and being accountable for their success.
Our culture is a sustainable competitive advantage. Vantage’s future is in very capable hands.