The Pandemic: Impacts and Opportunities


Featuring presentations by leading research professionals on the emerging political and market trends and the impacts of the pandemic on: consumer attitudes and behaviours, retail/e-commerce, wine, beverage alcohol, and cannabis, supporting a culture of moderation (new session), and social, organic, and environmental sustainability. The symposium was followed by the annual Canadian/British Columbia Wine Industry Awards.

Click here to download the Program →


Asad Amin

Vice President, Ipsos

Asad leads the syndicated Food and Beverage group which includes the Alcohol Consumption Tracker (ACT) Food service Monitor (FSM) and the FIVE tracking studies. Asad is a market research consultant with 20+ years of supplier side experience. His skillset ranges from setup, launch and management of large syndicated studies, brand health trackers and advertising copy tests.

Asad completed his education in the UK, earning his Masters of Science degree in Operational Research from the London School of Economics and Political Science. He also has his Bachelor of Science in Economics from the University of Essex.

If interested in viewing Asad's presentation, "The Great Reset on Engaging with Consumers", please contact Asad Amin at


Joel Aitken

Division Manager, Evaluations English Canada with

Joel manages a team of organic inspectors from coast to coast. He started with Ecocert as an organic inspector and completed organic inspection of farms, processors, and input suppliers since 2010 when he completed the IOIA organic inspection training program. He also works as a certification consultant, helping start-ups and established businesses develop their organic system plans and record-keeping systems.

Joel has a Master of Science (2014) and Bachelor of Science in Agriculture (2010), both from the University of Guelph. He has completed research on organic farm nutrient cycles and world crops marketing channels in the GTA. He is actively involved in the alternative agriculture sector as a board member of the Organic Council of Ontario and livestock standards technical committee member for the 2020 review of the Canadian Organic Standards. He strives to promote sustainable local food systems in all of his daily activities for the betterment of our ecology, our health and our economy.

Click here to read: "Exploring Organic & Sustainable Viticulture and Winemaking in Canada" →


Perry Tsergas

President & CEO, spark*advocacy

Having been active in Canadian politics for over a decade, Perry has a wealth of experience and insight into communications and public policy, the people who shape it, and how people are shaped by it. Since 2011, he’s worked in public affairs communications and advertising, helping a diversity of clients with new and innovative communications. At spark*advocacy, a boutique advertising agency specializing in public affairs communications and campaigns, Perry helps clients figure out what success looks like, who can help them achieve it, and how to inform, educate, persuade, impress, and astonish in order to make it happen.

If interested in viewing Perry's presentation, "The Right Amount: Wine and Moderation", please contact Dan Paszkowski at


David Coletto

CEO and founding partner, Abacus Data

Abacus Data is a full-service market research and strategy firm based in Ottawa and Toronto. With over a decade and a half of experience in the industry, David has worked with many agriculture and agri-food organizations including Wine Producers Canada, the Canadian Cattle Men’s Association, the Dairy Farmers of Canada, Canadian Producer Marketers Association, Sysco Canada, Farm Credit Canada, Food, Health, and Consumer Products of Canada, and the Chicken Farmers of Canada.

David earned a PhD in Political Science from the University of Calgary in 2010, is an adjunct professor at Carleton University, and host and producer of the podcast inFocus with David Coletto.

Click here to read: "A Pandemic, a Federal Election, and the Return to Normal" →