Industry Advisors

UBC Faculty of Land and Food Systems is fortunate to receive counsel from industry advisors on some of our major initiatives. These experts provide a sound external viewpoint to support our infrastructure and program decisions.

Food and Beverage Innovation Centre

Yves Potvin, President, Pacific Institute of Culinary Arts

Yves Potvin has dedicated his culinary career to creating healthy, tasty, convenient foods that can now be found in institutions across North America. In 2017, Yves bought Pacific Institute of Culinary Arts in Vancouver, and he is excited about training the next generation of chefs while infusing nutrition studies, sustainable practices and new technologies into the curriculum.

Trained as a classical French chef, Yves successfully built two health-focused food companies. His first, Yves Veggie Cuisine, grew to become the largest refrigerated meat-alternative producer in North America. It was sold to the Hain Celestial Group in 2001. Yves then founded Garden Protein International in 2003 to create a meatless product line called Gardein, which redefined the plant protein category and became a game changer in this fast-growing segment. Gardein received many awards including Better Homes & Gardens’ Best New Product Award 2014, Canadian Grand Prix Award (four years in a row), and the National Restaurant Association’s 2014 Food and Beverage Innovation Award.

Yves has been recognized for his career achievements, receiving the BC Food Processors Innovation Award in 2014, Mercy for Animals Innovative Business Award 2014, BC Export Award 2014 for Sustainability, and Canada’s Top 40 under 40 Award from Financial Post magazine. Yves served on the UBC Faculty of Land and Food Systems Advisory Board from 2007-2018, and on the BC Ministry of Agriculture Board of Advisors.

Photo courtesy of Pacific Institute of Culinary Arts.

Henning Freybe, Retired Chairman, Freybe Gourmet Foods Ltd.

Henning Freybe is the retired Chairman of Freybe Gourmet Foods, Ltd., a sixth-generation, family-owned Canadian business. Freybe served as CEO and President prior to his son, Sven, taking on that role in November 2009.

Henning graduated in 1965 from the University of British Columbia with a Bachelor of Arts degree, followed by an MBA in 1968. He spent two years in the banking industry at Royal Trust in Montreal, and joined the family business as the Head of Sales in 1970. In 1990 he was named CEO.

In 2001, Freybe Gourmet Foods opened a new 10,000 square meter (120,000 square feet) state-of-the-art facility in Langley, British Columbia, producing more than 120 varieties of sausage, ham and specialty meat products. The company employs more than 300 dedicated associates, serving customers across North America. Freybe Gourmet Foods is the first North American company to declare its products gluten and lactose free. In March of 2013, the company was sold to Premium Brands, with Sven staying on as CEO for the Freybe brand of products.

Wine Research Centre

Howard Soon, British Columbia Winemaker

Born in Vancouver, B.C., Howard graduated from UBC in Biochemistry and later pursued an MBA at the University of Manitoba. He is currently Master Winemaker for Vanessa Vineyard, a 75-acre property in the Similkameen Valley.

Howard has 39 years of experience in winemaking, starting his career at Calona Vineyards. In 1997, he became Winemaker at Sandhill Wines and received an Award of Distinction from the BC Wine Institute before his retirement from Sandhill in 2017. He was the only winemaker in history to receive all three top honours at the 2009 Wine Access Canadian Wine Awards when Sandhill won for Red Wine of the Year, White Wine of the Year, and Winery of the Year.

His collaborative relationships with his growers and non-interventionist approach have consistently led to award-winning single vineyard wines. He is the first winemaker to release exclusively single vineyard wines that captured terroir. His contribution to the B.C. wine industry was first recognized in 1998 by the Okanagan Wine Festival Society with a Founders Award. In addition, Howard was the first B.C. winemaker to receive a Gold Medal at the Chardonnay du Monde competition in Burgundy, France.

He teaches Wine Appreciation as part of Continuing Studies at Okanagan College and holds a Certificate of Proficiency in Wine Knowledge from the Society of Wine Educators. Currently he is on the Board of Directors for the Canadian Grapevine Certification Network (CGCN), the national organization directing funds towards grape and wine research, especially towards virus-free nursery stock.

Howard previously served on the Dean’s Advisory Board for the Faculty of Land and Food Systems, as well as on the Scientific Advisory Board for Wine and Grape Genomics, a Hennie van Vuuren research project overseen by Genome BC and Genome Canada.