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Several staffing changes have recently taken place in the produce ranks at Montreal-based retailer Metro Inc., one of Canada's larger retail chains, according to a company official.

Bernadette Hamel, who formerly served as Metro’s vice president of produce procurement and merchandising in Quebec, told The Produce News Aug. 2 that she was no longer responsible for merchandising and would now be in charge of national procurement. Her new title is vice president of national negotiation and procurement for produce.

Jean-Louis Charpentier absorbed Ms. Hamel’s merchandising role into his responsibilities as vice president of merchandising for perishables in Quebec, she said, noting that he is also in charge of merchandising for meat, deli, fish, bakery and cheese.

Josee Houle and Chris Kyriopoulos are now co-directors for produce negotiations for Ontario and Quebec, she said.

"They each have their categories to handle," Ms. Hamel said, noting that the title change was a promotion for Mr. Kyriopoulos, who formerly was a negotiator for central procurement, and it was a “lateral move” for Ms. Houle, who Ms. Hamel said has been involved in merchandising, development and private label for produce.

Rene St-Louis, retail operations director for produce for the Metro banner, is now director of merchandising for produce for the Metro banner. The change is also a lateral move for Mr. St-Louis, Ms. Hamel said.

Ghislain Perron, who retired last year after 40 years in the produce industry — the last 30 of which were spent at Metro — will stay on for another full year, Ms. Hamel said, adding he will be handling negotiations and special projects for produce.