Established in 2000, Montreal-based CDS Foods, under the helm of founder Cesare Dell Santina, is an importer of a variety of produce. Cesare Della Santina has since expanded the business’ imports to include popular spices and herbs, such as ginger.
Ginger is usable in many forms, whether powdered, dried, or fresh in its natural state. Many cooks use it as a garnish or as a spice paste. A longtime staple of Asian and Caribbean cooking due to its deep, rich flavor, ginger can also enhance Western dishes such as crème brulee. It is best used plentifully.
Ginger is also lauded for its health benefits. It has gained a reputation as a useful remedy for gastrointestinal issues; it is both a carminative and a spasmolytic, meaning it can eliminate flatulence and intestinal upset, respectively. It has been shown to be effective in treating vomiting and nausea in pregnant women and those suffering from motion sickness. Persons with rheumatoid arthritis and osteoarthritis may benefit from its effect on sore joints, as research shows that its acts directly on inflammations. Additionally, placing sliced root ginger in boiling water makes a concoction that warms the lungs and throat, relieving flu, colds, and coughs.
For the last 15 years, Cesare Della Santina has overseen import and export operations as president of produce company CDS Foods, Inc. Outside of his professional responsibilities, Cesare Della Santina enjoys traveling around the globe, particularly to churches in various countries such as Germany.
Towering above the city skyline, the Cologne Cathedral (also known as the Kolner Dom) stands at 157.38 meters tall. Its 8,000-square-meter interior can accommodate over 20,000 people and houses several religious relics and works of art, including the Gero Cross, Jeweled Madonna, and the Chapel of the Virgin.
The Gothic-style cathedral has served as a gathering place for Christian worshipers for more than 2,000 years. Located on the site of an ancient Roman temple, the Old Cathedral was built in 818 and contained altars for St. Peter and Maria. The cathedral later became a well-known destination for religious pilgrimages in 1164 when Archbishop Rainald von Dassel brought the remains of the Three Magi to the site.
After burning down in the 13th century, the Cologne Cathedral was rebuilt across the span of over 600 years. Until the early 1800s, the cathedral featured only one section, which included the consecrated choir. Germany’s Romantic Era inspired the Prussian Court and Cologne citizens to resume heavy construction following the original medieval building plans. In 1880, builders completed the Cologne Cathedral in its entirety.
The founder and president of Montreal-based CDS Foods, Cesare Della Santina has over 25 years of experience in the importing industry. When he isn’t traveling for business, Cesare Della Santina enjoys traveling to experience different cultures and pursues activities such as visiting historic churches.
Europe is home to some of the world’s most famous and revered churches. Located in Barcelona, Spain, the Sagrada Familia cathedral is a Roman Catholic church designed by renowned architect Antoni Gaudi. The cathedral has been under construction since 1882, and has yet to be finished. Its current completion date is expected in 2026. To the east of Spain, the Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris is a relic of French Gothic architecture, with intricate stained glass windows, high ceilings, and gargoyle sculptures.
Also built in the Gothic style, London’s Westminster Abbey is famous for not only its architecture, but also for the historic figures buried there. Many English monarchs, including Mary, Queen of Scots, and Queen Elizabeth I, rest in Westminster Abbey, along with famous writers such as Geoffrey Chaucer and Alfred Lord Tennyson.
Located southeast of the British Isles within the boundaries of Italy, Vatican City is home to both St. Peter’s Basilica and the Sistine Chapel. Architect and artist Michelangelo designed the dome for St. Peter’s Basilica, and his paintings depicting the book of Genesis adorn the walls and ceilings of the Sistine Chapel.
Cesare Della Santina, founder of CDS Foods, is an importing professional based in Montreal. Bringing exotic produce from Asia, South America, and Europe to North America, Cesare Della Santina aims to provide his clients with diverse food options from around the world.
Though CDS Foods was originally known for importing garlic, it has expanded its product range to include produce such as dragonfruit, a flavorful cactus fruit that grows in Asia and Central America. Vividly colorful in appearance, dragonfruit conventionally sports a pink skin, but may also be red or yellow. Inside the fruit is a crunchy white flesh with small black seeds.
To prepare dragonfruit, use a sharp knife to cut the fruit down the middle. Separate the flesh entirely from the skin with a spoon, then cut the flesh into cubes and refrigerate prior to eating. Many people choose to add the cubes to fruit salad for a unique take on a classic recipe. Dragonfruit is a heart-healthy, fiber-rich option that is full of antioxidants for those who crave a sweet, nutritious snack.
Importing produce from around the world, Cesare Della Santina supplies ingredients ranging from garlic to dragon fruit to customers through CDS Foods. To enhance business operations, Cesare Della Santina works with Groupe Lavigne to periodically retrain staff in areas of sales and management.
While retraining employees can be a significant expenditure for companies, there are benefits of improving an existing workforce. In terms of positions requiring specialized skills, retraining allows a company to share new methods and practices to implement on the job to enable employees to carry out their responsibilities more efficiently. As a result of their enhanced knowledge, employees can produce better products and services.
Retraining also serves the purpose of correcting or boosting the quality of work delivered by an underperforming employee. To avoid using retraining as a disciplinary tool, a company should clearly communicate both the goals of retraining and follow-up steps to determine improvement. During the process, a trainer can require employees to read such materials as policies and procedures and incorporate scenario-focused examples to clarify proper methods for handling different situations, thereby reinforcing the required reading.
In 2000, Cesare Della Santina founded CDS Brokers, which imported fresh produce including ginger, shallots, and garlic from Asia and Europe. Now operating as CDS Foods but still under the leadership of Cesare Della Santina, this company has expanded to work with dried fruits and other produce items, though it continues to deal extensively in its first products.
The company’s City Snacks line, consisting of freeze-dried fruit snacks, has become a major brand for CDS Foods. Freeze-dried foods are resistant to spoilage and ripening due to the total removal of water from the product. Secure freeze-dried packages can keep for years, provided they are properly stored. Freeze-dried foods also become much lighter, allowing them to be easily transported on both an individual and industrial scale. Though these advantages are most relevant to food, other fields have also begun to use freeze-drying. Even researchers and florists can use freeze-drying to keep biological samples from losing desirable properties over long periods of time.
The founder of the fresh produce company CDS Foods (formerly CDS Brokers), Cesare Della Santina works with growers across the United States, South America, Mexico, and Europe. Cesare Della Santina also participates in professional produce organizations, including the Canadian Produce Marketing Association (CPMA).
From its headquarters in Ontario, CPMA depends on volunteer efforts to lead its committees and help make decisions to guide the produce industry. These committees include areas such as corporate development, education, food safety, and marketing and promotions, as well as the organization’s board of directors.
A volunteer term of service for these committees lasts one year. Volunteers must hold membership in CPMA. Through their service on one of the association’s committees, they gain experience in a group decision-making process and have the opportunity for personal growth.
The CPMA represents fresh produce businesses across Canada. For more information about the work of the association or to learn more about volunteering, visit http://www.cpma.ca.