Take advantage of a lifetime's worth of experience, sourcing the world's gourmet foods.

Qualifirst's CEO can assist in your upcoming event.
Here's how:

  • Expert Lectures on Gourmet Foods, Wine and Olive Oil
  • Emotional Branding and Product Launches
  • New Product Development
  • Importing Food into Canada

Hire Yves to speak and wow your attendees with his compelling, practical knowledge and experience.

Yves' Historical Lectures & Government Invitations

Yves has attended every ANUGA trade show (Koln, Germany), every SIAL trade show (Paris), and every New York Fancy Food Show held since 1982. In addition he has attended most of the San Francisco Fancy Food Shows and half the SIRHA shows (Lyon). Throw in another two dozen trade shows on fine food in other parts of the world (Rimini, Milano, Barcelona, London, Copenhagen, etc.) and you get the idea. His knowledge is extensive and thorough.

  • September 2014:E.U. - CANADA TRADE MISSION to POLAND: Yves accepted an invitation by the government of Poland as a Canadian fine food expert in a Media + Entrepreneur trade mission in tandem with a delegation from Mexico. Seven days in Warsaw touring factories before going to Poznan for more factories and attending the Eastern European food trade show POLAGRA.
  • September 2013:CATALONIA SPAIN VIP ROUND TABLE: Yves accepted an invitation from the regional government of Catalonia in southern Spain, to serve as a VIP member of a 6-person international panel of experts, convened to discuss fine food export strategy, branding issues, and the challenges inherent in tapping the very lucrative export market. During the three-day event, Yves also accepted numerous requests for meetings, which in most cases became general business consultations where his opinions on business organization and corporate strategy were openly discussed. These meetings were spirited and vigorous, and in the post-event reviews, Yves was ranked "most informative" and "greatest contributor of value knowledge".
  • May 2013:TUTTOFOOD (Milan): Yves accepted an invitation from the Italian International Chamber of Commerce to represent Canada.
  • April 2013:SALON DE GOURMETS (Madrid): Yves accepted another invitation from the government of Spain to be part of the PEN (Punto Encuentro de Negocios) as an expert for fine foods, based on his experience as an importer and fine food specialist. He was interviewed for Spanish television and lectured on qualitative profiles for manufactured foods. He also met up with numerous manufacturers who brought exciting news of the successes they experienced from applying his recommendations from previous presentations held in 2010.
  • April 2012:EURO & MED FOOD B2B 2012: Yves accepted an invitation from the government of Italy to meet manufacturers in Manfredonia (south-eastern Italy) to discuss branding, distribution, and marketing for export to Canada and the U.S.A. He was given an office and held numerous one-on-one meetings as an expert.
  • March 2012:SALON DE GOURMETS (Madrid): Yves accepted another invitation from the government of Spain to be part of the PEN (Punto Encuentro de Negocios) as an expert for fine foods, based on his experience as an importer and fine food specialist. He was interviewed for Spanish television and lectured on qualitative profiles for manufactured foods. He also met up with numerous manufacturers who brought exciting news of the successes they experienced from applying his recommendations from previous presentations held in 2010.
  • February 2012:VINISUD (Montpellier): Yves accepted an invitation from the French government to participate in a fine food and wine symposium and B2B meetings with smaller manufacturers from Southern France.
  • May 2011:ARGENTINA: Yves accepted an invitation from the government of Argentina to participate in an olive oil tour of the San Juan region. He gave a lecture (through translators) to 43 participants on North American distribution and effective strategies for building an export business from existing manufacturing processes, which was very well received. He was also asked to be a judge for a small, professional double-blind olive oil tasting.
  • April 2011:SALON DE GOURMETS (Madrid): Yves accepted another invitation from the government of Spain to be part of the PEN (Punto Encuentro de Negocios) as an expert for fine foods, based on his experience as an importer and fine food specialist. He was interviewed for Spanish television and lectured on qualitative profiles for manufactured foods. He also met up with numerous manufacturers who brought exciting news of the successes they experienced from applying his recommendations from previous presentations held in 2010.
  • December 2010:URBAN RUSH (television): Yves was invited onto the Urban Rush TV series as a returning guest and as one of Canada's fine food experts, to talk about Mocktails (drinks without alcohol). He also showcased a 'Christmas Log' (Buche de Noel) along with the story behind it. Qualifirst's Ray Martin has a video copy of this segment.
  • April 2010:SALON DE GOURMETS (Madrid): Yves accepted another invitation from the government of Spain to be part of the PEN (Punto Encuentro de Negocios) as an expert for fine foods, based on his experience as an importer and fine food specialist. He was interviewed for Spanish television and lectured on qualitative profiles for manufactured foods. He also met up with numerous manufacturers who brought exciting news of the successes they experienced from applying his recommendations from previous presentations held in 2009.
  • March 2010:URBAN RUSH (television): Yves was invited to explore the world via chocolate. Called 'Gastro-Tourism' the show explored the subtle differences in taste of single plantation chocolates from the Dominican Republic, Venezuela, Africa, New Guinea, and Madagascar. Yves is a veteran of TV media, having done a great deal of on-camera work in his 20's as well as the CITY-TV Canada Tour described below.
  • February 2010:SICILY B2B TRADE MISSION: Yves accepted an invitation to join a fine food, wine agent, & Media tour of the island of Sicily which involved discussing the food and wine profiles particular to the island of Sicily. I was particularly looking for the Sicilian Pistachios to upgrade our quality. Palermo to Etna stopping in trade craft factories to see the small manufacturing at work.
  • January 2010:JAEN OLIVE OIL MISSION: Yves accepted an invitation from the regional government of Jaen in Spain to participate in a focused olive oil-oriented trade mission involving visits to mills and growing areas in Jaen, where he also attended formal tasting sessions.
  • April 2009:SALON DE GOURMETS (Madrid): Yves accepted an invitation from the government of Spain, on official recommendation, to be part of the PEN (Punto Encuentro de Negocios) as an expert for fine foods, based on his experience as an importer and fine food specialist. He was interviewed for Spanish television and lectured on qualitative profiles for manufactured foods. He also served as a judge in a double-blind olive oil competition. Feedback on his contribution overwhelmingly made Canada the preferred expert that year.
  • June 2008:ICEX SPAIN EMOTIONS IN FOOD LECTURE (Seville & Madrid): Yves accepted an invitation from the government of Spain to be a guest lecturer on the emotions of Spanish foods, which was held in Madrid on June 2, 2008 and Seville on June 6, 2008. Each session was very well attended (30 to 40 seated guests plus translators). For the Madrid session, Yves' speech was recorded, and became one of the top downloads from the guest speaker ICEX video business archive that year. A few days later in Seville, a number of attendees petitioned the organizers for a further question-and-answer round-table session with Yves, that lasted 6 hours. The success of these two events led to Yves becoming a regular invitee to the Salon de Gourmets trade show in Madrid, every year for a decade.
  • March 2008:EURO & MED Foods 2008: Yves accepted an invitation from the government of Italy to meet manufacturers in Foggia (south-eastern Italy) to discuss branding, distribution, and marketing for export to Canada and the U.S.A. He was given an office and held one-on-one meetings as an expert. This visit was very successful, and prompted another invitation a few years later, on request from local business in Italy.
  • March 2007:IFE 2007: Yves accepted an invitation from the government of Britain to attend the International Food Exhibition in London as an expert buyer. The event involved one-on-one appointments with manufacturers to discuss export and fine food, quality programs, and the British profile of fine food products.
  • June 22 2005:BIG BREAKFAST (Edmonton): Yves appeared as a fine food expert, talking about steak, protein, and fine food generally while grilling steaks on the sidewalk in front of the studio. There were lots of people, good fun and great questions. Yves talked "gourmet" for three hours in between news and regular programming.
  • May 2005:FOOD FROM DENMARK (Montreal): Yves accepted an invitation by the Danish Consulate to join other speakers for a select group of Danish Importers in Montreal.
  • February 9 and 10 2005:BIG BREAKFAST (Edmonton): Yves was a fine food guest on television talking about the chocolate Martini and mixing a few live on the show. He discussed chocolate, the origin of the chocolate Martini (invented by Elizabeth Taylor and Rock Hudson while filming Giant in 1955). It was very well received and the organizers indicated they wanted him to return.

Find out more and connect with Yves:



A valuable expert and speaker...

50% of Yves' booked appointments are with companies seeking professional critique of their export strategy and branding. Examples include:

  • Salon International del Club de Gourmets - Past ten years - Spain
  • Olive Oils and Olive Buyers Business Round - Argentina - 2011

Yves Farges is the founder and CEO of Qualifirst Group, the premier Canadian quality fine foods importer, with warehousing and sales teams located across Canada. The Qualifirst sales team consists of dedicated professionals who share deep knowledge of fine foods and who have made a serious career commitment to the industry and to the company.

Qualifirst imports a broad selection of quality gourmet fine foods from every part of the world, including oils, biscuits, tinned products, gourmet grocery items, grains, rices, specialty spices, and condiments.

Since 1957, Qualifirst has been stocking and selling more than 3,500 products from all over the world, and is also brand-building in growth-oriented market segments such as cocktails (representing bitters & cocktail ingredients) and molecular gastronomy.

Products flow from Asia, Europe, South America, Australia, Africa, and all parts of North America to satisfy professional chefs as well as consumer demand for chef-standard products.

Yves has literally grown up in the industry, from the early days of his parent's regional distribution company, which was absorbed into the Qualifirst Group in 2000.

Well known as a fine food expert Yves has been invited by the governments of Spain, Italy, France, Argentina, Denmark, Britain, and the U.S. to speak on fine foods and distribution, and to judge at select tastings. In Canada Yves has often been asked to appear in television programs to talk about diverse fine food topics such as chocolate, mocktails, pastry, and trends in alcoholic drinks.

Traveling the world to seek out the very best in fine foods, Yves has developed a deep and far-ranging knowledge of ingredients, as well as specific expertise in distribution strategy for North America. It is typical for him to spend only a few weeks per year at his Vancouver home, with the remainder being spent walking through isolated hillsides in southern Italy while listening to local experts discuss the seasonal harvest of the region's truffles, to studying the olive oil plantations in Jaen and Mancha in Spain, or sampling wild and cultivated spices in southern France, or observing wild fruit puree and juice production near Belgium, or vegetable juice production in Croatia, or factories and production houses elsewhere that rely on his knowledge for qualitative verifications.

Brands represented by Qualifirst include MALDON salt, CLIPPER teas, Castillo de Canena, Castelanotti, Michel Cluizel, ROKA biscuits, VILUX vinegars, Reine de Dijon, FRUITIERE, Amoretti, among others.

Soon to celebrate its 60th year in business, Qualifirst is actively presenting in over 3,000 retail establishments as well as a larger number of white tablecloth restaurants and catering HRI clients across Canada.