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PMA and United Fresh to merge in 2022

PMA and United Fresh to merge in 2022

 

The boards of directors of the Produce Marketing Association and the United Fresh Produce Association have reached an agreement in principle to combine the groups by the beginning of 2022. Previous high-profile efforts to merge the two national produce associations fell short in 2012, 2007 and 1995. 

The next step will involve deciding a new name for the combined association, according to a press release. The resulting new association from the merger of United Fresh and PMA will combine resources and expertise to enhance member services, increase advocacy before government and the public, help members grow their businesses, and drive consumption of fresh produce and demand for floral products as a vital cornerstone of public health.

The two associations will continue to operate as independent organisations through 2021, with the new association to be launched January 1st 2022.  

Board chairmen Michael Muzyk of United Fresh and Dwight Ferguson of PMA said in the release: “This agreement reflects the ongoing commitment of both associations to deliver the highest level of value to members. Looking ahead, we believe we can accomplish that goal better together, building on the synergies and experience of our expert staffs, complementary education programs and member services, and a stronger voice in advocating for our industries.”

The new association will be led jointly by Burns and Stenzel as co-CEOs throughout 2022. After that time, Burns will become the sole CEO, according to release.

Stenzel said in the release: “Through my 28 years of service to our industry, I have long recognised the potential synergies of our groups building something powerful together. It is gratifying to me several years before my retirement to find a strong and committed partner in Cathy who also believes in this shared vision.  I’m looking forward to launching this new organization together, setting the stage to enhance member value while driving greater produce consumption in the years ahead.”

Burns said in the release: “Tom has been a great partner, and I truly appreciate his deep history, knowledge, and care for our industry. We, along with our talented teams, look forward to leveraging our strengths to serve our diverse and complex supply chain. I am so proud and honoured to serve the produce and floral community at such a pivotal time in our history.”

Over the coming months, Burns and Stenzel will work with their teams and board leaders to build out the new organisation. Concurrently, the two associations will begin sharing their expertise and promoting participation in each other’s events and programmes. It is anticipated that the volunteer leadership, governance and membership structure, and 2022 business plan for the new association will be in place and shared with the membership in autumn 2021, according to the organisations.

 

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Director of Proexport advocates diversification of production and markets to cope with Covid-19

Director of Proexport advocates diversification of production and markets to cope with Covid-19 - Fernando P. Gómez Molina, director of Proexport © Proexport
Fernando P. Gómez Molina, director of Proexport © Proexport

 

On Tuesday 13th October, director of Proexport, Fernando P. Gómez Molina, spoke at the PMA Fresh Summit (Produce Marketing Association), where, together with representatives from Chile and Hong-Kong, he analysed the impact of the pandemic on the European fruit and vegetable market. In his speech, Gómez addressed the situation facing the European fruit and vegetable sector and the characteristics that define the “new” consumer in light of the situation posed by Covid-19 and how fruit and vegetable companies must deal with this situation, innovating in their processes and adapting to new consumer demands.

“Fruit and vegetable suppliers must be prepared to keep costs low and productivity high, while we must defend the value of our product in a constantly innovating market,” Gómez said. In addition, a good strategy for the future would be “to diversify production at source and expand destination markets to reduce the risks of an unstable market.”

The PMA Fresh Summit session, Around the World in Fresh Products: An Update on International Challenges and Opportunities, addressed the impact on the global product market and ways to generate new opportunities or overcome barriers to business. Along with Gómez, Nicolás Moller Opazo, Vice President of Hortifrut (Chile) and Patrick Vizzone, Director of Food, Beverages and Agribusiness of ANZ Banking Group (Hong Kong) participated.

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SUNSET® Rocks 2020

SUNSET® Rocks 2020 © SUNSET®
© SUNSET®

 

There’s one party each year at Fresh Summit that creates the buzz. This year, everyone attending PMA’s Fresh Summit can join the SUNSET® Rocks 2020 virtual event. But you have to act quickly—to attend the party, you must be registered for Fresh Summit and RSVP to the party by 5 p.m. Eastern time on Monday, October 12!

After you register for Fresh Summit, you’ll be able to RSVP to the party. Once you RSVP, we will approve and send you confirmation to access the SUNSET® Rocks 2020 party—the hottest ticket of the year!

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PMA summit sets new attendance record

PMA summit sets new attendance record

 

This year’s PMA Fresh Summit, held in Anaheim, California, saw a record number of attendees, with 24,000 professionals from the sector. Attendance may have been boosted by having the expo on a Friday and Saturday, as opposed to on a Saturday and Sunday, as was previously the case before last year’s switch. 

The exhibition was divided into Produce Marketplace, Complementary Items Marketplace, Solutions Marketplace, and Floral Marketplace. Underlining the international dimension of the event, there were retailers and importers from across the world. There was a strong focus on sustainable solutions for throughout the supply chain, as well as smart solutions using artificial intelligence.

Next year’s PMA Fresh Summit will be held from October 15-17 in Dallas, Texas.

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Changing governments, changing trade

PMA picture

Ambassador Darci Vetter, former chief agricultural negotiator at the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative, and current diplomat in residence at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, analyzed how changing governments is having impact on changing trade opportunities and how the role of trade policy will continue to shape our industry in this era of globalization.

Trade is critical for the agricultural economy. About 20% of US farm income depends on exports. This is not a small consideration. The US alone exported about U$S133 billion dollars of agricultural products last year and that supported over a million jobs. “I think thats important not only because in the US, but in all of other countries, farmers and producers forget to take credit for the fact that the fruits of their labour go on to employ packers, shippers and retailers and processors who are turning this raw products into an entire different one” emphasized Vetter. “The largest manufacturing sector in the US is the food processing and manufacturing, and we forget to take credit for the engine we provide to rest of the economy”.

A strong trade foundation is an important part of managing risks when facing the global market place. Maintaining opening markets, thats how farmers manage risks. When markets close and product don’t have somewhere to go, particularly perishable products, prices plummet. So a big part of the risk management strategy in the US comes from maintaining current markets and opening new ones, is the best thing we can do to decrease volatility and prices for producers and for others in the value chain.

When it comes to trade, consumers are the big winner. In the ’80, options were few, but today it is a completely different picture, particularly in the last 15-20 years. Our diets have completely change, because now is so easy to move fresh products long distances in a short period of time. Global food trade grew by 227% in the last 15 years, meaning 2.2 billion metric tons of food moving around the globe. “What is important about that number is, is not just it got a lot bigger, but it also got a lot more varied. It use to be unprocessed, whole commodity and non perishable, and if you look up the growth in both volume and value, its really the intermediate sector that is now growing. So is not highly processed products, it is fresh fruits and vegetables products, which is becoming more dynamic”.

Renegotiation of NAFTA and Brexit process increase uncertainty

The US is renegotiating NAFTA, the North America Free Trade Agreement, that has really been the foundation of how the region moved products in North America for the past 20 plus years. “In fact most of the time we don’t think about it, because it works really well, until now”. All three countries have grater transparency, faster resolution of disputes, a stronger emphasis on science based decision making, all things that should help producers moving products around North America, being able to have a little more certainty. Agriculture was never at the center of the discussion in the renegotiation of NAFTA, but there are other fundamental parts of the agreement that are a great concern and really speak to the heart of what trade agreements do, which is providing certainty for people who conduct business about how their products are going to be treated.

First of all, there is a focus on the trade deficit. The current US representative recently said he wants to see much flexibility in his counter parts to even out trade imbalances into correct the trade deficit that the US sees with Mexico and Canada. “Thats a different goal than you normally have when you negotiate a free trade agreement which is to try to encourage as much business as possible. So you see this provisions being introduced that essentially have the opportunity to actually slow down trade into US. This changes the incentives and the amount of certainty”. In the second place, all trade agreements have a clause that says that if a country decides not to be a part of it they can withdraw. Every 5 year the NAFTA automatically sunsets, unless all of three countries agree to continue it. “So you sort of have a hook there. If you are considering to make an investment in one of these 3 countries, do you do it with a 5 year horizon? And if you are not sure about what the terms of trade are going to be 5 years from now, how will that affect your decision? So the uncertainty created by these kind of provisions is costly. We are starting to see already that companies are spreading their risk. If you are in the US, a lot of your agri products are going to Mexico or Canada, that are in the top 3 trading partners of the US every year. So, for example, 90% of Mexico’s corn imports come from the US, but what we are starting to see since January is a 4% decline of the sales to corn to Mexico and corn going out of South America to Mexico for the first time ever. This happening in a variety of commodities. And we are seeing a lot of companies that were considering investing in this countries, but prefer to wait and see what will happen with the NAFTA renegotiation. So the uncertainty itself has already began affecting decision making and we could, the longer the negotiation it takes, expect not to come”.

A similar situation is going on in Europe. The Brexit process started, the UK asking to not be a part of the EU anymore, but there is very little information about how the terms of the divorce are going to be. The real questions are: what is the external tariff of the UK going to be? Are they going to go back to the pre EU days? What happens to food safety standards and rules? Will the UK adopt those that have the EU or will they change it and bring their own requirements? And then, what will the process be to determine it? “The interesting thins about the US Brexit process is that Britain didn’t have any trade negotiators, that was Brussels job, it actually has taken them many months to be able to staff the effort to negotiate with the EU what the terms of trade are gonna be”.

US is looking from outside the forging of alliances among countries

At the same time we are looking these processes, the rest of the world is not slowing down. Originally, the TPP is an agreement between 12 countries across de Asian Pacific to set free trade standards, but the US has decided that it doesn’t want to be part of it, so now will pull back from it. Meanwhile, other countries decided to look up that region that is really dynamic and provides new opportunities, so lots of agreements are being concluded without the US being part of them. “Since we pull back from the TPP, Japan and the EU have concluded a free trade agreement that will be going into force in the upcoming months. The EU and Vietnam completed their negotiation and now working in implementing the free trade agreement there. Japan and Australia already have a bilateral that now is going into its third year. And the TPP 11, that is the 11 countries minus the US who did the TPP, said they want to announce that they are going to go forward without the US. China all alone has had its own vision of what original trade agreement should be, its called the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP), 8 of the TPP countries are part of it plus India and some other asian nations” explained Vetter. Just the other TPP countries have other 27 agreements negotiating right now to get preferencial access to the external markets. So there are other alliances being forged among countries, of which the US is not part.

Impact in US competitiveness

Most of these agreements involve countries were the middle class is rising rapidly and were there is a good population growth. When someone enters the middle class the first thing they change is the way they eat. When people have disposable income, they demand more protein, higher quality and freshness. “You are forging relationships with these consumers as they enter the middle class. So, we also loose the chance to be in that market. The tariff advantage can be the difference wether or not you have success in those new markets. Not having access will have an impact on your competitiveness. It also reduces our chance to export the way we do business. From my point of view, one of the best things about the TPP was its emphasis on predictability and transparency. If we take out from the negotiating round, were people talk about the structure of those regulatory regimes, then we loose the ability to influence on what they look like”.

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Fresh Summit set to be biggest ever

“Fresh Summit delivers a powerful global experience with a magnitude of resources available under one roof. At the same time, it can also have a community atmosphere that invites people to connect, whatever their interests are," said PMA Fresh Summit Committee Chair Scot Olson, vice president of produce and floral, Grocery Outlet, Inc.

The 2016 Fresh Summit expo will be its largest ever, with more than 1,100 exhibitors over 300,000 square feet, says America’s Produce Marketing Association’s (PMA).

Together with the Fresh Summit convention, the expo runs October 14-16 at the Orange County Convention Center in Orlando, Florida, and presents the best innovations from the fresh produce and floral sectors. Fresh product and business ideas will be found at every turn, promises the PMA.

It has again organised the convention content into ‘communities of interest’ to help attendees connect with those with common goals, thus maximising its business-growing value for them. This year’s communities include science & technology, industry talent, floral, issues leadership and global connections.

Speakers from around the world will share their expertise so attendees can capitalise on trends shaping the industry’s future. General session topics include innovation, personal branding and the PMA’s popular State of the Industry address.

Sixteen workshops will help attendees find solutions to industry challenges including talent, developing effective marketing strategies to increase consumption, demonstrating best food safety practices and using technology to increase transparency.

At the Innovation@work area outside of the expo hall, a broad range of creative products and services will be displayed. Showcases here will feature products in the following categories: Just 4 Kids, On-The-Go, Certified Organic and Floral. Also on display will be Sensory Experience Contest winners and packaging innovations from finalist companies in the PMA’s 2016 Impact Award for Excellence in Packaging.

“Fresh Summit delivers a powerful global experience with a magnitude of resources available under one roof. At the same time, it can also have a community atmosphere that invites people to connect, whatever their interests are,” said PMA Fresh Summit Committee Chair Scot Olson, vice president of produce and floral, Grocery Outlet, Inc.

Next year, the Fresh Summit Convention & Expo event days will change, instead taking place Thursday-Saturday (with the expo on Friday-Saturday) so attendees can be back in the office on Monday, a critical day for the produce industry, the PMA said.

Learn more and register for PMA’s 2016 Fresh Summit Convention & Expo at www.pma.com/events/freshsummit.

 

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PMA Fresh Summit runs October 14-16 in Florida

Fresh Summit becomes the center of the produce and floral marketing universe every October. It’s where contacts are formed, trends are revealed, ideas are exchanged and careers are made.

More than 20,000 attendees and 1,000+ exhibitors from over 60 countries are expected at the biggest ever PMA Fresh Summit Convention and Expo, being held October 14-16 in Florida.

Once again, this seminal event offers the opportunity to meet with experts, leaders and decision makers from every link of the fresh produce and floral supply chains, as well as to discover how today’s bright ideas are poised to reshape tomorrow’s produce and floral landscape.

The Orange County Convention Center, in Orlando, will be the venue for the 2016 Fresh Summit Convention & Expo, which the organisers, the Produce Marketing Association, describe as “the most important event of the year for the fresh industry.”

“Fresh Summit has everyone you want to see all in one place. It is the place to make connections, build relationships, see new trends and innovations, and grow your business,” a PMA spokesperson said.

Attendees can personalise their Fresh Summit experience by connecting to one or more of the following communities most closely matching their business interests: Global Connections, Science & Technology, Industry Talent, Issues Leadership, and Floral.

“Once a year our industry reunites in an atmosphere perfect for catching up with our business relationships and developing the proper connections to help this industry grow,” said Scot Olson, who is Grocery Outlet Director of Produce & Floral and also the PMA Fresh Summit Committee chairman.

“Exhibiting is a notable option to take advantage of during an event as widely known as PMA’s Fresh Summit,” said Kevin Steiner, who is director of Business Development of Sage Fruit Company as well as the PMA exhibitor advisory committee chairman. “Exhibitors can have their products and services seen by potential customers and business partners, but ultimately it serves an empowering opportunity to meet with those prospects face-to-face and build those long-lasting relationships.”

Fresh Summit participants will connect with professionals throughout the global supply chain and learn what’s driving today’s produce industry from thought leaders around the world.
Attendees can identify new product innovations, gain new marketing/merchandising ideas that will appeal to today’s consumers and discover solutions that address today’s business challenges.

And this year, the Women’s Fresh Perspectives Leadership Breakfast will be offering an unparalleled opportunity for women and men in produce to learn and network together.

The Center for Growing Talent by PMA will continue its 10th anniversary celebration at Fresh Summit. It’s “attract, develop and retain” mission will be on full display at Fresh Summit, for example in addition to the WFP Leadership Breakfast, the Center for Growing Talent will host Pack Family Career Pathways to expose leading university students to career opportunities in the fresh produce and floral industry.

The Center for Growing Talent by PMA will also host a networking reception for young professionals, one face-to-face component of our year-round activities for young professionals. The Center for Growing Talent by PMA’s fundraising 5K Race for Talent is always a fun event, for individuals or teams; Attendees will want to register early for this too, because it tends to sell out.

“Fresh Summit becomes the center of the produce and floral marketing universe every October. It’s where contacts are formed, trends are revealed, ideas are exchanged and careers are made.

“Don’t miss the future of fresh,” the PMA said.

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PMA Fresh Summit to run October 14-16 in Florida

More than 18,500 attendees and 1,000+ exhibitors from over 60 countries are expected at this year’s PMA Fresh Summit, being held October 14-16 in Florida.

More than 18,500 attendees and 1,000+ exhibitors from over 60 countries are expected at this year’s PMA Fresh Summit, being held October 14-16 in Florida.

Once again, this seminal event offers the opportunity to meet with experts, leaders and decision makers from every link of the fresh produce supply chain, as well as to discover how today’s bright ideas are poised to reshape tomorrow’s produce and floral landscape.

The Orange County Convention Center, in Orlando, will be the venue for the 2016 Fresh Summit Convention & Expo, which the organisers, the Produce Marketing Association, describe as “the most important event of the year for the fresh industry.”

Attendees can personalise their Fresh Summit experience by connecting to one or more of the following communities most closely matching their business interests: Global Connections, Science & Technology, Industry Talent, Issues Leadership, and Floral.

“Fresh Summit becomes the center of the produce and floral marketing universe every October. It’s where contacts are formed, trends are revealed, ideas are exchanged and careers are made.

“Don’t miss the future of fresh,” the PMA said.

For more information see: http://www.pma.com/events/freshsummit

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Fresh Summit full of fresh ideas, opportunities

Being held Friday October 23 to Sunday October 25 in Atlanta, the Fresh Summit Convention & Expo are expected to attract 18,000 attendees and 1000+ exhibitors from over 60 countries.

What are the major trends driving the ‘Fresh Revolution’ in produce marketing and how can fresh opportunities for growth be created? These are among the topics to be discussed in the State of the Industry address by the Produce Marketing Association’s CEO Bryan Silbermann and president Cathy Burns on the first day of this year’s Fresh Summit. Being held Friday October 23 to Sunday October 25 in Atlanta, the Fresh Summit Convention & Expo are expected to attract 18,000 attendees and 1000+ exhibitors from over 60 countries. The rich programme includes a general session on Saturday by evangelist, author and speaker Guy Kawasaki on ‘The Art of Innovation’, while on Sunday, Tomorrow founder and CEO Mike Walsh will help businesses anticipate the future with his address ‘Global By Design’.

Featuring industry leading speakers, a wide range of workshops are scheduled for Friday and grouped under the umbrellas of Global Connections, Science and Technology, Issues Leadership, Industry Talent, and Floral. Topics to be covered include the intersection of global trade and maritime shipping, what Big Data will mean for produce operations, how to leverage data to promote food safety, an overview of key trade agreements under negotiation, and how to build a multigenerational roster of top talent.

Fostering networking and knowledge-sharing, Fresh Summit also boasts a wide range of other events and activities, including a retail tour visiting Costco Wholesale, DeKalb, Kroger and Sevananda; a sensory experience contest which will showcase innovative, kid-friendly recipes from Fresh Summit exhibitors; and awards including for excellence in packaging. Destined to be magnets for visitors this year are the Fresh Ideas Showcase, displaying the ‘coolest of the cool’ in new products, and the On the Go showcase for products and services making it easier to eat healthily while on the go.

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Fresh ideas for this year’s PMA Fresh Summit

Being held October 23-25 at the Georgia World Congress Center in Atlanta, Georgia, the Fresh Summit Convention & Expo are expected to attract 18,000 attendees and 1000+ exhibitors from over 60 countries.

A showcase displaying products and services making it easier to eat healthy while out and about is one of the new features for this year’s PMA Fresh Summit.

Being held October 23-25 at the Georgia World Congress Center in Atlanta, Georgia, the Fresh Summit Convention & Expo are expected to attract 18,000 attendees and 1000+ exhibitors from over 60 countries.

This year the highly popular New Products Showcase has been renamed the Fresh Ideas Showcase. Organisers say this series of display cases will be a magnet for attendees wanting to discover the ‘coolest of the cool’ at Fresh Summit before setting out to tour the vast show floor. Such showcases have been ranked the most effective promotional tactic for driving attendees to exhibits, they say.

The new “On the Go” showcase will join the tried-and-true display cases which can hold any variety of new product or service, as well as the Just 4 Kids showcase.

Participants in the Fresh Ideas Showcase will be automatically entered in the new Best Product Promo category of Fresh Summit’s best of show contest. Judges will assess them on their online product listing in the exhibitor directory (pre-show evaluation), on-site display case, and promotion of the product in their booth. The winner will receive a shelf in the 2016 Fresh Ideas Showcase and a half-page digital ad in the winter issue of the PMA’s magazine ‘fresh’.

Find out more about Fresh Summit here.