(March 20, 11:37 a.m.) The Produce Marketing Association is taking strides this year to ensure domestic and international members have information to better engage in global trade.

“Our members have the opportunity to learn more about new international trends that pertain to the fruit and vegetable industry, as well as having full access to PMA’s databases,” said Gustavo Yentzen, PMA’s representative in Chile and Peru.

The Newark, Del.-based PMA plans to continue its Fresh Connection education seminars and networking events in Chile and Australia, along with one planned for Mexico this year.

The association initiated the South American outreach efforts in early 2007.

PMA vice president of global business development Nancy Tucker said the group’s efforts in other countries help those members make business connections.

“I think it stems from PMA’s uniqueness by representing the entire chain,” Tucker said. “We provide information and resources that most people look for, like training, which is crucial, as well as networking and traceability.”

Julia Stewart, PMA’s public relations director, said Fresh Connection events around the world draw industry leaders to take part in a networking forum. An Australia-New Zealand Fresh Connection event in August last year drew close to several hundred attendees.

“Our U.S. members also get value from our international programming,” Stewart said. A recent PMA report, “The Supermarket Revolution in Emerging Markets: Implications for the Produce Industry,” details produce marketing opportunities across the globe.