Food safety staff at both trade associations are developing guidance for members on production of their commodities and pursuing harmony in audits.
On Foodservice 2020 — the initiative to double fresh produce consumption in restaurants and schools by that year — progress is hard to quantify, given limited information on what’s being ordered and eaten. But there is movement, Dachman said.
“We know menu mentions are up,” he said. “We’re seeing changes in some of the quick-serve chains with fresh fruit starting to show on their menus.
“Changes in school nutritional standards are happening. These are the kind of things we’ve been pushing for a long time.”
Global and local
Dachman sees PMA’s future in strengthening global connections even while embracing a trend toward locally grown produce.
He has traveled to Brazil, Chile, Mexico and Australia and represented the trade association at PMA Fresh Connections events abroad.
“The borders of export and import are going away,” Dachman said. “Every session I attended was oversold. Hundreds of attendees at international Fresh Connections are starved to understand some of the food safety requirements and marketing issues we discuss. What I found, I wouldn’t have understood until I was there.
“PMA is welcomed in these countries. They want to be a part of it.”
He has backed comparable efforts with U.S. growers too.
“You’ll continue to see locally grown be part of PMA’s future strategy,” he said. “We continue to help educate on food safety local farming.
“My company has invested and been involved in regional educational sessions for local growers and will continue to partner with PMA on those.”