Fresh Summit grows globally - The Packer

Fresh Summit grows globally

11/05/2012 01:53:00 PM
Greg Johnson

Two distinct organizations are emerging from the wreckage of the failed merger of the Produce Marketing Association and the United Fresh Produce Association.

PMA just ended its largest ever Fresh Summit event, drawing more than 21,000. Story, A1

Last summer, when the merger broke down, Washington, D.C.-based United Fresh leaders were outspoken in their criticism of PMA’s role in the impasse, while PMA leaders were more reserved.

However, before Fresh Summit, Newark, Del.-based PMA chief executive officer Bryan Silbermann spoke candidly about it with us, and he and other leaders openly addressed it in Anaheim, Calif.

What is clear is that both organizations are becoming more comfortable in what they are and what value they deliver to members and the produce industry in general.

The week before Fresh Summit, United Fresh announced plans to co-locate with the retail group Food Marketing Institute in 2014, as it did in 2012. United Fresh also exhibited at Fresh Summit.

PMA emphasized two themes at this year’s event: the future and the industry’s global nature.

Both were clearly seen.

PMA’s future focus was shown in a look at the industry in 2022 and efforts to attract young minds through its Foundation for Industry Talent, which generated buzz through networking events and young people milling around the expo and in workshops.

And the presence of a more international crowd was as obvious as the enormous Mexican pavilion.

By adding youth and expanding globally, Fresh Summit shows no signs of shrinking.

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