Putting the focus on what you need to succeed - The Packer

Putting the focus on what you need to succeed

08/29/2014 10:25:00 AM
Kevin Fiori

Kevin Fiori, Sunkist Growers Inc.Kevin Fiori, Sunkist Growers Inc.Tim Riley is the Newark, Del.-based Produce Marketing Association’s current board of director’s chairman.

Tim, with the help of a specially appointed task force of volunteer leaders and strategic experts, crafted a strategic plan — a vision that focuses on building connections for members around the world to help members facilitate trade, capitalize on emerging science and technology, advance food safety, maximize talent, understand the consumer and reduce barriers to consumption.

Thank you, Tim, and the diverse team of industry leaders and business strategists who had the insight to set forth a vision that will benefit us all. It’s with great honor that I’ll continue to drive forward the initiatives you began when I accept the role as chairman of PMA’s board of directors in October.

As the strategic plan advances — and I look ahead to my year as chairman — here are my picks for the top four resources available to help produce and floral industry members grow business and build demand amid all that lies ahead.

1. Global connections — We all operate in a global marketplace — no matter what our business model or office location. Global connections are as much about sharing knowledge and best practices from industry peers across geographical borders as they are about moving product across those borders.

Even if you have no plans to import or export beyond the U.S., growth in this business comes from building connections and learning from the diverse mix of industry members operating around the globe. I found myself in China and South Africa this year with people from across the industry — wholesalers, retailers, e-commerce companies, even government officials and university members who impact our industry. This coming year will bring us connections in Atlanta and California, Brazil and the Netherlands, to name a few.

2. Science and technology — Technology will be even more important for our industry’s future and that’s why PMA has and will continue to develop member resources in this area.

This year, PMA expanded its focus beyond food safety to help us also manage supply chain efficiencies, seed technology, packing innovations and data management. With the help of PMA’s own expertise and the connections PMA is committed to making, we can navigate the tech landscape, vet what’s out there and choose what’s best for our companies.

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