Packer Interview - Cathy Burns PMA 2020
( File photo by The Packer staff

Get ready for a new-look Produce Marketing Association Fresh Summit. 

The virtual event, live from Oct. 13-15, will also extend until Nov. 13 and include advance access to a variety of audiences and ongoing meetings with buyers as well, according to a news release.

Registration is available at

“Fresh Summit has always been the global forum for our industry each October,” PMA CEO Cathy Burns said in the release. 

“This year will be no different as leaders from across the worldwide produce and floral communities will make new business connections and discover emerging trends and opportunities to grow a healthier world. In partnership with our incredible Fresh Summit Committee and using our members’ needs as our foundation, Fresh Summit 2020 will focus on Content, Connections, and Community.”

Burns will deliver her State of the Industry address on Oct. 13, according to the release. She will share industry trends, reflect on the industry’s and PMA’s pandemic response and pinpoint areas where fresh produce and floral have room to grow The Joy of Fresh with consumers.

On Oct. 14, Doc Hendley, founder and president of Wine to Water, will speak about his movement to bring clean drinking water to communities in need across the globe, according to the release.

Keller Rinaudo, CEO of Zipline International, will speak Oct. 14 about his use of drones to deliver blood shipments, eliminating waste and empowering local communities, according to the release.

On Oct. 15, Sally Dominguez, inventor, entrepreneur, futurist and faculty member of Singularity University, will speak to developing the “10X mindset” to navigate the exponential change that is facing people in their personal and business lives, according to the release. Her Parkour tool will help to activate attendees’ 10X mindset to prompt the unexpected connections that generate consistent innovation, the release stated. 

The Fresh Summit agenda also will include concurrent sessions on Oct. 13 and Oct. 14, according to the release.

Topics that will be addressed include:

> Marketing the benefits of fresh floral and produce
> Creativity in color for floral to drive consumer engagement 
> An update on international challenges and opportunities

With Fresh Summit going virtual, there will be no ribbon cutting at the doors of the expo floor. 

Instead, the Fresh Summit Marketplace will be open to all for the entirety of the virtual event and in advance for an exclusive preview just for buyers, according to the release.

The Marketplace will be segmented into four groups:

> Produce
> Complementary items
> Floral
> Solutions

On the digital platform, attendees will be able to search by company, products, and more online and through the Fresh Summit app, according to the release. PMA has worked to optimize the schedule to help ensure attendees can take full advantage of their time. 

Buyer preview

Buyers are invited to preview the Produce, Floral and Complementary Marketplaces from Sept. 8 to Oct. 1 and the Solutions Marketplace will be available for buyers to preview Oct. 2-6. 

The Buyer Previews offer a time before the event to view products within the marketplace, attend exhibitor pitch sessions and schedule meetings to take place during the virtual event schedule, according to the release.

“Fresh Summit has always been an investment, and many companies have had to be selective with who could attend based on travel and hotel costs,” Joe Watson, PMA vice president of member engagement, said in the release. 

“Going virtual means buyers can send their team in greater numbers, which means more meetings and more connections.”

The release said buying groups that are increasing the size of their Fresh Summit teams including Loblaws Inc., Sam’s Club, Publix, The Kroger Co., Food Lion, LLC, Albertsons Cos., Hannaford Bros. Co. and Wholesaler

Grocer Groups, who will all be highly represented at the event. 


PMA said in the release that Fresh Summit has often been seen as the family reunion of the produce and floral industries.

At every day of the show, there will be receptions to bring the industry together, according to the release. 

Oct. 13 will feature Community Receptions for an opportunity to connect with and celebrate communities across the industry. 

Oct. 14 will host a networking reception focused on reconnecting and meeting new people, according to the release. 

On the final day, Oct. 15, the virtual event will offer a closing reception to wrap up 2020 Fresh Summit Brazilian style.

PMA said the schedule is “time-zone friendly,” with access to the Marketplace and on-demand sessions available all day. 

After the event, all registered guests can continue have online access to Fresh Summit through Nov. 13, including access to the Marketplace, exploring and discovering more products and services and revisiting on-demand content. 

The release said attendees will be granted access to the Fresh Summit platform beginning Oct. 7 to explore the Marketplace, set up meetings and plan out their personal schedules. 


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