Exclusive: Leaders of Fresh Summit Discuss PMA's Strategic Plan
- by Chandler James
ANAHEIM, CA - As reported last week, this year’s PMA Fresh Summit Conference and Expo is just around the corner, taking place October 18-19. The association recently held a press meeting at which CEO Cathy Burns, Chair Member David Marguleas, and Chair Elect Joe Don Zetzsche detailed their hopes for the event, and went on to describe the success of PMA’s strategic plan. 2020 will be the third and final year of the plan, which aims to create a vision for PMA that is both aspirational and inspirational while moving the industry forward with velocity.
“We started by creating a new vision and that vision is bringing together the produce and floral communities to grow a healthier world,” stated Cathy. “Associations exist to do things that no single organization can do on its own, and I can't think of a better way to galvanize both the produce and floral industry in pursuit of something that's bigger than any one organization, leaving this world healthier than when we entered. As it relates to our mission, it is about finding industry solutions—identifying, creating, and delivering industry solutions that actually improve our members' prosperity.”
Cathy provided an example of this, explaining that during her time with Food Lion, she paid for research that would have likely been free through PMA. With a top-notch research department, information both from consumer and production perspectives on growing trends can be pitched in a way that is understandable for members.
“The most significant research launch this year was related to the Global Market Tracker. It's been a question the industry has been wrestling with for a long time. How do we measure consumption by market? This is looking at it from an arrear’s perspective, but we're also planning on adding some predictive analytics to that as well,” Cathy said.
With the continuous efforts PMA is making to contribute to our industry, its members and observers experience a positive impact as well.
“I'm really excited to see the industry benefit that's being created from the work we’ve accomplished. I'm also really looking forward to learning from our members and the industry at large about how we can define the next steps to solve the industry's big challenges and take advantage of all the new opportunities that we're seeing,” Joe Don told us.
With that, David went on to emphasize PMA’s efforts to globalize membership offerings.
“We've spent a lot of energy the last couple of years looking at how to best globalize the membership as well as our programming and services that we offer to members internationally,” said David. “Attendance at Fresh Summit is increasingly populated by people from outside of the United States, and then certainly a lot of the participation that we see in the other PMA conferences and activities that are held in South America, South Africa, China, and elsewhere around the world represent the globalization of that effort.”
PMA’s commitment to improving our industry boils down to one key point: We’re all stronger when we work together. The innovative steps taken throughout the duration of this strategic plan have single-handedly changed Fresh Summit (though there are many cooks in the kitchen). Stay tuned in to AndNowUKnow while we cover PMA’s continuous development.