Retailers and Industry Leaders Join Former Astronaut to Speak at PMA Fresh Connections: Mexico

Mon. May 13th, 2019
- by Melissa De Leon     

NEWARK, DE - For those attending this year’s Fresh Connections, hosted by Produce Marketing Association (PMA), you’re in for a show that is out of this world. With former astronaut José Hernández as the featured speaker, and retailers from Walmart Mexico, H-E-B Mexico, and Super del Norte joining together to discuss consumer trends and retail development, its an event that should not be missed.

Nancy Tucker, Regional Vice President for Latin America, PMA“Most of Mexico’s major retailers attend this event, offering an unparalleled networking experience. PMA Fresh Connections: Mexico does what its name says—it connects people with each other, opportunities, new products, information, technology, and more,” said Nancy Tucker, PMA Regional Vice President for Latin America, in a recent press release. “Our conference sessions and speaker lineup are impressive, and participants will learn from experts in their fields. We also can’t wait to hear what former astronaut José Hernández has to share with our industry about overcoming adversity and helping others to succeed.”

The press release noted that the event, which is now in its 12th year, brings together U.S., Canadian buyers, and Mexican retailers, with Mexican produce growers and business solutions providers. Along with networking opportunities, activities include education sessions and an expo. The event will be held in Guadalajara for the first time since 2013, at the Hotel Hard Rock in Guadalajara, Jalisco, Mexico, from May 29-30.

Prior to the keynote address presented by José Hernández, those attending will learn about consumer trends in Mexico and how retailers are both anticipating and responding to these trends. Speakers include Pedro Varela Mansur, Director of Fruits and Vegetables Purchasing, Walmart Mexico; José Luis Rodriguez, Deputy Director, Fresh Fruits & Vegetables, H-E-B México; Servando Carbajal Ruiz, Founding Partner and General Director of Super del Norte and President of Corporativo del Norte.

The expo, which features fruit and vegetable growers, as well as business solution providers that serve the industry, will be open from 1:30 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. on May 29

Hernández will then present his keynote, titled “The Star Harvester,” on May 29 prior to the expo opening. Growing up in both Mexico and the United States, Hernández did not learn English until he was 12 years old. As a young man, he worked alongside his Mexican immigrant parents and other farmworkers harvesting crops. He then went on to earn both a bachelor’s and master’s degree in electrical engineering, and became an expert in x-ray physics. He is currently an advisor to the Mexican Space Agency.

The expo, which features fruit and vegetable growers, as well as business solution providers that serve the industry, will be open from 1:30 p.m. to 5 p.m. on May 29. The day’s activities also include a networking lunch and evening reception.

Attendees will then start the day on May 30 with breakfast and a keynote presentation on “New Leadership and the Impact on Mexico’s Fresh Produce Industry.” The speakers will explore political and governmental shifts, and how they impact the fruit and vegetable supply chain. These speakers are: Georgius Ricardo Gotsis Fontes, CEO, Eleven Rivers Growers LLC; Aldo Mares, President, Aneberries (National Berry Exporters Association); and Lizeth Quintero, CEO, Mexico Calidad Suprema.

After this presentation, the expo will continue from 10:30 a.m. to 1:15 p.m. on May 30.

PMA released a list of buyers attending Fresh Connections, which include: Baldor Specialty Foods, Charlie's Produce, Hello Fresh, LA & SF Specialty, Superking Market, Sealdsweet/Greenyard, Fru-Veg Marketing, Inc., Interrupcion Fair Trade, The Vanguard International Group LP, Lakeside Produce, Walmart Mexico, H-E-B Mexico, Super Del Norte, Chedraui, Frutas Y Verduras San Miguel, Tiendas Soriana, Super San Francisco de Asis, and more.

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Produce Marketing Association