ANAHEIM, Calif.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--More than 22,000 fresh produce and floral industry members gathered in Anaheim, California for the annual Produce Marketing Association (PMA) Fresh Summit Oct. 17-19. 1,090 exhibiting companies occupied 265,300 net square feet in the exposition hall to market a variety of products including fruits and vegetables, floral items and technologies to make the industry more efficient. Highlights were bountiful as the show returned to the golden state, and included a focus on inspiring kids to eat healthier and a series of education sessions that focused on topics like global trade, emerging floral trends, talent management and food safety.
Attendees also met with industry and business experts for presentations and industry engagement with Let’s Move! Executive Director and Senior Policy Advisor for Nutrition Sam Kass, U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) Deputy Commissioner of U.S. Foods Mike Taylor and California Secretary of Agriculture Karen Ross.
Let’s Move! program builds momentum at Fresh Summit
Sam Kass, executive director of First Lady Michelle Obama’s Let’s Move! initiative, joined a panel of industry members at an ‘eat brighter!’ town hall, part of a series of workshop sessions featured at this year’s PMA Fresh Summit. The session was moderated by Todd Putman, chief commercial officer of Bolthouse Farms and also featured Derrick Jenkins, vice president of produce and floral, Wakefern; Robert Verloop, executive vice president of marketing, Naturipe; and Donna Bogia, director of information and customer service, PMA.
The town hall focused on the ‘eat brighter!’ movement, which offers the fresh produce industry royalty-free access to Sesame Street character images and was forged by the Partnership for a Healthier America, which works with the private sector and PHA Honorary Chair First Lady Michelle Obama to make healthy choices easier for busy parents and families. Kass and the panelists recognized those companies that have already committed to supporting the program and encouraged the industry’s continued efforts to change the way they market healthy foods to kids.
FDA’s Mike Taylor addresses FSMA proposals
In response to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s recent release of four supplemental proposals under the U.S. Food Safety Modernization Act on produce safety, preventive controls for human food, foreign supplier verification programs and preventive controls for animal feed, PMA partnered with FDA to bring Deputy Commissioner of U.S. Foods Mike Taylor and Dr. Samir Assar, director of produce safety, to address the recent proposals with industry. Taylor and Assar were joined by panelists Walter Ram, vice president of food safety of The Giumarra Companies; Courtney Parker, vice president of salad quality and global food safety of Chiquita Fresh Express and Mike Villaneva, technical director for California Leafy Green Marketing Agreement.
Record breaking numbers
This year’s convention set a handful of records, including:
Retailers: 1,150+ (largest attendance since 2001)
Exhibitors earn “Best of Show” titles
Four exhibitors were chosen by an anonymous panel of industry experts for “best of show,” a contest designed to generate attendee excitement and encourage exhibitors to enhance the effectiveness of their exhibition experience:
- Best of Show, in-line booth: Suja Juice, Booth 4639
- Best of Show, island booth: Panera Bread Salad Dressings, Booth 1414
- Best New Product Launch: Rhythm Superfoods, Booth 488
- Best First-Time Exhibitor: Delallo Salad Savors, Booth 676
Next year’s Fresh Summit Convention and Expo will be held Oct.23-25, 2015, in Atlanta, Georgia. For more information, visit www.freshsummit.com.
Editor’s note: Images are available for download in high-resolution from PMA’s Flickr page.
About Produce Marketing Association (PMA)
Produce Marketing Association is the leading trade association representing companies from every segment of the global produce and floral supply chain. PMA helps members grow by providing connections that expand business opportunities and increase sales and consumption. For more information, visit www.pma.com.