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ORLANDO, FL -- The National Mango Board will host a virtual outreach meeting at 4 p.m. March 3 to share details of ongoing marketing and research programs designed to increase mango consumption in the United States.

Participation in this web-based virtual meeting is free, and registration for the event is quick and easy.

Attendees will hear about mango research programs, such as the board's mango quality initiative and recent results from the board's mango nutrition research program. They will learn more about marketing programs that promote mangos through foodservice and retail channels. And they will become familiar with the board's initiatives to influence and educate the ultimate target: the U.S. consumer.

There will be a total of four virtual meetings in 2010, one per quarter, according to NMB Executive Director William Watson. "We'd like to see industry members participate in all four virtual meetings this year," Mr. Watson said in a Feb. 17 press release. "We're working to keep these web- based events informative, fast-paced and interactive."

In previous years, the board has hosted in-person meetings in cities such as Miami, Los Angeles, McAllen, TX, Nogales, AZ, and in the New York/New Jersey/Philadelphia region, where the majority of mangos enter the United States. By replacing these in-person meetings with a series of virtual meetings, the board hopes to increase the level of interaction with industry members and reduce the meetings budget, allowing more of the organization's resources to go directly into programs to benefit the mango industry.

"We realize this is a big change, but we think the mango industry is ready to embrace the technology that's available and help us be more efficient," Mr. Watson said in the release.

Mango industry members can register for the free event by contacting NMB industry relations specialist Marilda Peele at mpeele@mango.org or via phone at 407/629-7318, ext. 106. Information about the virtual outreach meeting is also available on the board's web site, www.mango.org, under the industry tab on the calendar page.

Input from industry members at the March 3 web conference will help to shape the format and content for future meetings. The board will announce the dates for the other 2010 quarterly virtual outreach meetings as they are set and more information becomes available.