MONTEREY, CA -- At the Produce Marketing Association's Foodservice
Conference & Exposition, here, in July 2009, PMA President Bryan Silbermann
announced a new collaborative initiative among three industry associations
with the objective of doubling produce consumption in foodservice over the
That effort is well underway and continues to be a major focus of PMA. At the
opening general session of the 2010 PMA Foodservice Conference & Expo, Mr.
Silbermann talked about the progress that is being made in building a
program to make the realization of that goal a reality.
Together with the National Restaurant Association and the International
Foodservice Distributors Association, "we have spent the past year in …
building the chassis for the vehicle that is going to carry us along this
highway over the next decade," he said. "We have created an operational plan"
that all three associations are integrating into their work. "A joint message
platform has been crated and is already in use," and "an integrated
educational strategy is in place with programs already featured at NRA and
Perhaps most important, he said, "PMA has created a foodservice 2020
steering committee," which includes members of relevant committees in the
other organizations, "to help us identify priorities" and track progress.
"Integrating the activities of all of these committees will be integral to our
success over the next decade," he said.
This year's PMA Foodservice Conference & Expo set a record for attendance
with registrations "approaching 1,700," Mr. Silbermann told The Produce News
during the expo Aug. 1. One hundred and fifty-three exhibitors participated
in the expo, which is also a record.
The three-day event kicked off Friday, July 30, with a PMA Foundation for
Industry Talent golf tournament benefiting the Nucci Scholarship for Culinary
Innovation. An opening reception was held Friday evening.
Preceding the opening session Saturday morning was a PMA FIT 5K run/walk.
Entrants from Christopher Ranch in Gilroy, CA, finished in the top three in
both the men's and women's divisions.
Panel discussions during the general session and workshops on Saturday
covered a range of topics such as sustainability, food safety and traceability,
the locally grown trend, the need for agriculture to do a better job of telling
its story -- and, of course, what can be done to achieve the goal of doubling
produce consumption in foodservice by 2020.
Other event highlights included a women's networking event and chefs'