PMA Foodservice to be held as digital conference

pmafoodThe Produce Marketing Association announced that its annual Foodservice Conference & Expo will be postponed this year due to the coronavirus pandemic.

In a May 1 email, PMA said, “We have made the difficult, yet prudent decision to postpone the PMA Foodservice Conference until 2021. Each week through our virtual town halls, we have listened with our foodservice members across the global supply chain as they reacted, adapted, and found new ways to survive, and in each conversation, they collectively believe there is one solution.”

In its place, PMA will shift to a digital format called PMA Foodservice: Delivered, which it is calling “an innovative and immersive digital experience, providing the connections to people and ideas to help the entire foodservice industry around the world continue on the road to revitalization.”

The digital event will take place July 20-24, and PMA said more details will be available in coming days, and it invites the industry to submit ideas and questions.

“We’ve been in constant contact with the industry around the world and it is clear that now, more than ever, our members seek opportunities to make meaningful connections, spur innovative solutions, and share key insights that will help our entire industry move forward, ” said PMA CEO Cathy Burns.  “Just as we have for the past four decades, PMA is committed to bringing the foodservice community together. While we won’t be physically gathering, the spirit of PMA in Monterey will carry on in new ways.  We owe it to our members and the industry to do all we can as they revitalize the foodservice industry.”

“Center for Growing Talent continues to meet our members and engage talent wherever they are,” said Center for Growing Talent executive director, Doug Bohr.  “In the past two months, we launched a new series of events that have reached three times the number of students than in all of last year and provided unique networking and development opportunities for young professionals and women in our industry. This week we announced a new virtual Wellness Walk and Run Challenge inviting members to join us in a multi-week event to support their health and wellness and raise funds to support our talent attraction efforts on behalf of the industry. We look forward to sharing our plans for how talent will be a part of the new Foodservice: Delivered event.”

“Consumers lives were changed so abruptly, disrupting in their routines including access to their favorite and familiar foodservice establishments,” said Lauren M. Scott, chief marketing officer of PMA. “It’s inspiring how the produce industry has innovated and adapted to serve their customers in new ways. Everyone in the supply chain has the opportunity to understand the consumer as they have direct impact on their business decisions, now more than ever before.  I can’t wait for us to continue championing getting produce on the plates to deliver the Joy of Fresh.”

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