Turnout for this year’s PMA Fresh Summit looks a lot different from other years, with many attendees showing up to the online event in jammies and slippers. But numbers are impressive, to be sure, and any doubts about the resiliency of the industry are being put in their rightful “circular file” place.
Fresh fruits and vegetables rock, and the industry’s ability to pivot under pressure is virtually amazing.
PMA CEO Cathy Burns kicked off this week’s virtual PMA Marketplace with enthusiasm and resolve, noting that while events were being either canceled or postponed in the wake of COVID-19, the retail demand for produce was unabated, and in fact saw its historically highest weeks in late March and early April.
Sales have continued to be high into the fall, she said, and many produce shippers note the positive impact of the Farmers to Families Food Box Program on the industry.
Following the shutdown, quick and innovative action by PMA, United Fresh and other associations has proven that successful sales and marketing, with all the necessary meetings and negotiations and exchange of ideas and information, can be done and done well.
PMA Fresh Summit formally kicked off Monday, and in a show brief distributed Oct. 13, organizers tallied the number of engagements occurring before the official PMA event even began. The indication is that the Association’s decision to go virtual was spot-on.
A full agenda can be accessed at https://www.pma.com/events/freshsummit/schedule.