Friday’s News from Fresh Summit 2015

Randall Weiseman Alabama, Citrus, Florida, Fruits, General, Georgia, Industry News Release, Specialty Crops, Vegetables

From the Produce Marketing Association:

pma-fresh-summitAtlanta, Ga. — During the annual State of the Industry presentation, PMA CEO Bryan Silbermann and PMA President Cathy Burns touched on a number of trends that are driving change in the produce and floral industries – ranging from shifts in consumer buying behavior highlighted by the association’s research practice; advances in approaches to attracting and retaining talent; convergences in the food safety and technology arenas with the potential to ensure even safer fresh produce; and diverse strategies and tactics to drive consumer demand for fresh produce and floral. A highlight of the presentation was a congratulatory video from First Lady Michelle Obama, thanking the industry for its outstanding work in promoting fruits and vegetables – with special acknowledgement for those leaders participating in both the eat brighter!™ and FNV initiatives.

“I want to thank all of you for your outstanding work to promote fruits and vegetables across this country,” said First Lady Michelle Obama. “Together we’re making the healthy choice the easy choice for families. And, we’re showing the power of marketing to promote healthier products, and the results have been beyond anything we could have imagined.”

On the heels of that message, PMA announced a strategic alliance with the Entertainment Resource & Marketing Association (ERMA) –the association of entertainment marketing professionals – to bring fresh produce center stage through television shows, movies and online entertainment. As part of the alliance, ERMA has agreed to advocate the use of fresh produce in entertainment production and track that use. PMA has agreed to assist ERMA to make generic, fresh produce available as those entertainment opportunities arise. Produce companies that may want to feature specific products or brands will still be able to use product placement companies to do so. ERMA members work on product placement.

During the address, Bryan and Cathy also announced that the Center for Produce Safety’s Campaign for Produce Safety had grown from $4.6 million to $6 million; this includes PMA’s contribution of $1 million.
Produce Marketing Association’s 2015-2016 Board of Directors Announced
This year’s PMA Board of Directors signifies global diversity with companies from more than 9 countries and women representing more than one quarter of the leadership. Elected to chair PMA’s Board of Directors is Russ Mounce, vice president, divisional merchandise manager of produce, for Sam’s Club, Bentonville, Ark. Five other officers and 29 directors join him.

Also elected as officers to the 2015-2016 PMA board are:
• Immediate Past Chair Kevin Fiori, senior vice president of sales and marketing, Sunkist Growers, Valencia, Calif.
• Chair-Elect John Oxford, president and CEO, L&M, Raleigh, N.C.
• Secretary/Treasurer Drew Yurko
• Vice Chair Elliott Grant, CEO, ShopWell, San Carlos, Calif.
• Vice Chair Paul Kneeland, vice president of fresh merchandising, Fresh Formats, Canton, Mass.

Together with PMA CEO Bryan Silbermann, the officers comprise PMA’s Executive Committee.

The remaining 2015-2016 directors of the association are:
• Manuel Alcaino, president, Decofrut, Vitacura, Chile
• Robert Barkley, CEO, Barkley Ag Enterprises, Yuma, Ariz.
• Jose Antonio Gomez, chief commercial officer, Camposol SA, Lima, Peru
• Soren Bjorn, executive vice president, Americas, Driscoll’s, Watsonville, Calif.
• Jim DiMenna, CEO, Red Sun Farms, Ontario, Canada
• Jeff Dunn, president and CEO, Bolthouse Farms, Bakersfield, Calif.
• Robin Fisher, category manager, P.F. Chang’s China Bistro, Scottsdale, Ariz.
• Ana Hooper, vice president total quality, Darden, Orlando, Fla.
• Derrick Jenkins, vice president of produce and floral division, Wakefern Food Corporation, Elizabeth, N.J.
• David Lake, CEO, 4Earth Farms, Commerce, Calif.
• Cathy Leffingwell, produce management director, Brinker International, Dallas, Tex.
• Lam Lin, general manager fresh foods sourcing, C.R. Vanguard, Shenzhen, China
• Inés Masallach, marketing director, Imalinx Latin America, San Cristobal, Mexico
• Irénke Meekma, managing director, Bakker Barendrecht BV, Ridderkerk, Netherlands
• Howard Nager, vice president of marketing, Domex Superfresh Growers, Yakima, Wash.
• Cynthia Nunes, vice president fresh fruit North America, Dole Fresh Fruit Co., Westlake Village, Calif.
• Jaime Peisach, president, Passion Growers, Miami, Fla.
• Jim Sarcletti, director of produce and floral, SuperValu, Minneapolis, Minn.
• Kent Shoemaker, CEO, Lipman, Immokalee, Fla.
• Oleen Smethurst, assistant general merchandise manager, Costco Wholesale Canada, Ottawa, Canada
• Tara Smith Vighetti, partner and director of sales, Smith Packing, Saint Augustine, Fla.
• Dan Sutton, vice president of produce procurement , Albertsons, Boise, Idaho
• Thomas Wheeler, director of produce operations, Mollie Stone’s Markets, Mill Valley, Calif.
• Jin Ju Wilder, director of corporate strategy, Valley Fruit & Produce, Los Angeles, Calif.
• Max Yeater, president, Pro*Act LLC, Monterey, Calif.
• Tommie van Zyl, CEO, ZZ2, Polokwane, South Africa
• ex officio Dick Spezzano, chair, PMA Foundation for Industry Talent, president, Spezzano Consulting Service, Monrovia, Calif.
• ex officio John Said, chair, PMA Australia-New Zealand, Managing Director, Fresh Select, Victoria, Australia

Retiring from the board are:
• Miguel Allamand, president, Exportadora Subsole, SA; Santiago, Chile
• John Anderson, chair, president and CEO, The Oppenheimer Group, British Columbia, Canada
• Vernon Crowder, senior vice president, senior analyst, Rabobank Group, Fresno, Calif.
• Ziggy Kwarcinski, general manager core fresh, Woolworths Supermarkets, Bella Vista, Australia
• Craig Ignatz, vice president of produce and floral merchandising, Giant Eagle, Inc., Pittsburgh, Pa.
• Alec Leach, president, Taylor Farms, Salinas, Calif.
• Joe Loiacano, senior manager of fresh produce and frozen foods, Wendy’s Quality Supply Chain Co-op, Dublin, Ohio
• Leonardo Miyao, perishables commercial director, Grupo Pão de Açucar, Sao Paulo, Brazil
• Don Murphy, director of produce and floral, Grocery Outlet, Emeryville, Calif.
• Steve Patricio, president and CEO, Westside Produce, Firebaugh, Calif.
• Tim Riley, president, The Giumarra Companies, Los Angeles, Calif.
• Miguel Usabiaga, vice president, Empacadora GAB Inc., Hidalgo, Tex.
• Johan van Deventer, managing director, Freshmark (Pty), Ltd., Cape Town, South Africa
• Robert Verloop, executive vice president of marketing, Naturipe Farms LLC, Salinas, Calif.

2015-2016 PMA Foundation for Industry Talent Board of Directors Announced
Serving two-year terms, Dick Spezzano, president of Spezzano Consulting Service, Monrovia, California, will remain chair of the PMA Foundation for Industry Talent’s Board of Directors. Also retaining their positions are:
• Immediate Past Chair Jim Leimkuhler, president, Progressive Produce, Los Angeles, Calif.
• Chair-Elect Leonard Batti, president, Taylor Farms Florida, Orlando, Fla.
• Secretary/Treasurer Drew Yurko

Together, with Margi Prueitt, PMA senior vice president and PMA Foundation executive director, the officers comprise of PMA Foundation’s executive committee.

New members elected to a two-year term include:
• Juan Alarcon, CEO, Turbana Corporation, Coral Gables, Fla.
• Jerry Butt, president and CEO, MIXTEC Group, Glendale, Calif.
• Mark Munger, vice president sales & marketing, 4Earth Farms, Commerce, Calif.
• LeighAnne Thomsen, marketing manager, Mission Produce, Oxnard, Calif.
• Tom Wonderly, chief human resources officer, Castellini Company, Highland Heights, Ky.

Continuing members of PMA Foundation 2015-2016 board are:

• Aribel Beck, CFO and vice president of finance and administration, Naturipe Farms LLC, Estero, Fla.
• Chris Cervini, president, Lakeside Produce Co., Leamington, Ontario, Canada
• Marty Craner, president, B&C Fresh Sales, Orange, Calif.
• Tony D’Amico, president, To-Jo Mushrooms, Avondale, Pa.
• Gabriel Fonzo, CEO, Integrity, SA, Santiago, Chile
• Mikel Hancock, senior director of produce and floral, Walmart, Bentonville, Ark.
• Kelly Jacob, vice president of retail, Pro*Act, LLC, Houston, Tex.
• Melany Jolly, executive vice president, Cream of the Crop, Inc., Carmel, Calif.
• Jill Overdorf, director of business and culinary development/corporate chef, Coosemans Shipping of LA, Vernon, Calif.
• Doug Ranno, president, Harvest Sensations, Los Angeles, Calif.
• Dave Rhodes, director of produce and floral, Marsh Supermarkets, Indianapolis, Ind.
• Jim Richter, CEO, Wilcox Fresh, Overland Park, Kans.
• Bryan Silbermann, CEO, PMA, Newark, Del.
• Jorge Suarez, director human resources, Earthbound Farm, The WhiteWave Foods Company, San Juan Bautista, Calif.
• Larry Zink, industry relations and outreach coordinator, Michigan State University, East Lansing, Michigan

Taylor named 2015 Robert L. Carey Leadership Award winner
Bruce Taylor, founder and CEO of Taylor Farms, received the 2015 Robert L. Carey Leadership Award during Friday’s general session. A committee of five past PMA leaders selected Bruce in recognition of his outstanding leadership and an uncommon commitment to PMA, the PMA Foundation for Industry Talent, the produce industry and his community.

“He rose through the ranks of volunteer leaders of PMA, becoming a board member twice, and I had the pleasure of serving with him the first time,” said last year’s winner Dick Spezzano, while presenting the award to Taylor. “His second PMA tour culminated as chair of the board in 2008. During that time, he advocated strongly for many innovations, none as vital as the creation of the Center for Produce Safety. Not only did he encourage his fellow leaders to support PMA giving $2 million to launch the Center, but he also pledged $2 million of his company’s own funds to match this. He gave to this vital research initiative because he understood the obligations of leadership and the power of example.”

“Bob Carey was a special man and a great friend and mentor of mine. I am deeply honored to accept the Carey Leadership award.” said Taylor.

Five companies honored for packaging contributions
Seventy-one submissions from 57 companies vied for five 2015 PMA Impact Awards: Excellence in Packaging. A panel of judges looked for products that lead as examples in produce and floral packaging, demonstrating originality with emphasis on connecting with consumers, safeguarding the product inside, sustaining the environment and improving supply chain efficiencies. Judges scored each entry in five areas: marketing, food safety, supply chain efficiency, sustainability excellence and consumer convenience excellence.

Winners of the 2015 Impact Award announced at the Friday general session were:

• Botanical Food Company Inc./Gourmet Garden, for their Gourmet Garden Lightly Dried Herbs & Spices
• Mann Packing Company, for their Culinary Cuts®
• Mucci Farms, for their Hot Shots Mixed Hot Peppers Re-sealable Tray with Cardboard Pocket Sleeve
• Naturipe Farms, LLC, for their “On-the-Go” Fresh Blueberry Blends
• Ocean Mist Farms, for their Season & Steam Kalettes

Focus on inspiring kids to eat healthier
Students from the Bethune Elementary School in Atlanta, Ga., participated in the 5th annual Sensory Experience Contest alongside 11 buyer judges on Friday, Oct. 23, where they put 10 kid-friendly recipes to the test for flavor, aroma and presentation, among other criteria. Two recipes were chosen as winners by the buyers and students, respectively:

• Buyers’ Choice: Green Giant Fresh, Sweet Potato Cinnamon Rolls
• Kids’ Choice: Sun Pacific, Cuties Fruit Salad

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