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EWIRE

Energy, Excitement, Connections and Growth on Display at Fresh Summit

ATLANTA, Georgia, Oct. 19 - /EWire/ -- The Produce Marketing Association delivered continued growth, value and greater connections at the 2011 Fresh Summit International Convention & Exposition on October 14-17 in Atlanta. A fresh, new PMA brand promise of “Let’s Grow” and updated logo welcomed attendees and set the tone as future-forward thinking was found around every corner of the Georgia World Congress Center. “This year’s turn out has been everything the Fresh Summit Committee and Exhibit Advisory Committee had hoped it would be.” Over 18,000 industry professionals from more than 65 countries had the opportunity to access the latest innovations, discover new connections and business solutions needed to advance their business in a challenging and sophisticated marketplace. “Fresh Summit is a place to connect, be exposed to new ideas and trends and is where the produce industry’s next year begins,” said John Oxford, president and CEO of L&M Companies and PMA’s Fresh Summit Committee chairman. “This year’s turn out has been everything the Fresh Summit Committee and Exhibit Advisory Committee had hoped it would be.” Among the new ideas showcased was the launch of its online social networking space, PMA Xchange. Attendees who used PMA Xchange experienced first-hand how to access real-time insights, build smarter connections and extend the year-round value of PMA beyond the one week at Fresh Summit. “Xchange is just one example of how PMA is using new tools to help our members grow their businesses,” said Kelly Koczak, vice president of marketing, PMA. In Saturday’s annual State of the Industry address, PMA President and CEO Bryan Silbermann challenged his audience to consider how industry members can grow together. He also challenged them to think differently by embracing Supply Chain 2.0, considering themselves in the fresh food business rather than the commodity business, creating rather than waiting for opportunities and making food safety an integral part of their corporate culture. Other highlights of this year’s convention and exposition include: U.S. Deputy Secretary of Agriculture Kathleen Merrigan’s appearance at Friday’s opening general session. Earlier in the day, Silbermann and PMA chairman Rich Dachman, of Sysco Corp., joined Merrigan and students at Carl Renfroe Middle School in Decatur, Ga. for a lunch highlighting produce and healthy eating. The 2011-2012 PMA Board of Directors, chaired by Dachman, took office. More than 1,000 exhibitors and sub-exhibitors showcased their hottest products and services and continued their annual practice of donating all remaining produce, this year to the Atlanta Community Food Bank. PMA’s annual Impact Awards: Excellence in Packaging recognized five innovators in produce and floral packaging. Dr. Terril Nell, professor and chairman of University of Florida’s Environmental Horticulture Department, received this year’s Floral Marketer of the Year award. Enhanced communications throughout the show with PMA TV, the Fresh Summit Daily newspaper and the mobile app. Keynote speakers including former Starbucks CEO Jim Donald and Travelocity.com founder and former CEO Terry Jones as well as educational programming and live panel discussions expanded attendees’ knowledge and leadership. Next year’s Fresh Summit International Convention & Exposition will be held Oct. 26-29, in Anaheim, Calif. The 2012 event is already more than 80 percent booked with exhibitors. For more information, visit www.freshsummit.com. 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 business solutions that expand business opportunities and increase sales and consumption. For more information, visit www.pma.com.

For more information:

Produce Marketing Association Glenn R. Boyet, Senior Director, Public Relations +1 302-738-7100, ext. 3017 gboyet@pma.com or Meg Miller, Manager, Public Relations +1 302-738-7100, ext. 3031 mmiller@pma.com

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