PMA Fresh Summit 2012 draws record turnout -

PMA Fresh Summit 2012 draws record turnout

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PMA Fresh Summit 2012 draws record turnout

In the reportedly largest U.S. gathering in fresh produce industry history, the 2012 Produce Marketing Association's (PMA) Fresh Summit attracted 21,000 attendees, including 4,000 buyers. The turnout ranks the event as one of the 100 largest trade shows held in the United States.

Attendees from 61 countries gathered in Anaheim, California on Oct. 26-28 to network, explore and strategize better methods to promote fresh fruits and vegetables.

Over 1,000 companies  exhibited in the event, showcasing a vast array of fresh produce and floral products, services and suppliers.

The theme “Say hello to the future” was seen in change-oriented workshops and innovation-focused general sessions.

The convention placed a special emphasis on children. In the Chef Demo Challenge, 11 professional chefs competed to create a flavorful children's dish following the U.S. Department of Agriculture‘s ‘Half the Plate’ guidelines, an effort to encourage young people to make half their plate fruits and vegetables.

Child-judges from the Boys and Girls Club of Stanton selected the date shake by the California Date Administrative Committee for the Kids' Choice Award.

Bryan Silbermann, PMA’s president and CEO, emphasized the importance of promoting flavorful, healthy options for young people.

“The fresh produce industry has made a commitment to delivering flavorful, quality fresh fruits and vegetables – and the kids couldn’t get enough – even asking for a second helping once the contest concluded,” Silbermann said.

Kid-friendly merchandising also made a showing. Unveiled products included the dried-fruit snack  Yummy Fruit Bus, kid-sized fruit Lil Snappers and Disney-themed Ready Pac Cool Cuts® Mini-Meals and Salads.

Next year's conference is scheduled for Oct. 18-20, 2013, in New Orleans, Louisiana, USA.

Related story: State of the Industry talks go back to the future

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