Newark, Del. — Produce Marketing Association (PMA) will host its 11th annual Fresh Connections: Mexico conference and expo May 23-24 at the Poliforum in León, Guanajuato, Mexico. The event includes an impressive lineup of international speakers who will address hot topics in the fresh produce industry.
PMA will bring together produce suppliers and buyers for networking, education sessions, and an expo featuring international product and service providers offering business solutions across the supply chain.
Vicente Fox, Former President of Mexico
“Fast Forward – The Impact of the Mexico Presidential Election and NAFTA”
Former Mexican President Vicente Fox talks about two of the hottest topics that are keeping business leaders up at night.
Elena Ozeritskaya, Founder, Fresh Insight
“The Evolving Consumer and How to Meet Their Needs”
Internationally known consumer expert from the Netherlands to talk about consumer and megatrends, inspiring companies to get closer to their customers.
John Wang, CEO and President, Mr. Avocado and Lantao
“Building Your Global Brand in China”
Chinese importer and entrepreneur founded Lantao in 2008, fulfilling his dream to import premium organic fruits from around the world into China.
Claudette Quevedo, Food Safety Director for Mexico and Latin America, Driscoll’s
“Building Your Global Brand in China”
A biochemical engineer with 18 years of experience within the fruit and vegetable sector.
Robert J. Whitaker, PH.D., Chief Science & Technology Officer, PMA
“Increase Your Bottom Line – Using Technology to Solve Your Most Important Business Problems”
Known throughout North America and many parts of the world as a food safety and technology expert, Whitaker’s presentation will focus on improving your business with technology.
Also attending are produce buyers from the United States, Mexico and abroad; top Mexican retailers, growers, shippers, processors, distributors and wholesalers; as well as international importers. Buyers include Alsuper, Calimax, City Club (Soriana), Tiendas Soriana, Super Chivas, Super del Norte, Walmart and more.
“Most of Mexico’s major retailers attend this event, offering an unparalleled networking experience. PMA Fresh Connections: Mexico does what its name says — it connects people with each other, opportunities, new products, information, technology and more,” said Nancy Tucker, PMA Regional Vice President for Latin America. “Our conference sessions and speaker lineup are impressive, and participants will learn from international experts in their fields.”
Center for Growing Talent to attract, grow young professionals
The Center for Growing Talent (CGT) will host a Career Pathways program for the first time in Mexico at the Fresh Connections event. Career Pathways is designed to inform top university students about potential careers in the fresh produce and floral industry. The pilot program in Mexico follows a model that CGT has successfully used for 15 years to attract the best and brightest university students to the industry in several other countries around the world.
One professor and 10 students from the University of Guanajuato are scheduled to participate in the Career Pathways pilot program, and they will attend several events at the conference. Each student will be assigned to one of 10 volunteer Career Ambassadors, most of whom are members of PMA’s Mexico Country Council and all are employed in the fresh produce industry.
In their role, Career Ambassadors serve as mentors and industry advisers. They will answer students’ questions, introduce students to other industry professionals, and simply help the students embrace the myriad of opportunities and rewards the produce and floral industry has to offer.
Also, CGT will once again host a Young Professionals Networking Coffee Hour to start the conference. Geared toward produce professionals 35 and younger, participants will start their day May 23 meeting peers and expanding their networks.
According to Alicia Calhoun, CGT Vice President, Talent Portfolio, the morning networking session will provide an opportunity for young professionals to mix, mingle and exchange ideas with their contemporaries in the industry.
CGT is a nonprofit charitable organization that provides a continuum of support for talent across the entire produce and floral supply chains for companies of all sizes.
About Produce Marketing Association
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 pma.com.
About the Center for Growing Talent
Center for Growing Talent was created by the produce and floral industry to grow the people across our industry. We help attract, develop and retain the talent needed to feed our industry’s growth, including educational programming and networking events. We offer a variety of industry-specific solutions across the career continuum, for university students, young professionals and women, emerging leaders, mid-level individuals and senior executives. We were created December 2005 as the PMA Education Foundation and later became known as PMA Foundation for Industry Talent. In 2016, we evolved into Center for Growing Talent by PMA and Center for Growing Talent in 2018. For more information, visit GrowingTalentbyPMA.org.