Fresh produce and floral professionals from across the supply chain and around the world will gather during the 2016 Produce Marketing Association (PMA) Fresh Connections World Tour. The tour will kick off in Shanghai, China, in March and end in Santiago, Chile, in November. Overall, the tour includes stops in five of the seven continents of the world: North and South America, Africa, Asia and Australia. Many event locations feature an exposition alongside the conference for industry members to showcase their products and solutions. Attendees also will discuss new market trends and fresh ideas with industry experts and learn about current industry-related topics, issues and solutions.
“Fresh Connections events are unique opportunities for our members to have face-to-face discussions with other professionals and experts about the industry,” said PMA Chairman Russ Mounce, VP, divisional merchandise manager of produce, Sam’s Club, Bentonville, Arkansas. “The Fresh Connections World Tour allows our members to connect with old friends while developing new relationships to improve their businesses.”
The tour features nine stops, including:
Shanghai, China (Fresh Connections: China)—March 17
Now in its fourth year, this growing event connects the global supply chain with the burgeoning Chinese marketplace. The event offers a strong educational program that identifies new market segments in China, food safety and supply chain innovations, leading trends in production and leadership growth. New this year is a business roundtable to match Chinese buyers with global suppliers.
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, U.S. (Fresh Connections: Retail)—April 5 and 6
During this Fresh Connections, fresh produce professionals will meet with retailers, including Acme Markets, Ahold USA, Allegiance Retail Services, Associated Wholesale Grocers, Associated Grocers Baton Rouge, C&S Wholesale Grocers, Harp’s Food Stores, HelloFresh, Redner’s Markets, Southeastern Grocers and Wakefern Food Corp. The event’s education sessions will explore dining and flavor trends, marketing strategies for tech-savvy consumers and consumer collaboration. Attendees also can tour the Philadelphia Wholesale Produce Market.
Leon, GTO, Mexico (Fresh Connections: Mexico)—May 11 and 12
This event is Mexico’s only event that gathers the entire fresh produce supply chain. It features an exposition with personal networking opportunities to discuss new products and services with exhibitors. Attendees will also experience education sessions that offer insight on supply chain efficiencies, consumer trends, marketing and transparency, food safety and more.
Brisbane, Australia (Fresh Connections: Australia-New Zealand)—May 17 and 19
Fresh Connections: Australia-New Zealand will return to Brisbane. The conference and trade show will attract fresh fruit, vegetable and floral professionals from the entire global supply chain, including importers and exporters, growers, packers and marketers, research and technical experts, foodservice suppliers and more. For more information, visit pmafreshconnections.com.au/w.
Anaheim, California, U.S. (Fresh Connections: Floral Anaheim)—June 9
Fresh Connections: Floral Anaheim will focus on retail trends gathered as part of the PMA and Food Marketing Institute’s (FMI) current research: “Trends in Mass-Market Floral Buying, Operations, Sourcing and Merchandising.” Education will focus on sharing the business, marketing and operational metrics derived from the research as well as understanding how to use these trends to enhance your bottom line.
Miami, Florida, U.S. (Fresh Connections: Floral Miami)—July 14
This event will feature insights on marketing strategies and consumer and retail trends through numerous education sessions specific to the floral industry. Attendees will meet with prospective partners to build relationships, discover new opportunities and create innovations.
Pretoria, South Africa (Fresh Connections: Southern Africa Conference & Expo)—Aug. 17 and 18
Now in its sixth year, Fresh Connections: Southern Africa Conference & Expo will connect attendees with industry experts from South Africa and around the world. Education sessions will offer insights to prepare for the growing demand of fresh produce and floral in the region.
São Paulo, Brazil (Fresh Connections: Brazil)—Aug. 18
Taking place once again in São Paulo, this event will bring together retailers, grower-shippers and wholesalers that wish to collaborate with other industry professionals to develop new opportunities and market insights. Strong conference sessions will bring together global and local expertise.
Santiago, Chile (PMA Fruittrade Latin America)—Nov. 9 and 10
After another successful year, PMA, Fedefruta and Yentzen Group will again partner to present PMA Fruittrade Latin America. Members from the entire fresh produce industry supply chain will gather for buyers meetings, education sessions and an exposition.