PMA Board Prioritizes Global Outreach

NEWARK, Del. -- In its continuing commitment to respond to and represent members' needs worldwide, the board of the Produce Marketing Association here will review plans to expand PMA's global presence at its meeting next week in Orlando, Fla.
"PMA's volunteer leadership boards [comprise] international industry leaders who are instrumental in identifying multiple ways to support members through information, products, and services that are relevant," said PMA president Bryan Silbermann, noting that PMA's boards include leaders from South Africa, Canada, Australia, and Mexico. Two additional non-U.S. retailer members are expected to join the retail board in October, "bringing with them very valuable perspectives on produce retailing from around the world," said Silbermann.

One of the association's leadership groups, the PMA International Council, consists of volunteers with extensive experience in international trade. Two months ago PMA's International Council met in Shanghai, China to focus on China's current and future role as a significant exporter and importer of fruits and vegetables.

Nancy Tucker, PMA's v.p. of global development, said: "Our already strong commitment to global business development is growing. PMA serves 2,100 companies across the global produce and floral supply chain in more than 45 countries, including Europe, Asia, Africa, Latin America, Australia/New Zealand and North America. This past year PMA added two representatives located in Australia and Mexico to better communicate and understand the needs of our members in those areas."

PMA's communications are increasingly bilingual, and many of its products and information will soon be available in both English and Spanish, said Tucker, noting the association already has several bi- and multilingual staffers to assist members.

PMA's global educational outreach is also being extended through greater participation by its volunteer leaders. A seminar focusing on industry trends in the retail and foodservice sectors will be held June 1 in Sydney, Australia. In late August PMA will also host a seminar on retail and wholesale training needs and opportunities in Mexico. Based on research recently conducted for PMA by Euromonitor in Mexico, the event will focus on identifying tactics to improve produce handling and merchandising practices at the distribution and retail levels.

Additionally, PMA's Web site is being redesigned and, when completed, will be more member-friendly to users worldwide. A significant portion will be designed specifically for Spanish-speaking members who will be able to choose to receive produce and floral industry news in Spanish, in addition to member information currently available in English only.
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