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Produce Business

Deli Business

American Food & Ag Exporter

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Deadlines Approaching For PMA Events/Contests/Award Nominations

Jim Prevor’s Perishable Pundit, August 11, 2009

PMA and the PMA Foundation for Industry Talent (PMA FIT) have recently been bombarding our in-box with deadlines and upcoming events. Thought we would run through a few of these upcoming events:

Reggie Griffin, Vice President Produce Procurement and Merchandising of The Kroger Company, has been kind enough to lend his support to The Tip Murphy Memorial Golf Tournament:

Join me for a game of golf in honor of our late colleague, Terrance “Tip” Murphy, at the Oasis Golf Club & Conference Center in Loveland, Ohio on Monday, September 28, 2009. Lunch will be served at 11 a.m. followed by a 1 p.m. shotgun start. We are registering individual golfers as well as foursomes. In addition, sponsorship opportunities are available.

This tournament gives us the opportunity to remember Tip in one of his favorite settings — the golf course. Tournament proceeds help to build the Tip Murphy Legacy Fund, which was created by Ready Pac, Chiquita, Paramount Citrus and Naturipe Farms to honor Tip’s life and his 15-year career in the produce industry. This fund supports the Tip Murphy Scholarship for Leadership Excellence, a scholarship program managed by the PMA Foundation for Industry Talent to aid industry professionals seeking to advance their leadership skills and better serve the industry.

To register for the event, sponsor, or make a donation, simply visit: Tip Murphy Memorial Golf Tournament. I’m looking forward to seeing you there!

Reggie Griffin
Vice President Produce Procurement and Merchandising
The Kroger Company

Though the Tip Murphy Fund is new, it has, it has already started to do good things — as we pointed out here — like providing scholarships to industry events.

We certainly hope that those who can attend will. It is a good cause and Tip was a friend of many in the industry, including this Pundit, as we discussed here, and we hope to see his name honored by a strong attendance.

Several industry members who would have attended have reached out and told us they can’t go because the date corresponds to the Jewish day of repentance, Yom Kippur. Although this is a golf tournament and not a major industry conference, hopefully next year, with more time to plan, the organizers will be able to schedule the event to allow more complete industry attendance.

In the meantime, the fact that some won’t be able to attend makes it all the more important that those who can attend, do so.

You can register for the event right here.

* * * * * *

When the Pundit had an opportunity to do a joint presentation with Steve Lutz, Executive Vice President at the Perishables Group, for the Produce Solutions Conference earlier this year, Kevin O’Connor was moderating. In a meeting before the event, Kevin asked us to differentiate ourselves from each other. We went into some technical explanation about the distinctions between quantitative and qualitative research. Steve, being quicker of wit, said that he thought his marathon time was better than the Pundit’s… a proposition, which, though surely true, has never actually been put to the test.

Mentioning Steve Lutz is especially apropos, as many years ago, when Steve was President of the Washington Apple Commission, the organization used to sponsor a 5K run at PMA’s (and United’s) annual convention. Now, the PMA Foundation for Industry Talent (PMA FIT) is reviving the idea as a way to both encourage healthy habits and raise a little money. They have scheduled a 5K run to be held October 2, 2009, in conjunction with the PMA convention.

Lots of people have already registered, including the following who have all participated with the Pundit in one way or another:

Gina Nucci, Mann Packing Company
Stephen Tursi, Seald Sweet International
Luke Sears, LGS Sales
Cindy Jewell, California Giant Berry Farms
Tim York, Markon Cooperative
Dave Corsi, Wegmans
Marty Craner, B & C Fresh Sales
Joe Pezzini, Ocean Mist Farms
Dan’l Mackey-Almy, DMA Solutions, Inc.
Doug Meyer, West Pak Avocado
Lisa McNeece, Grimmway Enterprises, Inc.

The race is such a good fit (pun definitely intended) for our industry and for PMA FIT, because it promotes a healthy lifestyle and supports the foundation’s efforts to attract, develop and retain talent for our industry. Certainly we can expect many of the Pack Family/PMA Career Pathways students to participate. And we would urge the classes of 40-under-Forty honorees from Pundit sister publication, PRODUCE BUSINESS, to also lace up their running shoes.

Produce is so aligned with fitness that this race is an inspired fundraiser for PMA FIT and has a decent shot at becoming an industry institution. The race takes place on Friday, October 2nd in Anaheim with a 6:30 a.m. warm up and a 7:00 a.m. race time.

The cost is only $25 if you register now. Everyone gets a free T-shirt and a goodie bag. Medals are given at all age categories up through and including the 70-plus ages.

You can get more info on the race here. You can register here.

* * * * * *

We’ve had the honor of serving as a Judge since the founding of The PMA Impact Award, and we’ve noticed a positive effect on the industry. The existence of the program has raised the consciousness of the role packaging plays in product success. Now it is time for people to get their entries in for this year’s competition:

Through its Impact Award program, PMA seeks to highlight innovative packaging ideas that positively impact produce sales — whether the goal is to catch a consumer’s eye on store shelves, protect a product in transit, extend shelf life or increase efficiencies and sustainability.

Impact Award nominees will vie for the title of exceptional produce or floral packaging innovator in their respective judging category. The six award categories include: food safety; functionality/technology; marketing design; marketing messaging/content; environment/sustainability; and supply chain efficiencies.

“Effective packaging should not only be innovative, it should make an impact,” said Ron McCormick, senior director, local and sustainable sourcing, Walmart Stores Inc. “The Impact Award is about giving recognition to companies who are leading the way with influential produce and floral packaging that demonstrates imagination and encourages others by example to take better advantage of their packaging options.”

A panel of judges that include packaging experts and product industry veterans has been selected to judge the award nominees:

• Leonard Batti, senior partner of MIXTEC Group;

• John Bernardo, founder and owner of Sustainable Innovations, LLC;

• Phil Lempert, founder and owner of The Supermarket Guru®;

• Jim Prevor, founder and editor-in-chief of PRODUCE BUSINESS, DELI BUSINESS and PERISHABLE PUNDIT;

• Paul Singh, Ph.D., professor Michigan State University’s School of Packaging; and

• Dr. Bob Whitaker, PMA’s chief science officer.

Impact Award nominations are due to PMA by Aug. 14. Companies sending in multiple entries must include a separate nomination form with each submission. All nominated packaged products must be currently commercially available.

You can find entry forms and instructions here.

Note that, unlike so many other competitions, There is no cost involved with your packaging submission and there is no limit on the number of entries. You can submit the same product in multiple categories if applicable or multiple products in the same category. There are 6 categories for submissions: Food Safety, Supply Chain Efficiencies, Functionality/Technology, Environment/Sustainability, Marketing Design and Marketing Messaging/Content

All the judges, including this Pundit, are looking forward to seeing your best work.

* * * * * *

We’ve highlighted here and here some of the previous winners of PMA’s Floral Marketer of the Year award.

Floral is a world unto itself, yet is also an integral part of the job of many of the most import retailers in the industry. This award gives the floral-specific executives a chance to shine:

Each year PMA also recognizes an individual who has had noteworthy impact on the supermarket floral retailing industry by bestowing its annual Floral Marketer of the Year award. Nominations are now being accepted for this year’s award, which also will be presented at PMA’s Fresh Summit this October.

We’re looking for an individual who has been at the forefront of floral industry trends and has made significant, positive contributions to entire supermarket floral-retailing industry,” said Cindy Hanauer, director of floral operations at Winn-Dixie Stores, Inc. and chair of PMA’s Floral Council. “Receiving the Floral Marketer of the Year award is a great honor, especially because nominations are made by fellow floral marketers.”

Floral Marketer of the Year nominations will be accepted through Aug. 21. Candidates must be PMA members, and nomination forms require descriptions and examples to support the nominee’s consideration for the award.

Lauree Lincoln of Big Y Foods (at right) after receiving her award with award presenter, Pat Bauer of Temkin International, Inc.

If you are in the floral industry and familiar with an outstanding executive, please consider submitting an online nomination here.

* * * * * *

Finally, PMA is doing its first Food Safety Symposium concurrent with the Texas Produce Association Convention down in Austin, Texas:

Food safety is as much about managing the unknown issues as it is about the known challenges. From grower to supplier to operator to retailer, food safety isn’t just an operational responsibility left in the hands of quality control employees — it’s an executive imperative. Not being prepared for the unknown isn’t just risky. It’s potentially inviting catastrophe — for you, your company and the whole industry.

It’s time for a new way of looking at food safety so we protect our businesses and profitability. Join PMA for its first Food Safety Symposium.

PMA has designed a program that will provide a mix of both strategic and practical information on food safety. This timely event will provide ways for you to:

• Better assess your company’s risk, identifying critical gaps in your operations.

• Learn new business models to better respond to industry and regulatory changes.

• Hear real-world examples of crisis situations that could expose your company to risk.

• Network and discuss your ideas and challenges with other executives.

• Develop strategies that you can put into action right away that will protect your company and lead to greater ROI.

The speakers are as follows:

Dr. Bob Whitaker
Chief Science Officer, PMA

Lorna Christie
Chief Operating Officer, PMA

Elliot Olsen
Partner, Prizker Olsen, P.A.

And registration is limited to 35 people.

This event is the first of these workshops; the second is scheduled for Rochester on October 14, 2009.

You can register here

* * * * * *

Ok… so the Delaware team has a lot of things going on. We urge everyone to participate in what they can. It helps us all learn and grow as individuals and it helps build a stronger industry.

Many thanks to the folks at PMA for all the work involved in producing projects such as these.

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