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Perishable Pundit
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American Food & Ag Exporter

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Is It Possible To Have A PMA Chairman From Outside The US?

Jim Prevor’s Perishable Pundit, November 3, 2006

During the course of the spinach/E. coli outbreak, we wrote several times that there was a real lack of coordination between the public health authorities of the U.S., Canada and Mexico.

The Produce Marketing Association has long been interested in expanding internationally both to better serve its U.S. membership, which is now so involved with items that trade internationally, and to learn how PMA can be helpful to companies outside the U.S. borders.

As part of this effort, PMA has long had executives from other countries on its board of directors. At the recent PMA Convention in San Diego, California, PMA announced that Rob Robson, Chief Executive Officer of OneHarvest, Carole Park, Queensland, Australia, will be the first non-American to serve as a member of the executive committee of the PMA’s board of directors.

Because of the need for quick response on many issues and the necessity of giving the full board recommendations on many subjects, a great deal of very important work is done in the executive committee of the board.

My wife and I have had the pleasure of spending some time with Rob and his wife, Pamela. Rob is a true visionary in the industry, having transformed a family-owned market wholesaler into a marketer of innovative products and the leading fresh-cut manufacturer for retail on the continent… and both Rob and his wife are a lot of fun.

Jackie Caplan Wiggins, Vice President/Secretary of Frieda’s Inc., was taken in as a stray by them when she was a kid backpacking around Australia, and that was the start of a beautiful friendship. It was Karen Caplan who introduced the Pundit to Rob some years ago.

It is an inspired choice and raises the obvious question: Is it possible to imagine a Chairman of PMA from so far away?

I still remember leaving Australia some years ago after having been brought down by the Woolworths Supermarket Chain to give the keynote address for the United Fresh Association meeting in Newcastle. The night before my plane left, hundreds of people held a banquet in my honor and they sent me off with a rousing rendition of Waltzing Matilda.

Congratulations to Rob Robson and to PMA for this breakthrough.

Want to know more about Rob’s Company, OneHarvest? Here is the way they define themselves:

The OneHarvest Values are:

Character First

Family is a Priority

A safe and healthy environment for our people

Learning, innovation and teamwork

Community and environmental responsibility

Relationships with partners, which are customer focused

Reward and recognition that is linked to Business Value

Quality and safety of processes, product and services

Today, OneHarvest is a 100% Australian owned, third generation family business, continuing to support regional and rural Australia.

You can search the OneHarvest website here.

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