Retailers and grower/shippers aren't the only ones affected by the forces of change. PMA will unveil its new strategic plan during Fresh Summit 2000. According to Bryan Silbermann, PMA president, this "master plan" will include two updated elements:
recipes and nutritional facts. The page has quickly gained a high profile as retailers and produce companies have added it as a link to their own Web sites.
"We really backed away from doing consumer-direct promotions in the early 1990s when we created the Produce for Better Health Foundation," said Silbermann. "Now, with the Internet, and the ability to create an on-line resource and promotional tool for all our members, we're finding that we can do a lot more than the PBHF can do alone."
For example, aboutproduce.com's content is more diverse than the foundation's primary mission of promoting the 5 A Day program. Aboutproduce.com includes dialogue on irradiation, food safety and other consumer-oriented issues that are beyond the scope of 5 A Day, he said.
Global outreach: Until recently, PMA was considered an organization that represented the North American produce industry and worked with global trading partners. Today, there is an acknowledgement that the produce industry has become truly global in nature, and PMA's role must expand as well. According to Silbermann, the organization is increasingly participating in, and organizing, special discussion groups, Web sites, educational materials, industry-related tours and trade events -- all of which has created "a network of produce interests worldwide."
This change can easily be seen in the growing international presence at successive Fresh Summits, where people will come from Chile to do business with people from Europe, he said.
"The level of [business] interest in Buenos Aires is just as high as it is in Boston. It tells you the same issues are being faced, no matter where you are," he said.