One of the (many) interesting things I’ve found about my time in the fresh produce industry is watching the evolution of business practices. When I came on board, Price Look Up codes were just beginning to be adopted; now the focus is on the Databar. The same holds true with technology.
Recently PMA announced a new focus on technology and how we’re helping members understand and connect with future opportunities. So I asked Dr. Bob Whitaker, PMA’s chief science and technology officer, to share his perspectives in this brief Q&A:
Why are we focusing on technology?
“We know that technology holds the key to helping us feed the world through innovation. It’s PMA’s job to help members glean inside knowledge about cutting-edge, emerging technologies, and how to apply that knowledge to improve their bottom line. We’re going to help members do that, not only by introducing the industry to the possibilities, but also educating them on what problems these technologies could really help alleviate, and how.”
What resources do we offer in technology?
“We’ve been working with members over the last several months to grow the value we’ll deliver in the Science and Technology area of our new strategic plan. Building on existing resources in the field of technology like UPC Link, Databar Online and the Food Safety Modernization Act Resource Center, we invested resources in developing resources that are geared toward building profitability and global demand for fresh produce. This year, we’ll have three new offerings – two unique events and a series of year-round technology content in the areas of food safety detection, production input management, and data science.
What tech-focused events are coming up on our calendar that members may be interested in?
“We’ve got two scheduled for this year. On March 26 in St. Petersburg, Florida, we will host PMA Tech Talks, where a handful of speakers will talk about technologies that are doing great things in other industries, and then bring them home to produce. Then on May 21-22 in San Diego, California, we’re holding Tech Knowledge, which will help companies looking for education and connections to technology that’s on the very near horizon. Additionally, entrepreneurs and solution providers will have the chance to connect with potential investors and other key decision makers.”
To get more details on the upcoming technology offerings, visit the PMA website, where we’ve also added a new Tech Center that highlights all available member resources.