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|Thursday, June 18, 2009||11:07|
Foodservice and produce leaders from across the supply chain will want to make certain they are in the room July 25 when industry principals convene to discuss the implications of new research about produce’s role in growing the foodservice industry’s business at Produce Marketing Association’s (PMA) 2009 Foodservice Conference & Exposition, being held July 24-26 in Monterey, Calif.
This year’s conference kicks off with the “Executive Think Tank: Summary and Discussion” – the first public report on new research into foodservice operators’ attitudes and input about produce, and what key industry leaders had to say in reaction about how to increase use of produce in foodservice. This opening session will take place immediately on the heels of and will summarize a facilitated “Think Tank” discussion among top executives representing the restaurant, distributor and produce industries.
These efforts are all part of a landmark multi-phase project by PMA, National Restaurant Association and International Foodservice Distributors Association (IFDA). The three associations announced a new collaboration earlier this year to identify opportunities to increase fresh produce use in foodservice to promote healthy lifestyles.
“Produce is both a very important part of a healthy diet and a versatile ingredient in the culinary arts,” said IFDA President and CEO Mark Allen. “By conducting research on foodservice operator attitudes to fresh produce and then engaging high-level industry executives in dialogue through the Think Tank, we can identify opportunities to increase fresh produce use in foodservice.”
“Insights gained from working in collaboration across the supply chain are always more impactful and valuable,” said National Restaurant Association President and CEO Dawn Sweeney. “The restaurant industry is dedicated to meeting the growing demands of food safety and nutrition, and this Think Tank is a great opportunity to begin that work with the produce and distributor community at large.”
The conference’s opening session will first summarize findings of a comprehensive operator research initiative underway now that is examining opportunities and barriers for greater produce use in the foodservice sector. This research, led by the National Restaurant Association with assistance from produce industry leaders, will also set the stage for a first-ever Think Tank discussion among senior thought leaders from across the supply chain. Association leaders will then summarize the discussion and outcomes of that Think Tank meeting, which will take place on July 24 and is being sponsored by Markon Cooperative.
The associations expect that the first Think Tank discussion will serve as the basis for future high-level dialogues within the foodservice and produce sectors to find solutions that benefit everyone – consumers, operators and their produce suppliers.
The operator research exploring a range of topics, including: historical and anticipated trends in operators’ use of fresh produce; key influencers of purchasing patterns; satisfaction levels with the produce they serve; attitudes about sourcing seasonally vs. year-round; and the weight they give to motivators like flavor and taste, and sustainability in making produce decisions. A summary report available to the associations’ memberships is planned.
Register by June 26 to receive discounted registration rates. Foodservice operators can receive significant discounts on registration rates, but space is limited so register early. Advance registration ends July 10. For more information and to register online, visit www.pma.com/foodservice.
About Produce Marketing Association (PMA)
Founded in 1949, the Produce Marketing Association is the leading trade association representing nearly 3,000 companies from every segment of the global produce and floral supply chain. Members rely on PMA year round for the business solutions they need to increase sales and consumption, build strong professional relationships, and expand their business opportunities. For more information, visit www.pma.com.
About International Foodservice Distributors Association (IFDA)
IFDA is a Washington, D.C.-based trade organization representing foodservice distributors throughout the United States, Canada and internationally. IFDA’s 160+ members include broadline, systems and specialty foodservice distributors that supply food and related products to restaurants, institutions and other food away from home foodservice operations. IFDA members operate more than 700 facilities, and sell more than $100 billion in food and related products to the fastest growing sector in the food industry. For more information, visit www.ifdaonline.org.
|Company: National Restaurant Association|
|Address: 1200 17th St., NW - 20036 Washington DC|
|Country: UNITED STATES|
|Phone: +1 (202)-973-3677|
|Fax: +1 (202)-973-3961|