Posts Tagged “Produce Marketing Association”

Produce Associations are Pleased with Trade Agreement between U.S., Mexico, Canada

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A33by Produce Marketing Association

Newark, Del. – Richard Owen, the vice president of Global Membership & Engagement of the Produce Marketing Association, issued the following statement regarding the conclusion of negotiations between the United States, Canada and Mexico to update the free trade agreement among the three countries:

“The members of the Produce Marketing Association are pleased that negotiators have concluded discussions on an updated United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA) on trade.  A single agreement is the best way to address the extensive relationships and investments in produce and floral production and sales that have developed in North America. This agreement is consistent with our overarching goals of free and fair trade and we hope that the new agreement will be quickly ratified by all three countries.

We are encouraged by the certainty that this new agreement provides to companies doing business in North America. The 6-year review and 16-year duration of the agreement give confidence for future investment to further build and expand trade among the countries as our members work to supply consumers’ expectations of a vast range of fresh produce and floral products year-round. Some of our members sought provisions on seasonal products not included in the final agreement, and we appreciate commitments from negotiators to continue to examine opportunities to address their concerns.”

About Produce Marketing Association

Produce Marketing Association (PMA) is the leading trade association representing companies from every segment of the global produce and floral supply chain. PMA helps members grow by providing connections that expand business opportunities and increase sales and consumption.

By United Fresh Produce Association

“United Fresh is encouraged by the news that a revised tri-lateral agreement has been reached between the United Stated, Mexico and Canada.  The strong relationships our members have established between these three countries have helped enable the growth of the fresh produce industry over the last quarter century. Coming on the heels of United Fresh’s annual Washington Conference and the inaugural Global Trade Forum in which this issue was front, and center and where attendees heard directly from key U.S. negotiators, the announcement of this revised agreement highlights the importance of our continued engagement on key policy issues by those in the produce industry. United Fresh looks forward to working with Congress to achieve the swift approval of this new agreement.”

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Eat Brighter Movement being Embraced by Retailers

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DSCN2879+1Sesame Street-branded products are in, or are planned for over 40 retailers representing more than 19,000 stores across the U.S. and Canada.  It is part of what is known as the Eat Brighter! movement.

A series of updates have been added to the program and marketing to allow produce industry members to incorporate the Sesame Street character images, royalty-free, into their marketing strategies. according to a press release from the Produce Marketing Association.

Five retailers received their own licensing to display Eat Brighter! in-store signage and dozens of other retailers have said they will accept Sesame Street-branded in their stores.  More retailers are expected to become licensed in coming weeks .

“We’re delighted by the response from both the supply- and buy-side of the industry,” Cathy Burns, president of PMA, said in the release. “We’ve spoken with each and every one of these companies, and they believe in the movement to help kids eat more fruits and vegetables. They are all industry leaders and recognize that success is defined through the collaboration and support they lend to one another.”

“The goal here is grand, but simple — to change the conversation around fresh produce and inspire kids to think about fruits and veggies in a completely different way,” Todd Putman, chief marketing officer of Bolthouse Farms and chairman of PMA’s marketing taskforce, said in the release.   “The U.S. is in a serious health crisis — one third of all kids are obese and our industry has the answer. The Eat Brighter! movement is exactly what we need to help the entire industry come together, change that conversation, and ultimately create healthier generations for decades to come.”

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Produce Industry is Urged to Give Loyality, Respect to Drivers

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The USA needs around 111,000 more drivers to move the nation’s freight, according to Doug Stobiber, vice president of produce transportation for L&M Transportation Services of Raleigh, NC.  He was speaking at the produce industry’s largest gathering recently, the annual convention of the Production Marketing Association (PMA), held in Anaheim, CA

While Stoiber notes better pay and higher freight rates for drivers is important, he placed just as much emphasis on truckers being repected.

He points out there is a shortage of qualified drivers and it is only going to get worse, primarily because fewer younger drivers are entering the industry, combined with greater numbers of older truckers retiring.  While the average age of the commerical driver is 48 years old, the ones under 30 years of age amount to less than 10 percent.

Current law requires commerical driver’s operating interstate be at least 21 years old.  President Obama is in favor of permitting states to lower the age limit to 18 years old.  While supporters of this proposal are looking at ways to increase the number of drivers with CDLs (commerical drivers license), opponents point out the high accident rate among teenage automobile drivers, saying they are too young and immature to drive a big rig.

Starting this year, the nation’s largest generation (baby boomers) are reaching 65 years of age.  They are retiring at a rate of 10,000 each day.

Stoiber made some economic comparisions between hauling dry freight, compared to fresh produce.   There are liabilities as a produce trucker.  Those remain until the papers are signed and the receiver accepts the load.  The use of a refrigeration unit on a trailer adds an additional $1,500 in costs to a coast-to-coast haul.  Overall, there are fewer risks with dry freight. Even with all the economic factors involved in produce hauling, Stoiber emphasizes the need for the produce industry giving drivers more respect.  This will go along way in attracting more drivers to haul produce.

“Truckers have been viewed as obstacles to doing business instead of partners in the supply chain,” Stoiber said.

He encouraged the audience to pay higher freight rates and to think in terms of price per consumer unit instead of $1,000 per load.    It comes down to more than just a good freight rate.   Loyalty and respect are very important to truckers, he said.

Stoiber also addressed issues brought forward by a group encourging better practices in dealing with produce truckers.  The North American Produce Transportation Working Group (NAPTWA) earlier this year released guidelines for making fresh produce hauling more attractive. Tips range from decreasing detention time when loading and unloading, to allowing drivers to watch loading.

The best practices are regularly reviewed and updated as federal regulations and other factors change the way truckers are allowed to operate, said Stoiber, who is a member of NAPTWA. The best practices are free on the working group’s website at

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‘One Touch’ Tags are Introduced by TempTrip

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TempTrip combines flexible performance and an affordable price in a reusable device the size of a credit card.  It is  a new one-touch temperature sensing tag with a five-year battery.

The Broomfield, CO-based company introduced the new UHF tag at the Produce Marketing Association’s (PMA) Fresh Summit, last month in Anaheim, Calif.

The ultra-thin tag has a button that can be pressed to start and/or mark temperature data at multiple points during a product’s cold chain journey.   If the temperature is out of range a red light blinks.   A green light displays if programmed parameters have been maintained, the news release states.

The new tags are effective from about -20 to 120 degrees Fahrenheit.  Thousands of time and temperature points can be logged to help manage food safety.  They can be attached to packages, cases, or pallets.

The product has microprocessors  allowing for a variety of calculations including remaining shelf life, mean kinetic temperature and multi-parameter alarms. Custom product configurations are written to each tag and are easily updated in the field.

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Big Idaho Potato Truck is Touring the USA

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A huge Idaho potato on a flat-bed truck is once again hitting the road this year as part of the Idaho Potato Commission’s (IPC) television advertising campaign.

The Kenworth is pulling a giant tator that weighs 12,130 pounds, which the IPC claims equals 32,346 medium sized potatoes.

Additionally, the famous fitness guru  Denise Austin will once again be the celebrity spokesperson for Idaho potatoes.

The  IPC big Idaho potato truck, on its seven-month national tour will conclude its trip just in time for the Produce Marketing Association’s (PMA)annual convention and trade show in Anaheim, CA late October.

The IPC’s new ad campaign premiered on national television on ESPN during the recent Boise State vs. Michigan State game (MSU won 17-13).

The IPC ad program will be on national cable television beginning in mid-October” and continuing through February. the campaign will be carried on a variety of news programs such ase CNN and FOX News, as well as the Food Network, The Cooking Channel, HGTV, and The History Chanel among others.

By the end of the tour, the truck will have travelled over 15,000 miles, visited some 150 cities in 35 states across the country

In other activities, Denise Austin “will be doing two different public service radio announcements” for the commission.

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