PMA Fresh Connections: Technology | Helping Companies Work Smarter
Elevating the Conversation about Technology
PMA expanded its popular Fresh Connections event series this year to include Fresh Connections: Technology. For the inaugural event, held February 20th at the Hilton Bayfront in St. Petersburg, Florida, participants networked and engaged with expert speakers and peers to learn how technology can help their businesses to grow.
Business leaders with responsibilities for technology, science and innovation from across the supply chain joined thought leaders and solution providers. Networking conversations and educational sessions focused on real-world applications for technology on farms, in processing, through distribution and more.
Noted futurist, author and authority on technology trends, Patrick Schwerdtfeger presented the opening keynote, where he discussed the emergence of technology as requisite for gaining efficiencies and managing changing business demands. He helped participants to envision and understand technology innovations that are poised to shape the fresh produce and floral industries. Patrick’s thought-provoking, high-level presentation set the stage for the rest of the day’s educational programs.
PMA Chief Science & Technology Officer Dr. Bob Whitaker then led a panel discussion featuring industry business leaders who shared insights about investments they’ve made in technology and how those investments have paid off. Panelists included Andy Kennedy of FoodLogiQ, Jim Byron of Xgenex and Gary Wishnatzki of Wish Farms.
During the Lightning Learning Lab, attendees heard rapid-fire presentations from tech solution providers about their tools and services. Dr. Whitaker closed the educational program by sharing a roadmap that CTOs and other business leaders can use to make smart investments in tech.
Finally, the event wrapped up with a networking happy hour—a hallmark of Fresh Connections events.
We thank everyone who participated in Fresh Connections: Technology in St. Petersburg. Stay tuned for information on upcoming technology events!
Fresh Connections: Technology draws attendees from across the supply chain including:
- C-Suite, President, Vice Presidents, and industry executives influencing buying decisions at large and mid-size produce growers, processors, shippers, wholesalers and distributors.
- Industry experts at leading technology solution providers in robotics, automation, software and more.
- Thought leaders and innovators looking at applied technologies that help the industry advance operations and efficiencies from field to shipment.
The shortage of labor has had significant impact on the produce and floral industries in recent years. The crisis has grown to the extent that many commodity groups rate labor as the most concerning issue they face today, surpassing water availability and food safety. Emerging technologies offer produce and floral growers and distributors across the global supply chain options for mechanizing or automating select operations or alternatives that permit them to work more effectively and efficiently, thereby reducing overall labor needs.More >
PMA Science & Technology Circle of Excellence Award
The PMA Science & Technology Circle of Excellence Award recognizes individuals or organizations that solve business challenges within the produce or floral industries through the application of scientific and technological advancements to create better products, processes or value to customers.