Following in the footsteps of United Fresh Live! which successfully held the first virtual trade show in June, Produce Marketing Association (PMA) announced that its 2020 Fresh Summit Convention & Expo will also be held online.
In a message to its members and the produce industry, PMA CEO Cathy Burns said the virtual event that will replace the convention in Dallas, Texas, will be held October 13-15, in response to the coronavirus pandemic.
“Out of our utmost concern for the personal health, safety, and wellbeing of our guests, event partners, and staff – as well as after thoroughly reviewing responses from Fresh Summit attendees, exhibitors, and buyers regarding their comfort, willingness, and ability to travel this fall, and analyzing trends from state, federal and global health authorities, it became abundantly clear that we could not hold a conference in Dallas as planned,” said Burns.
The Newark, Delaware-based association has been holding the Fresh Summit for 71 years, bringing together the produce and floral industries to connect buyers and sellers during the expo and convention.
Burns said she was disappointed that she could not host the annual event in person, but that due to the circumstances the world is experiencing because of the coronavirus, they must adapt to the new reality.
“Now, if you told me in January that six months later I would even have this thought, let alone give voice to it, there’s no way I would have believed you,” Burns said. “But the reality is our world has changed, and we have all felt the impact.”
The PMA CEO noted that the pandemic has made it clear the produce industry is considered essential and therefore the “Fresh Summit will continue, and like every year, provides an opportunity for our global members to grow their businesses, celebrate the industry, and look to the future.”
PMA will communicate individually in the coming weeks to discuss options and share more information with exhibitors and sponsors. For more information, register at www.FreshSummit.com.
The association will also host a webinar on Thursday, August 13 at 2 p.m. ET, where more information on the event will be provided.