The industry has loads of professional development programs and most are excellent. We’ve been fortunate to be a member of the faculty of the United Fresh Produce Executive Development Program since its founding, and it is a kind of MBA in a box with a produce twist designed for mid-to-senior-level produce executives. We would highly recommend that every company in the industry make a point of sending executives in their organization to the program.
For some years, we sponsored the PMA FIT’s Executive Leadership Symposium, which offers senior executives a place to harness innovation and change to position their companies for success, and we consider it one of the most mind-expanding programs out there.
Both of these programs draw on the formidable resources of Cornell University to help achieve their goals. PMA FIT also partners with Thunderbird School of Global Management to do an Emerging Leaders Program for people with five to ten years of professional experience.
What has been missing, though, is a program for people with less than five years’ professional experience or at least less than five years of produce industry experience. These are in many ways the most crucial years — the years in which team members fall in love with the industry and become lifelong participants or prepare to take leave.
These are the years companies can painfully — and expensively — shepherd young associates through years of low productivity caused by limited industry knowledge, or these are the years when enlightened employers can add industry knowledge to youthful enthusiasm and set off an explosion of activity well focused on corporate needs.
The Pundit was lucky, having grown up in the produce industry, learning the business at the dining room table, but most people don’t have that advantage. They need a more formal foundation.
So, sounds the horns… let the drums roll… We hereby announce the birth of a new industry institution:
Over the course of one day in New York City, we offer an intense overview and educational immersion into the structure and operations of the produce industry.
We will define the basics, such as the role the produce industry plays in the global food industry, how current consumer trends, such as locally grown, GMO’s and produce waste, among other things, affect the products we sell. We will provide examples and assessment tools so attendees will know how to analyze critical industry issues.
In essence, the program will provide a contextual foundation of applied knowledge that will both create an appreciation for the produce industry’s critical role in the food system as well as help participants excel in their current and near-future jobs.
We make it short and sweet: The program is an intensive full day program on Monday, November 30th — ending with a presentation of certificates of completion and a networking dinner.
All this for only $995, with hotel rooms available for attendees at a deep discount of only $250 a night.
And enrollment includes a full ALL ACCESS pass to The New York Produce Show and Conference, so attendees are welcome to continue their education by attending the Global Trade Symposium on Tuesday, the Perishable Pundit’s Keynote Breakfast, University Micro-sessions and the Trade Show on Wednesday, and the IDEATION FRESH Foodservice Forum or a panoply of bus tours on Thursday.
Because the program is only available to those with five years’ experience or less as full time professionals in the produce industry, please e-mail us here if you or someone in your organization is interested in attending.
You never get a second chance to make a good first impression and you never get a second chance to build a strong foundation. Come to New York, and we will help you build both. Just let us know here.