It was over 30 years ago, in launching PRODUCE BUSINESS magazine, that we set upon ourselves a special obligation—to “Initiate Industry Improvement.”
We had unveiled the first issue at the Produce Marketing Association convention in 1985 in San Francisco, so we celebrated by unveiling this brief video at the most recent PMA:
Time passes and the world changes, so while our goal of initiating industry improvement has remained fixed, the tools we use to help the industry are varied. We have print publications, digital publications, webinars, executive share groups, conferences, seminars, career fairs, trade shows and much more.
One way we have helped the industry is by identifying exceptional communities, making outreach to join together the produce industry of the local community with a global network of thought and practice leaders. In so doing, we have created fulcrums for the exchange of ideas, development of competencies, opportunities for commercial success and moments where people near and far join together to establish and deepen relationships… all while they get together to celebrate fresh.
First, we did this in New York:
And now we announce another really extraordinary event:
Why Amsterdam? Because the Netherlands is at the very heart of the global produce industry. Indeed, a quarter of all horticultural product traded internationally passes through Holland.
At this intersection between the Netherland’s massive vegetable production and the crucial role played by Dutch traders, the retail leadership of companies such as Ahold, with Holland’s new position as headquarters for those looking to access Europe’s over 500 million consumer market – think of companies such as Driscoll’s, Robinson fresh and Mission Produce, the Amsterdam Produce Show and Conference will stand as a crucible through which a unique blend, different than anywhere else in the world, will emerge. At the very heart of the global produce industry, the local community, the European produce trade and a global industry will be enriched as they seek new ideas, new practices and new success.
Here are the objectives of this new industry institution:
• To reaffirm the position of the Dutch import and export industry for fresh produce and flowers at the very heart of the supply chain for the whole of Europe and beyond.
• To build relationships across the growing, shipping, distribution, wholesale, catering/foodservice and retail sectors that will enhance and increase the flow of fresh produce into and through the Netherlands.
• To re-instill a sense of justifiable pride within the Dutch produce industry about this position, to renew focus on the importance of their status as one of the world’s premier import/export hubs and to also provide a platform to promote Dutch-produced fruit, vegetables and flowers to an international buyer base.
• To bring the international fresh produce and floral communities to Amsterdam for a professional and cultural experience that will add significant value to their business and their careers.
• To bring thought and practice leaders to Amsterdam from around the world and create an educational program that both highlights the world-leading commercial, technical and scientific expertise that exists in the Netherlands, alongside some of the best examples from around the globe.
• To link students and educational institutions in Europe with the produce industry and establish connections that will help the industry find its next generation of business leaders.
• To showcase some of the world-class produce that is shipped into Rotterdam and Schipol for markets far and wide and to bring the shippers of that produce together with buyers in the key markets supplied by Dutch exporters.
• To focus on the food culture of Amsterdam and the rest of the country — promote the increasing diversity, creativity and progress of the Dutch foodservice market with tours and educational sessions in Amsterdam and Rotterdam.
• To give smaller players in the global market the opportunity to get noticed at an influential international trade exhibition — each booth is the same size and offers a more accessible option in a more relevant location than any existing event.
On a wider scale, the event will be an opportunity to bring Benelux/European/international buyers, shippers and marketers of fresh produce together with produce thought and practice leaders around the world to move this great industry forward in a sustainable manner — with the Dutch industry retaining its place at the forefront.
The event will be held in a most interesting venue. For years, Holland had no natural gas and a large plant existed to convert coal to natural gas. When circumstances changed and natural gas was discovered in the North Sea, there was no need for this expensive process and the plant closed. It had no purpose. Yet, in truth, it was only in facing this adversity that the facility came to know a new purpose… The Westergasfabriek has become a hub of a creative district, and old resources in the form of land and buildings have been repurposed to serve as a park, a cultural and creative laboratory and place for extraordinary events.
So we stake our own claim at Westergasfabriek, both to celebrate and enrich the food culture of Amsterdam and to find in the journey of the Westergasfabriek an analogy for the ever-changing world of produce and how our industry can take the core resources we possess and use them in new ways and to new effect and, in so doing, bring us, individually, corporately and as an industry, to a new level of success.
The Amsterdam Produce Show and Conference kicks off with an Opening Cocktail reception on November 2nd, 2016, and the Perishable Pundit’s Thought Leader’s Breakfast follows on the morning of the 3rd, leading directly into an all day trade show. That evening is free for all to enjoy Amsterdam. On November 4th, there will be a series of industry tours.
We hope you will join us this year and seize this opportunity to be present at the creation of a new industry institution: The Amsterdam Produce Show and Conference.
If you would like information on exhibiting, please let us know here.
If you are interested in sponsoring a networking event, a school presence, a seminar, a tour or culinary presentation, please let us know here.
If you would like information on attending the event, please give us your contact information here.
Come to Amsterdam; come to Celebrate Fresh.