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PMA Adds Food Safety Session
To Produce Solutions Conference

We ran a piece entitled PMA’s Produce Solutions Conference Has New Twist highlighting the fact that this year, for the first time ever, the conference would incorporate both the retail and foodservice supply chains.

Bill Brophy of Stop & Shop and Jim Spilka of Meijer headed up a planning committee:


Bill Brophy, The Stop & Shop Supermarket Co.
Jim Spilka, Meijer, Inc.


Anthony Barbieri, Acme Markets, Inc.
Lee Frankel, Fresh Produce Assn. of the Americas
Tim Gagnon, C. H. Robinson Worldwide, Inc.
Lucy Garcia, TexaSweet Citrus Marketing, Inc.
Gene Harris, Denny’s
Joe Murphy, Fresh Horizons Procurement
Mike O’Brien, Schnuck Markets, Inc.
Robin Osterhues, Calavo Growers, Inc.
Jeff Patterson, BJ’s Wholesale Club, Inc.
Quinn Pisoni, Driscoll’s
Cindy Plummer, California Table Grape Commission
Tim Riley, Giumarra Companies
Victor Robelet, Carlson-AIRFLO
Luke Sears, LGS Specialty Sales, Ltd.
Peter Steinbrick, Melissa’s
Hugh Topper, HEB Grocery Company

This committee worked with PMA staff and put together an unusual constellation of buyers to moderate, in retail and foodservice teams, a series of break-out discussions. The discussion leaders are as follows:


Hugh Topper, HEB Grocery Company
Dave Corsi, Wegmans
Mike Kemp, Save-A-Lot
Ed Popke, Save Mart Supermarkets
Don Harris, Wild Oats Markets
Mark Hilton, Harris Teeter Super Markets
Jim Spilka, Meijer
Bill Brophy, Stop & Shop Supermarket
Anthony Barbieri, Acme Markets
Peter Goulet, Pinnacle Sales & Marketing


Gene Harris, Denny’s
John Allstadt, Uncle Julio’s Restaurants
Maurice Totty, Foodbuy
Mikel Weber, Golden Corral
Chad Kyker, Steak n Shake
Tom Sasser, Harper’s Restaurants
David Goldstein, Eat Up!, Inc.
Frank Swanson, US Foodservice
Lisanne Bogle, MGM Mirage Resorts
Patricia DelBello, Johnson & Wales University

Now with the conference fast approaching, PMA has also added a new food safety session for the conference. Since the theme of the conference is Consumer Trends ’07, this session will provide an overview of PMA’s response to the food safety crisis, including how the industry can expect to benefit from the $2.75 million that PMA has committed to spend on food safety initiatives, highlight consumer research PMA has done related to food safety and outline PMA’s plans regarding a Consumer Communications Plan to restore customer and buyer confidence in fresh produce.

Tim York, President of Markon Cooperative, Inc., and a former Chairman of PMA and …
… Bryan Silbermann, President, Produce Marketing Association, will present an overview of the collaborative efforts between PMA and other organizations to enhance food safety.
Kathy Means, Vice President, Government Relations, PMA, will present the PMA consumer research.
Lorna Christie, PMA’s Senior Vice President, Industry Products and Services, will present the Consumer Communication Plan.

The conference is something of a debutante’s ball for Lorna. Although she has been at PMA for half a decade and carries enormous weight within the organization, she is not a publicity hog and has worked quietly to assist PMA in achieving its goals. It took all of the Pundit’s charm to convince her to share a photo with us today.

This conference is one of the rare occasions in which she has taken a public role. Is it a rare walk on the wild side for Lorna or the start of trend? Only time will tell.

The conference is March 22-24, 2007, in charming Charlotte, North Carolina, and Stop & Shop’s Bill Brophy sent an e-mail advising that the registration deadline is extended until March 9. So you can get more information and register right here.

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