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University Interchange Program And Educational Micro-sessions To Feature Professors, Retailer-Mentors And Cutting-Edge Information

One of the joys of The New York Produce Show and Conference is the University Interchange Program.

Through this program, we bring in faculty members and students from food marketing and agriculture or applied economics programs. The faculty present their cutting-edge research and thus serve their goal of outreach to industry, while the students learn about the industry, network and, in time, get internships and jobs.

We run special lecture programs for the students. This year, the honorary chairpersons of the program are Jack and Linda Allen. Esteemed academics, we are lucky to have them.

Returning as panelists this year are our three industry experts, Bruce Peterson, formerly of Wal-Mart, Reggie Griffin, formerly of Kroger, and Dick Spezzano, formerly of Vons. Plus we have a special guest from Britain, Hazel Akehurst, who is head of UK Sales and Marketing for Capespan International LTD now but has a long resume in many facets of the UK produce industry.

The academic presentations are intriguing, and we are most proud to unveil the 2013 Educational Micro-session Program. A special treat… we added Lisa Cork, a non-academic, who has flown all the way from New Zealand to share ideas on packaging with attendees.

10:30 am – 11:30 am

The Do’s and Don’ts of Preparing Business Plans
Robin G. Brumfield, Ph.D.
Professor and Specialist in Farm Management
Dept. of Agriculture, Food and Resource Economics
School of Environmental and Biological Sciences
Rutgers, the State University of New Jersey

While most produce businesses only prepare a business plan to get a loan, there is no better way to strategically plan your business than by researching and writing a business plan. During this process, you can examine all the pros and cons of a potential new business opportunity and reevaluate your current business goals. We will review the key sections and things you should consider to get everyone in your business on board.

11:30 am – 12:15 pm

New Ways To Think About Local: The Eastern Broccoli Project
Miguel Gómez
Assistant Professor
Cornell University
Dyson School of Applied
Economics and Management
Ithaca, New York

The implications of developing East Coast varieties of popular West Coast or imported produce are astounding. This session will explain the economic experiment to elicit people’s willingness to pay for two new East Coast broccoli varieties that are strong candidates for commercial production using California product as a benchmark.

Thomas Bjorkman
Associate Professor
Department of
Cornell University
Geneva, New York



12:15 pm – 1:00 pm

Economics Of Local And Organic
Benjamin Campbell, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor and Extension Economist
Department of Agricultural and Resource Economics
University of Connecticut
Storrs, Connecticut

The changing roles in local and organic and the willingness to pay associated with each.

1:00 pm – 1:45 pm

Lessons From Locapours: 
What Wine Studies Tell Us About Produce
Brad Rickard
Assistant Professor
Charles H. Dyson School of Applied
Economics and Management
Director of Horticultural Business and Policy Program
Cornell University
Ithaca, New York

Do restaurants cater to locapours? Using Zagat Survey data to examine factors that influence wine list selections.

1:45 pm – 2:30 pm

Marketing Vitamin D Mushrooms
Dr. John Stanton
Professor and Chairman
Food Marketing Department
Saint Joseph’s University
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Learn unfolding developments in this multi-phase research project, supported by a USDA Mushroom Council grant, to penetrate consumer interest in Vitamin D mushrooms, and ultimately grow the entire category. The hope is to develop a model applicable to other produce categories.

2:30 pm – 3:30 pm

Ethno Botany: New Perspectives for Neglected Vegetables and Fruits?
Andrea Pieroni
Food Botany &
University of Gastronomic Sciences

Ethno botany is the trans-disciplinary science that focuses on the links between plants and human societies. We will briefly address the history and the methodologies of this approach and will show via concrete case-studies the potential role of Traditional Knowledge regarding plants in discovering and re-evaluating the sensory characteristics and cultural meanings of forgotten and/or neglected wild, semi-domesticated, and cultivated vegetables and fruits in different parts of Italy, Europe, and beyond.

Alice Noel Fabi
Università degli Studi di Scienze Gastronomiche – University of Gastronomic Sciences


3:30 pm – 4:30 pm

Savvy Strategies — Persuasive Packaging — Bold Brands
Lisa Cork
Fresh Produce Marketing, LTD

Grow your produce business by unleashing the power of proper packaging. Using packaging to connect with consumers around the world.


There is no special registration required for these sessions. Just make sure you are registered for The New York Produce Show and Conference and the Micro-sessions are included.

You can register at the door or, save the wait and register right here.

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