PMA Kicks Off 2014 Foodservice Conference With Field Tours

PMA Foodservice Conference attendees will get a fresh look at leading crops on an exclusive visit to some of Salinas Valley’s fields and facilities on the Behind the Scenes: Field & Plant Tour. In addition to facility tours, registrants will get a field-to-fork perspective of these crops as they learn growing, picking, packing and culinary preparation tips.

“This will be our ninth year hosting the PMA Foodservice tour groups,” says Kori Tuggle, director of marketing & business development at Ocean Mist Farms. “The event is right in our backyard, and we appreciate the opportunity to showcase our program and educate attendees about the commodities we grow.”

The Ocean Mist Farms stop of the tour will highlight their full line of premium fresh vegetables with a special focus on their heirloom artichokes and Brussels sprouts.

Braga Fresh Family Farms will share insights about how they produce organic and conventional leafy greens, broccoli, beets and a growing line of herbs: “Everyone who visits Braga Ranch gains appreciation for the complexity of agriculture and the bond of a generational family farm,” says Rod Braga, president & CEO of Braga Fresh Family Farms. “We’re excited about the opportunity to welcome PMA members and students to our home ranch and give them a unique education about what it takes to grow and distribute fresh, healthy vegetables around the world.”

At Naturipe Farms guests will tour strawberry, blackberry and raspberry fields as well as a sustainability-driven packing facility. According to Kyla Oberman, Naturipe’s marketing manager, “The most valuable asset to us is showing rather than explaining how we do things. To see the harvesting and experience the various processes that happen between the field and the cooler are things that all of our customers should see to truly understand everything involved in berry production.”

PMA’s Foodservice Conference & Expo, now in its 33rd year, is a networking opportunity for members of the entire global, fresh produce supply chain to come together and build business connections. The three-day event will bring more than 1,700 leaders in foodservice and the produce industry, looking to forge new relationships in order to add healthy, fresh and tasty choices to their menus. Foodservice operators like Wal-Mart, Chick-fil-A, Brinker International and regional and independent companies will be in attendance. The conference will also feature educational sessions and forums to discuss ways to increase the role of fresh produce in foodservice, and will end with a 5 hour expo – the best 5 hours in produce.

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