The third annual Produce Marketing Association (PMA) Tech Knowledge Symposium, May 17-19 in Santa Clara, California, aims to help industry members discover solutions and prepare for the future.
In alliance with PMA’s Tech Portfolio objectives, the event’s education will show industry members how to look beyond day-to-day activities to envision their future and create an internal culture adept at recognizing opportunities. Those opportunities include reinventing systems and processes, thinking outside the box, and making key adjustments to operations, products and practices to increase demand and grow business.
The education will also examine critical challenges in the produce and floral industries—food safety, natural resource management, labor, waste reduction and new variety development—through the lens of how technology can help turn these challenges into opportunities. For example, food safety breakout sessions will discuss emerging pathogen detection technologies, genomics, predictive modeling and preventive controls. Other education sessions will address production technologies related to waste reduction, resource management, predictive modeling and yield optimization through next generation breeding tools. Sessions on logistics technologies will explore supply chain transparency in our age of “big data,” information sharing to optimize distribution and protected agriculture.
Bob Whitaker, PMA’s chief science and technology officer, will explore global trends affecting technology in the produce and floral industry. Whitaker is among the symposium’s keynote speakers. Joining him in the general session line-up is David Phillips, “innovation provocateur” at Faster Glass Consulting; Julie Busha, creator of Slawsa and Shark Tank success story; and Jason Watson, artist and educator from The McColl Center for Art & Innovation. Kevin Coupe, author and “content guy” for MorningNewsBeat, and Tom Furphy, originator of Amazon Fresh and CEO/managing director of Consumer Equity Partners, will join forces in a conversation on innovation’s intersection with produce, technology and the future.
During the “What’s the Pitch?” session, made possible in partnership with Western Growers Center for Innovation and Technology, start-ups will present their ideas to venture capitalists and industry experts.
Finally, a “Learning Lounge” will provide a place for attendees and tech experts to connect throughout the symposium. It will also be the site of interactive “Discovery Pods,” which will showcase novel technologies at work in the produce and floral industry.
Early-bird registration ends April 22. Find education descriptions, registration and all event details online at the PMA Tech Knowledge website.