The Future-Leaders-In-Produce Foundational Excellence, led by educators from Cornell University, lived up to its reputation as providing an ‘MBA in one day.’
Professor Miguel Gomez kicked off the program, Dec. 5, by talking about the Global Scope of the Fresh Produce Industry. Two of Gomez’s key takeaways were that the produce industry will continue globalizing rapidly and that overseas markets are expanding faster than domestic markets, so savvy produce industry members need to figure out how to take advantage of opportunities.
Extension Associate Kristen Park spoke on The U.S. Food System and Fresh Produce. Notable was a compilation of data from the Economic Census, Agricultural Census, and Blue Book that it is the 700-plus chain retailers and foodservice operators, plus some 540,000 food stores and eating establishments in the middle of the supply chain hourglass that decides which of the U.S.’s 184,000 farm’s fruits and vegetables get to the nation’s $330 million consumers.
Professor Brad Rickard shared Research with Produce Consumers. For example, while consumers say appearance and flavor rank highest for them when buying apples, studies show these same consumers are willing to pay more for an apple with a catchy name. Witness the appealing names of New York’s new apple varieties — SnapDragon and Ruby Frost.
After lunch, Professor Emeritus Ed McLaughlin moderated a young professional panel featuring four participants from the Eastern Produce Council’s 2023 Leadership Program.
Max Pozzessere, regional sales manager at Little Leaf Farms, shared it is the fast pace, many moving variables, and people he enjoys most in the industry.
Julie Barber, sales and marketing associate at Oppy, likes making a difference and excelling in a traditional man’s business.
Stephanie Tramutola, office manager at AJ Produce, enjoys working in a multi-generational family business and in an essential industry that feeds people.
Joe Strumolo, category manager at Wakefern, likes the tight-knit group environment where both young newcomers and experienced senior industry professionals work together and learn from each other.
Lecturer Lilly Jan, Nolan School of Hotel Administration, spiced up the afternoon by sharing Trends in Cuisine, including that the No. 1 search engine for Gen Z in general and for food ideas is TikTok.
Lastly, Professor David Feldshuh kept the audience entertained and engaged by sharing tips for successful communication. One take-home he shared was that in general, 55% of a speaker’s impact is based on “how you look,” 38% on “how you sound,” and only 7% on “what you say.”
The 14th annual New York Produce Show and Conference (NYPS) opened Dec. 5. The event had a record audience of more than 5,000 executives attending the one-day trade show and three co-located events. There were 350-plus exhibiting companies and a record of 41 sponsors. The New York Produce Show is organized by PRODUCE BUSINESS and the Eastern Produce Council.
SAVE THE DATE!
Mark your calendar for next year’s New York Produce Show and Conference: Dec. 10-12, 2024.
And exhibitors, book your booth now, as there’s a limited time to maintain the current booth rate. Visit www.nyproduceshow.com/exhibit2024 or talk to your sales representative before Jan. 12 to lock in the 2023 rate!