Every year, the Produce Marketing Association’s Fresh Summit provides an opportunity for global connections, consumer insights, and innovative business solutions. Vanguard will be one of many participants arriving this year in Anaheim, California for the summit taking place October 17 – 19. There is much to look forward to as hundreds of leaders across the produce industry collaborate to deliver an improved summit year after year. Here are 4 things we are looking forward to at this year’s PMA:
1) Sharing announcements of new varieties
It’s always exciting to be able to chat with customers about exceptional new varieties of table grapes we are growing on our ranches in Ica, Peru. These high-quality taste sensations will be available for the North American market for the upcoming season. This year, we are excited to announce that we will have an exclusive program of South African grapes to market this season. This supply will come from one closely aligned grower, Mooigezicht, with whom we have worked for many years, including marketing their fruit into Asia.
Additionally, in order to provide supply for the entire Peru seasons, we are partnering with a grower from Northern Peru to supply the same grape varieties we have planted on our ranches in Ica, Peru that are new to our offering. This relationship will complement our supply in the early part of the season with production months ranging from September to January. We will have members of Vanguard’s TQM team in Piura and fruit will be packed in various labels to include the Vanguard Fresh brand for consistency of branding.
We will also have some exciting new Sun World varieties such as MIDNIGHT BEAUTY®, AUTUMNCRISP®, and ADORA®. Vanguard has been chosen by Sun World Innovations as one of a group of select companies chosen to market and sell its proprietary grape varieties in North America, and we are thrilled to be adding their high quality and flavorful grape varieties to our world-class produce programs.
2) Connecting with customers
Professionals in the produce industry span across the globe, so the opportunity that the PMA provides to connect with our customers face-to-face is unique and always a pleasure. We have the chance to field questions about upcoming crop quality and availability, as well as to chat with them about new varieties, expanded volumes, and programs.
3) Announcing new TQM improvements from Peru
Vanguard has continued to build and hone its’ Total Quality Management (TQM) Team to continuously deliver the highest quality of grapes from our ranches in Peru. This team will focus improvement efforts on all processes, from our ranch, to our owned and operated state of the art packing house. There are many moving pieces in an operation as big as ours, and we are thrilled to chat with customers about how we plan to leverage this TQM team in 2020. Remember, it’s all about making good arrival at destination and delighting our customers with an explosively great eating experience!
4) Meeting North American service providers
PMA also delivers a chance to connect with service providers in North America that we don’t ordinarily get to see in person. There are many important partners that we value highly as part of the fresh produce industry from trucking teams to inspectors. We are pleased to have the opportunity to shake their hand and thank them for the exceptional operational experiences they provide.