July 24, 2014

Social responsibility takes center stage at PMA Foodservice Conference

Member success stories will be a highlight at PMA Foodservice Conference as Steve Gill of Gills Onions and Dan Hermstad of Jacobs Farm will share their insights on social responsibility and its impact on business. They’ll be joined by Corinne Asturias from CEB Iconoculture, a research organization and Jane Frank of SCS Global Services, a third-party environmental and sustainability certifier, to address who the socially conscious consumer is and how to best market to them.

“Consumers today want more information about how their products are made to make sure the practices of producers and brands align with their own values,” Asturias said. “Mentally they have moved from shareholder in a brand to stakeholder.”

Steve Gill will share the story of one of the nation’s largest family-owned onion grower who began using its waste to generate electricity at its processing plant in 2009. Dan Hermstad will discuss Jacobs Farm's 30-year practices.

“Fair trade certification, direct trade and all things related to social responsibility are the latest buzz and we think it’s important to share our story,” Hermstad said. “We’ve created 3 different farmer cooperatives in Baja California and multiple other farmer businesses to produce high quality, organic food that is safe for consumers as well as the people who grow it.”

The group will address social responsibility on July 26. Several other education topics will be presented at the 33rd annual PMA Foodservice Conference, including global flavor trends, food safety and big data.

For more information about the conference and expo, visit PMA’s website

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