April 17, 2015

Thought leaders to gather at PMA Tech Knowledge

Fresh produce industry members will have a chance to interact with revolutionary technologies from around the world – all in the name of advancing produce production and consumption in the next decade, when they gather in Monterey, California on May 11-13 for the second annualProduce Marketing Association Tech Knowledge Symposium.

Among the group of thought leaders who will guide conversation on how to achieve that, are Lance Donny, founder and CEO of OnFarm; Roger Royce, founder of RoyseLaw AgTech; Dennis Donohue, president of Royal Rose; and Nathan Dorn, director of farming systems and mechanization, Reiter Affiliated Companies.

“The produce farm of the future will have greater efficiency in labor, logistics and applied material,” Donny said. “Like we see in commodity crops today, more mechanization in everything from planting and harvesting to application of material will yield more efficiency, and that future isn’t too far off. There are companies working on these problems today.”

The group, facilitated by PMA Chief Science and Technology Officer Bob Whitaker, will participate in a forward-thinking panel discussion to provide a glimpse into the future of production and emerging technologies in fresh produce – through traceability, improved sanitation, better management of labor costs, reducing product shrink and more.

Drew McDonald, vice president of quality assurance and food safety with Church Brotherscommented, “We see technology being employed at the farm with new seed varieties, better ways to manage agronomic inputs and even drones that can serve as next generation data collection platforms to improve yields and enhance product safety.”

The symposium will also attract investors looking to engage with the industry, including four late-startups who will present their ideas to a group of venture capitalists, industry executives and potential customers in the “What’s The Pitch” session.

“These types of sessions directly align with PMA’s goal to address industry’s challenge of increasing food production with fewer resources while bolstering confidence in the safety of fresh fruits and vegetables,” Whitaker said. “When we help industry members build connections – to experts, ideas, trends and talent – produce and floral companies can focus on building consumer demand for the products they grow, ship and sell.”

Learn more about PMA’s technology offerings, including webinars, research analysis and more at the organization’s technology page.

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