By Frank Giles
The Florida Ag Expo is fast approaching. Attendees will want to catch the morning general session, which will tackle the big issues impacting specialty crops. Cathy Burns, chief executive officer of the International Fresh Produce Association, will be speaking on trends impacting the produce industry. She will address how the past few years have changed the industry and what’s to come.
“The fresh produce industry underwent changes too numerous to list during the past two years,” Burns said. “We’re still seeing pressure points along the supply chain and in access to talent/labor. But at its core, resiliency and agility are two attributes anyone involved in the growing and selling of fresh fruits and vegetables have in their DNA. We’ve seen this show up in many ways, particularly through investments in new technologies and in collaboration across the supply chain as it endured more than 24 months of pivots and shifts in strategies and consumer markets.”
Burns will address how the industry has adapted to these challenges in her presentation at the Florida Ag Expo. The growing interest in consumers connecting with their food also presents big opportunities, she believes.
“We’ve seen this type of trend ebb and flow in the past, but I truly believe that now — in light of the steady consumer interest in food, how it was produced and how that affects the environment — fresh produce growers have a big opportunity to talk about how they help consumers take care of their health as well as the health of the planet,” Burns said. “Studies show consumers seek a farm connection, and I think we’re long overdue to take well-deserved credit for the incredible work that gets done each day to feed consumers across this nation and around the world.”
Don’t miss Burns and the great lineup of speakers scheduled for the Florida Ag Expo.