Behind the Scenes - Bringing Our Produce To Your Table!


Have you ever wondered how the artichokes on your table get there? Or why you see a certain brand of lettuce on the grocery store shelf?

There’s an intricate buying and selling process that begins at industry conventions across the country. I got my first taste of these industry conventions by attending the largest one of them all, PMA Fresh Summit!

This year, 21,000 attendees and 1200+ exhibitors from all over the world traveled to Orlando, FL to show off their latest products and technology. Pretty incredible, right?!

Let me break down the top 5 things I learned from my rookie year at PMA Fresh Summit.

1. If you can plan for PMA Fresh Summit, you can take on the world plan for anything!

There’s an incredible amount of work that goes into every produce convention, but there’s even more behind-the-scenes planning that goes into PMA Fresh Summit—up to 2 years in advance!

 Combined Show Floor

Above are the before (left) and after (right) photos of our booth set-up. It was amazing to see all the plans on paper come to life so quickly!

2. Ocean Mist Farms is known for more than just artichokes!

I already knew we were one of the largest grower-shippers in the produce industry, but I did not realize how much our company leaders have contributed to the field. Our President & CEO, Joe Pezzini, was presented with one of two industry leadership awards at this year’s convention! Definitely a moment to be proud of. 😊

PMA Fresh Summit Joe Pezzini Award

Our President & CEO, Joe Pezzini, was this year’s recipient of the Robert L. Carey Leadership Award!

3. PMA Fresh Summit is a marathon, not a sprint.

In the weeks leading up to PMA, the to-do list ramped up so the days got longer and longer until PMA Fresh Summit was over. I learned that multiple alarm clocks (I learned this lesson the hard way ☹) and power naps are essential!

PMA fresh Summit Nap Time

While our team was hard at work, sometimes the booth lounge area unintentionally became the power nap area for our guests!

4. New products and trends are headed your way!

Every year, PMA Fresh Summit unveils all the produce & produce-related health trends and what new products each exhibitor is coming out with! I can’t wait for you to see what our industry has in store for you.

5. Ocean Mist has quality produce AND quality people.

Since I’m the rookie facing a steep learning curve, this experience made me appreciative of my wonderful, supportive Ocean Mist Farms team. I want you to know you’re buying quality produce from quality people! 😊

PMA fresh Summit Group Shot

PMA Fresh Summit taught me how important these conventions are for getting our produce to your table. I learned so much from this experience and I hope my takeaways help you see another side of our industry!

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Julie Criswell
Julie has been connected to Ocean Mist Farms for half of her life! When she was 9, she participated in the Artichoke Festival’s Agro-art competition for the first time, and every year until she went to college in Chicago. Now, two years after her summer internship with us, she’s officially aboard our marketing team full-time. Enjoy her perspective of life in the produce lane!
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