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The Sustainability Tug-Of-War

Thursday, 5 October 2017 | Posted in Industry Issues by Renee Harrison

There is a significant challenge ahead for fresh produce businesses to balance consumer demand for convenience with growing concern for environmental issues. Consumers want top quality products, convenient pre-prepared options and safe, healthy produce bursting with flavour. At the same time, consumers want companies to focus on sustainability, for example preventing food waste or using reusable or biodegradable packaging.

Cut, washed and pre-prepared packaged fresh produce is firmly established as a popular option for consumers. Not only is it convenient, but also extends shelf life and protects the product. However, as demand for environmentally-friendly packaging grows, the challenge will be to find economically viable and sustainable solutions.

Innovations in packaging have a clear potential to reduce food waste but consumers are generally sceptical about packaging in the fresh category. Food packaging is so ingrained in our everyday lives that it's hard to imagine life without it. The issue is that a substantial amount of food packaging is not reused or recycled making it a liability to our environment. As a result, there is a significant amount of research going into developing eco-friendly alternatives however the higher price tag on these options is often a deterrent for businesses.

One of the simplest of solutions is to sell loose produce and reusable bags however branded packaging plays an important role in expanding a company’s visibility. It allows businesses to innovate and increase the value of their products. Branded packaging also plays a significant role in consumer education whether that be by communicating the nutritional benefits of a product or offering serving suggestions. Brand owners also have an opportunity to educate the consumer by explaining the positive impacts of packaging on reducing food waste and extending shelf life. In this case, branding can help to shift the perception that some packaging is unnecessary and wasteful.

Fresh produce packaging is here to stay, at least for now. There is a role for packaging to play in delivering usable and convenient fresh produce to consumers, with improved quality, freshness and longer shelf-life while reducing waste and increasing consumption. The demand for businesses to reduce environmentally unfriendly packaging is a complicated economical proposition yet consumers are pushing for businesses to invest in environmentally sustainable initiatives. As more research and development into practical alternatives continues, it’s clear that the future doesn’t need to be a tug-of-war between sustainability and business bottom line. Sustainability doesn’t have to be a cost of doing business; it can be a catalyst for innovation, open new markets, and lead to financial success. Which leaves the questions; what are you doing to tap into this opportunity?

Special Report: PMA’s 2017 Glimpse into the Future

Thursday, 23 March 2017 | Posted in Industry Issues by Renee Harrison

PMA’s “Glimpse into the Future” report identifies issues and trends that are likely to affect the global fresh produce and floral industries in the next three to five years. It was developed from information gathered by the PMA Research team, in conjunction with members and volunteer leaders worldwide, as well as global subject matter experts. Although it is difficult to make industry-wide generalizationsPMAs Glimpse into the Future 2017 Produce and Floral Environmental Scanarticlein about the industry because the forces driving competition tend to vary by product or groups of products, this summary looks at emerging trends as a means to help the produce and floral industries understand the coming changes and develop plans and strategies to adapt accordingly.

This report is intended to stimulate business leaders’ thought processes so they can identify and prioritize the strategic issues for their companies – and allocate resources to meet these challenges and leverage emergent opportunities. It provides data, analysis and insights about global trends regarding consumers, science and technology, and talent management. Regardless of geographical borders, understanding these trends will help members lead their companies and their people to better serve customers and grow their business, now and in the future.

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Large companies, individuals prepare for future of business landscape

Thursday, 19 March 2015 | Posted in Industry Issues by Erin Hart

Rapid advances in technology are creating a world in which large companies face increasing performance pressure amidst sinking return on assets, intense competition and changing workforce dynamics. At the same time, individuals are taking advantage of lowered barriers to market entry and commercialization to become creators in their own right, according to a report from the Deloitte Center for the Edge.

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The Water Issue

Monday, 16 March 2015 | Posted in Industry Issues by Erin Hart

On a macro level, there is a water crisis facing agriculture that is being met with different solutions such as drip irrigation, water desalination and drought resistant seeds. Defining the issue is the first step to understanding possible solutions.

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Profitability: It's a numbers game

Thursday, 20 November 2014 | Posted in Industry Issues by Erin Hart

Even if you're not the financial manager of your company, the information in this Fresh Summit education session will equip you with the knowledge you need to analyse financial statements and communicate what they mean in an informed way. Advantexe Learning Solutions helps you develop a quick understanding of financial information and teaches you how to apply it in a real-world context. Gain the skills you need to develop a key understanding of your company's financials and learn how to interpret and communicate them to stakeholders.

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