It was a big news day for the Produce Marketing Association. During his annual State of the Industry morning general session, PMA President and CEO Bryan Silbermann unveiled a new logo for the organization, and the launch of PMAXchange, a social networking platform tailored to the produce retailing industry. PMA also launched a new website today as part of this process.
The rebranding “is not about the logo, it's about the value that the logo represents,” Silbermann said. PMA's brand promise is to help members grow, he said.
I never got the sense that any of PMA's members were displeased with business as usual at PMA. Recently, they facilitated the foundation of the Center for Produce Safety, they've been working on a global expansion, they've been crucial in the development of the Produce Traceability Initiative and they've recently spearheaded a program to debunk misconceptions about pesticide use.
But, as always, Silbermann laid out a blunt set of challenges to the produce industry. Growers need to be focusing more on flavor, he said. Too many have become too focused on price, allowing their products to be commoditized. Too many companies are letting the social media revolution pass them by. Here we are, at the “intersection of Main Street, Wall Street and Pennsylvania Avenue,” where healthy diets are being promoted at the highest level of government and in public-private partnerships. Too many companies are not taking advantage. Despite the economy, it really is an era of opportunity for this industry.
SN will have more on Silbermann's speech in our October 24th issue. For now, I'll just say that the new logo looks great, and the PMA Xchange platform looks cool. I haven't had a chance to explore it personally, but judging from a demo that PMA Web Manager Chris Woodson gave me at PMA's booth, it's like a combination of Linkedin with a great discussion board interface for the produce industry, among other great features.