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Industry leaders join forces to stimulate fresh produce use

Leaders from the Produce Marketing Association (PMA), National Restaurant Association, and International Foodservice Distributors Association (IFDA) have joined forces on a multi-phase project to identify opportunities to increase fresh produce use in foodservice to promote healthy lifestyles.

The groups will begin with a research project, led by the National Restaurant Association with assistance from produce industry leaders, to examine opportunities for and barriers to greater produce use in the foodservice sector. Those research findings will then be used as the starting point for facilitated discussions of a first-ever "Executive Invitation Think Tank" of top executives representing restaurant, distributor, and produce supplier segments. That first discussion will be the basis for ongoing, high-level dialogues within the foodservice and produce sectors to promote increased collaboration.

The research project is underway, and the Think Tank’s discussion will take place July 24 in conjunction with PMA’s annual Foodservice Conference and Exposition, to be held July 24-26 in Monterey CA. Research findings and highlights of that discussion will be presented by a panel of project participants at the conference’s opening general session. The associations also plan to publish a joint report summarizing the research and the July think tank discussion.

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