The Produce Marketing Association has announced that PMA Fresh Summit will be cancelled this year due to the impact of Hurricane Idea and tropical storm Nicholas.
The event was supposed to be held in New Orleans from October 28-30, 2021.
“I had hoped to bring everyone together in New Orleans in October,” said Cathy Burns, PMA’s CEO in a video message delivered today (Friday 17 September). “Given the impact of Hurricane Ida and now tropical storm Nicholas, we have decided we are unable to put on Fresh Summit 2021.”
"Fresh Summit is more than three days in October," Burns continued. "An event this size requires ground resources weeks before the event and we are simply not confident that the infrastructure necessary for an event this size will be in place. Missing the opportunity to get together in person is incredibly disappointing, especially under such unforeseen circumstances."
“I feel PMA is making a correct and necessary move by cancelling the event,” explained Dan Davis with Starr Ranch Growers. “As much as we would all like to get together, it is the wrong time.
"The situations have stacked up with an increase in the number of COVID cases around the country and the hurricane that hit New Orleans a few weeks ago. As a result, it is not feasible to hold an event this size.
“I applaud PMA for making this decision. It is a responsible move to cancel when so many people are hurting.”
"While we are deeply saddened by the cancellation of Fresh Summit, we stand with PMA on their decision. Our support of the produce industry is unwavering and we look forward to being all together again when the time is right," John Anderson, CEO & Managing Partner of Oppy said in a statement.
PMA has invited the industry to join them in making contributions to organizations involved in the long recovery efforts in the New Orleans region including the American Red Cross and World Central Kitchen.
The organisation is working with all exhibitors, vendors and registered guests to discuss options and next steps. All those looking to speak with a member of the PMA team should refer to their email which will have relevant details.