Produce Marketing Association's Diversity and Inclusion Task Force Sends Rallying Cry
Op-Ed by Co-Chairs of the PMA Diversity and Inclusion Task Force Doug Bohr, Executive Director, Center for Growing Talent, and Joe Don Zetzsche, Vice President of BLOOMS® Flowers by H-E-B and Past Chair, PMA Board of Directors
NEWARK, DE - Beginning in 2020, Produce Marketing Association (PMA) and Center for Growing Talent began a journey to explore how a global trade association can support our members’ efforts to create a diverse, equitable, and inclusive culture in which your people, your companies, and our industry thrive. We convened a task force to guide our work, hosted conversations with experts from inside and outside our industry, and learned what companies are doing to be more inclusive and—as a result—more competitive.
Most of all, we listened to our members. According to a recent survey, 4/5 of members believe diversity and inclusion are important topics for our industry and want PMA and Center for Growing Talent to share learning and resources with members.
This past month, Center for Growing Talent hosted our first-ever program on diversity, equity, and inclusion. In the first of the program’s four weekly sessions, our guest speaker, Dr. Manuel Pastor, Distinguished Professor of Sociology and American Studies and Ethnicity at the University of Southern California, shared demographic trend data illustrating the growing diversity of the population.
The world is changing. As always, companies that understand how consumer values and talent attitudes are shifting will stay ahead of the curve and be competitive.
Not only is today’s (and tomorrow’s) workforce more diverse than ever, but they value being a part of an inclusive team as well. Consumers, likewise, are increasingly interested to know if the products they buy are sourced from socially responsible companies and are seeking greater visibility to that across the supply chain.
Today, a company’s commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion is a competitive advantage in attracting and retaining talent, and, increasingly so, buyers and consumers. Tomorrow, it will be a baseline expectation of what it means to be a sustainable, high-performing company that has social license to compete in a diverse consumer market. From an industry perspective, it will be essential to increasing future consumption.
PMA and Center for Growing Talent are committed to serving members across the supply chain in a way that meets your unique business needs and resources. To complement our ongoing market research and demand creation initiatives, our member-driven Diversity and Inclusion Task Force has identified four key objectives to support this important work:
- Educate ourselves. (We are all learning)
- Support members’ efforts in ways that benefit both their business and their people
- Build a more inclusive membership
- Attract and develop diverse talent
To achieve these objectives, we have introduced scalable and practical solutions, including education sessions, online certificate programs and courses to support team, individual and HR training, and a new member profile that allows member companies to self-identify as minority-owned and enable potential buyers with a mandate for supplier diversity to locate and do business with you.
This is a journey. We are learning alongside our members and happy to support you along the path.
Doug Bohr is the Executive Director of Center for Growing Talent and leads PMA’s Diversity and Inclusion initiatives. He brings years of experience in education and program development to provide talent attraction and development solutions for PMA member companies and industry professionals.
Joe Don Zetzsche is Vice President of BLOOMS Floral Marketing for H-E-B stores in Texas. An industry veteran of 32 years, he is a past PMA Chair who is as equally passionate about the value DEI efforts bring to the workplace as he is about the joy fresh flowers bring to consumers.