The Produce Marketing Association Celebrates Innovation With Third Annual Award
NEWARK, DE - It’s 2019, people, time to embrace the future! The Produce Marketing Association (PMA) has taken this to heart, bringing its 2019 Science & Technology Circle of Excellence Award back for a third year. The award is meant to spotlight science and technology innovations that can help the produce and floral industry to develop better products, processes, and other customer values. Nominations are due to PMA by March 22, so don’t sleep on this opportunity!
“Science and technology are uniquely positioned to help our industry solve a broad range of business challenges,” said PMA VP Vonnie Estes. “The goal of this award program is to recognize those game changers. And by bringing attention to their work, we’ll not only incentivize their businesses, we can also attract other innovators to help our industry address more challenges. Innovation begets more innovation, that’s why we call it the Circle of Excellence award.”
Created in 2017, the award recognizes leaders who are essential and active in the industry, helping to solve business challenges by harnessing science and technology. The award is just one example of the year-round work of PMA’s Science & Technology team to help PMA members to utilize science and technology for the purpose of sustaining and growing their businesses.
Past awards have gone out to companies with a commitment to innovation and forward-thinking. In 2017, the inaugural award went to SmartWash Solutions for developing systems that help fresh produce packers and processors to monitor and enhance wash water quality in real time, effectively saving labor while at the same time enhancing food safety and protecting public health. Last year’s award went to Tanimura & Antle’s PlantTape automated transplanting system. The system harnesses technology to address multiple business challenges, from reducing labor needs to shrinking farming’s environmental footprint.
“Receiving this award was a tremendous honor to all of us at PlantTape,” said PlantTape USA President Brian Antle, in a press release. “To have our industry peers recognize the hard work our team has put into developing and commercializing the PlantTape system has been very rewarding. We have been very fortunate to receive a lot of press with our system, but certainly the highlight of the year was being recognized by PMA.”
There are some key caveats when it comes to submissions, as nominees must already be conducting business within the global produce and/or floral industry supply chain. The nominated solution needs to disrupt industry practices and/or create improved processes, products, and practices, and provide benefits that bring value to the produce and/or floral supply chains. Nominees must also fall into one or more of the STEM disciplines (science, technology, engineering, math). Winners will be selected by a panel which will include PMA staff science and technology experts and qualified industry executives.
It is important to note, that nominees do not need to be members, there is no cost to enter, and companies can nominate themselves. However, the winner is required to attend PMA’s Tech Knowledge event on May 1-2, 2019 to receive the award in person. The winner will be recognized again at PMA’s Fresh Summit Convention & Expo, October 17-19. Additionally, the winner will receive complimentary full registration to Tech Knowledge and Fresh Summit, and will be recognized by the association via public relations, social media, and its website, PMA.com.
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