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Del Monte Fresh ready to talk sustainability at NY Produce Show

By
Keith Loria

For attendees that stop by the booth for Fresh Del Monte at the upcoming New York Produce Show & Conference, they will be treated to a plethora of new products from both the Mann’s Packing and Del Monte Fresh portfolio of products and services.

“This show is important to Fresh Del Monte because it attracts buyers and key decision makers from an extended geographic base and not just the region,” said Dave Russell, Fresh Del Monte’s vice president of sales. “We also like the show’s business model and venue and historically have found it very attractive to customers across business channels.”

Chip Obracay, vice president of national sales for the company, noted that the company has been anticipating heading to New York for the show for some time, knowing it’s one of the most important on the East Coast.

pineapple“We view this show as an opportunity to connect with our customers, both existing and prospective for the first time face-to-face since the start of the pandemic,” he said.

One of the big topics that the company expects to be chatting about on the show floor are the latest efforts of those in the industry on sustainability — something that is an important part of the company’s philosophy.

“Fresh Del Monte has had strong positioning in the sustainability space for many years — seen as a leader in sustainable agricultural production space,” Russell said. “All of our achievements can be seen in our 2020 Sustainability Report. The recent supply chain challenges and their impact on inflation and overall produce cost environment should also be a main topic of discussion.”

Weeks before heading to New York, team members were already strategizing, planning the specific goals on what they want to accomplish from participating in the show.

“We are establishing specific goals and key metrics of achievement from our participation in the show,” Russell said. “The goals and objectives can be both subjective and quantifiable. These goals can range from both new business development, to providing more transparency to the current supply chain challenges impacting everyone’s business. We can use this platform to share what Fresh Del Monte is doing to mitigate the impact.”

The company has been an active participant in the show for a number of years and plan to have a good level of regional representation along with senior leadership attending.

After very little personal interaction since March of 2020, everyone seems ready to get back to an in-person event and the mood around those at Del Monte Fresh attending the show has been very positive.

“With many customer and trade interactions over the past 20 months being virtual, I believe something is lost in presenting innovation, new product development, and personally articulating your overall value proposition,” Russell said. “New business development is very difficult in a virtual environment as compared to face-to-face interaction.”

Of the new items that the company will be hyping at the show are the recently rolled out Pink Pineapples or Pinkglow Pineapples, Honeyglow pineapples, and its Organic Fresh Cut fruit line.

“We are continuing to expand our growth lines initiatives and will be showing some new products from Mann’s Packing at the show,” Obracay said. “Our import melon season just started so we are excited to see the interest and growth potential with that this season. It will also be great to reconnect at the show with consumers and industry friends for the first time since the start of the pandemic.”

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