It’s Conference season again

On 22 and 23 August, the Produce Marketing Association of Southern Africa (PMA) will host its annual international conference, ‘Fresh Connections’, at the University of Pretoria.

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Speakers from a number of countries will be passing on their knowledge and experience of the fresh produce sector.
But there’s more to this occasion as the university and PMA jointly host their Agri/Horti/Food Career and Bursary Fair. They held the first one last year and it went down well.

The second one followed at the University of Stellenbosch earlier this year and by all accounts was also a great success.
This one is set to be bigger and better – hence the rather cumbersome title designed to spread the net as widely as possible among potential students.

A career fair focused on agriculture and food is highly commendable. It’s no secret graduates in the agricultural sciences are dwindling as other seemingly more glamorous careers lure them away. It’s a slide which has to be stopped, if we – the agriculture sector – are to meet our obligations as suppliers of food to the nation. It’s also encouraging to see that the private sector has taken on the challenge, while government seems to talk more and deliver less.

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Another new initiative to be welcomed at this year’s Fresh Connections is the announcement by the Agricultural Produce Agents Council of the winners in the different categories of its Best Fresh Produce Market Agency of the Year awards.
Giving recognition to top-performing market agents is a positive development in a sector which hasn’t had its fair share of recognition over the years.

On 23 August, Potatoes South Africa (PSA) will host a marketing seminar, which will focus on developments and trends within this very important sector. Finally, the Institute of Market Agents of SA will host a high-powered panel discussion entitled ‘Markets on the Move – Sustaining the Momentum’ following the PSA symposium. This will look at the new wave of positive developments currently taking place in many markets and the exciting possibilities on the road ahead.

Contact Mike Cordes at
[email protected]. Please state ‘Market floor’ in the subject line of your email.