Disruption is more than just a buzzword. It has become part of business and part of our lives.  

Disruption comes in many different packages and has the potential to upset the entire fresh produce supply chain every single day. Central questions posed by businesses are: What’s next? Moreover, how will these disruptions impact the way we interact and engage in the near future? 

The impact of technology and science

“International expert speakers will share their views and provide answers to these questions at this year’s PMA Fresh Connections: Southern Africa Conference and Trade Show on 30-31 July 2019 at the Century City Conference Centre in Cape Town,” says Lindie Stroebel, general manager of the Produce Marketing Association (PMA) in Southern Africa.

“Yuval Cohen, market and sales manager at BreedX in Israel will enlighten delegates on the disruption science is bringing to seed production, and what they can expect in the future.

“Technology on farms has transitioned from mechanisation to intensive management. Global award-winning, proudly South African company, Aerobotics’ co-founder and chief technology officer, Benji Meltzer, will explain how drone and satellite imagery has disrupted and transformed farm and crop management.

“i-TradeNetwork’s senior vice-president and head of sales in the United States of America, Steve Gantenbein, will discuss software solutions, describing their ranges and applications to link buyers and suppliers, to grow networks and ultimately strengthen sales. He will add flavour to traceability – describing the tracking process from ‘field to fork’; blockchain capability, ways to input source data into their blockchain and those of partners on a global space.

Future shopping

“The biggest disruption, however, is defined by Jorg Snoeck, founder of RetailDetail in Belgium, in his presentation on the Future of Shopping: He will answer questions, such as:

  • How will people shop in the future?
  • Why are there so many bankruptcies in the retail sector?
  • Why are so many shops in our high streets empty?
  • What can brands and retailers do to survive?

“The truth is that traditional retail is dead. Economic, demographic, and above all, technological developments have made it obsolete. The static shop is making way for a multiplicity of different retail forms.

“Thanks to digitalisation, the world has become a single, gigantic marketplace. As a result of this revolution, a new type of consumers has been born. Today, it is the shoppers who determine what a brand stands for and how it presents itself to the public. In a world of change, everything needs to be reinvented,” says Stroebel.

Adapting to change

“The PMA Fresh Connections Conference and Trade Show is a must for all stakeholders in the fresh produce supply chain. Identifying issues and being able to prepare for change means taking the lead. The difference means being aware of disruption, adopting its positives, or letting its negatives cost you market share,” says Stroebel.

Other vital discussions at PMA Fresh Connections: Southern Africa will be centred on industry trends; sustainability; existing, new and potential markets; and the future of fresh in Southern Africa. – Press release, PMA

For more information and to register, visit www.pma.com/FCSouthernAfrica or contact Lindie Stroebel on e-mail: Lstroebel@pma.com