The PMA Center for Growing Talent (CGT) ensures that we attract, develop and retain talent to the fresh produce industry, with a Student Career Pathways programme, a Young Professionals Breakfast and a Women’s Fresh Perspectives session and luncheon at the Produce Marketing Association’s (PMA’s) Fresh Connections: Southern Africa Conference and Trade Show on 15 August and 16 August at the CSIR International Convention Centre in Pretoria.

Empowering women in the fresh produce sector

In the early stages of your working life it is easy to focus single-mindedly on gaining experience and exposure, climbing the corporate ladder and establishing yourself as a credible young professional.  As your career progresses, you take on more responsibilities. As deadlines loom, inboxes fill up and meetings are arranged one after the next, other areas of life are easily neglected.  Even as an executive, work-life integration is one of the most difficult challenges. An unhealthy imbalance can lead to increased stress, decreased productivity, burnout, and diminishing happiness with yourself and life in general.

At the Women’s Fresh Perspectives session, talent experts Annelize van Rensburg and Michelle Moss from Signium Africa will help you to understand where you are focussing your energy, and how to seek balance and success in life while maintaining productivity and effectiveness.

In times where lack of leadership impacts severely on one’s personal and professional life, the words of Adv. Thuli Madonsela comes to mind. ”At times we to have to stand alone with only hope as our companion. If you stand for the truth and do so long enough, hope does eventually pay.”

At the Women’s Fresh Perspectives luncheon, men and woman will be inspired to always stand for what’s right, with Adv. Thuli Madonsela as the keynote speaker. Well known for her role as Public Protector of South Africa between 2009 and 2016, Madonsela was named as one of the world’s top 100 most influential people by Time Magazine in 2014, and was named Forbes African Person of the Year in 2016.

“Women across the world face the exact same underlining challenges, in all levels of operation,” says Princess Mogale, project coordinator at ZZ2. “It is vital to have a platform for women by women.  CGT’s Women’s Fresh Perspectives events locally and in the United States of America (USA) provide exactly that in all aspects. It is the value add we all need to realise that women are good for business, where they are empowered to speak their truth and own it”.

Alta van Eeden, senior commercial manager: Subtropicals at The Fruit Farm Group South Africa, who attended a number of Women’s Fresh Perspectives events, had the opportunity to network with women working in the fruit industry, sharing ideas and creating new opportunities. “The 2017 Fresh Perspective Women’s Conference in Miami, USA sharpened participants’ business acumen and further developed leadership potential. It definitely helped to advance in my career and bring additional value to our company”.

Inspiring young professionals

If you are 35 or younger and looking to advance your career in the fresh produce sector, join Center for Growing Talent for a special Young Professionals Breakfast session.  Designed to inspire and connect, this session will provide opportunity for career-minded young professionals to network with peers and learn from leaders in the sector.  Attendees will learn about our dynamic industry from other participants and professional network of colleagues who are employed across the entire supply chain.

Brian Coppin, co-founder and chief executive officer of Food Lover’s Market is the keynote speaker at this breakfast.  He will share his remarkable success story of building a single fruit and vegetables store into the largest privately owned independent food retail group in Africa. This year, Food Lover’s Market celebrates 25 years of fresh produce excellence with more than 125 stores in South Africa, African sub-Saharan countries and Mauritius and counts its more than 17 000 colleagues in all its 575 stores across all the brands, as part of the Food Lover’s Market family. – Press release

Women’s Fresh Perspectives Session                          

Date: 15 August 2018

Time: 08:30-13:00

Venue: CSIR International Convention Centre

Session and luncheon fee: R1 000

Luncheon only fee: R550

Luncheon starts at 11:15


Young Professionals Breakfast                                        

Date: 16 August 2018

Time: 06:30-08:00

Venue: CSIR International Convention Centre

Fee: R250

Click here for more information.