Newark, Del. — The produce and restaurant industries’ leading associations will provide produce-specific education for restaurateurs at the largest foodservice and hospitality trade show in the Western Hemisphere this month. The 2010 National Restaurant Association Restaurant, Hotel-Motel Show® – to be held May 22-25 at Chicago’s McCormick Place – will feature two produce-focused education sessions that tap into the hot topics of consumer trends and food safety, and a featured cooking demonstration at NRA Show 2010’s World Culinary Showcase that will highlight produce as a cost-saving, customer-pleasing meal solution.

This programming is made possible by an ongoing partnership between Produce Marketing Association (PMA) and National Restaurant Association that began last year with the announcement of a joint initiative to increase produce use in foodservice by 2020.

  “We welcomed this opportunity to include produce-specific programming at the restaurant industry’s top convention and exposition, as part of our associations’ ongoing collaboration to grow both our industries’ businesses,” said PMA President & CEO Bryan Silbermann. “More produce in foodservice is a win for everyone, including our end consumers.”

“Our industry is committed to providing healthful menu options at the nation’s 945,000 restaurants, and produce plays a key role in doing so,” said National Restaurant Association President and CEO Dawn Sweeney. “We encourage attendees at NRA Show 2010 to learn more about how to increase produce use in ways that are good for guests and great for business.”

On Monday, May 24, PMA’s Silbermann will moderate an education session titled “Innovating with Fresh Produce: Taste, Profit and Healthy Living.”  During this session, to be held from 12 noon-1:30 p.m., top operator and distributor leaders will discuss the best ways to build flavorful and healthy menus while enhancing profitability. Speakers will draw insights from a discussion of senior executives from the produce, restaurant and foodservice distribution segments held last July as part of the Foodservice 2020 Initiative that also includes International Foodservice Distributors Association, in addition to PMA and the National Restaurant Association. Speakers featured in this session will include Cliff Pleau of Darden Restaurants’ Seasons 52, Cheesecake Factory’s Kix Nystrom, and Sysco/Freshpoint’s Rich Dachman.

Later that day, Pleau will showcase innovative ways to incorporate more produce onto menus during a featured culinary demonstration from 2-3 p.m. at the World Culinary Showcase.

On Sunday, May 23, PMA Chief Science & Technology Officer Dr. Bob Whitaker will moderate a session on “Enhancing the Safety of Fresh Produce.” The session, to be held from 12 noon-1:30 p.m., will feature a discussion by produce and foodservice industry experts to help attendees better understand a broad range of produce-specific food safety issues affecting the foodservice industry. Topics to be covered will include the value and limits of Good Agricultural Practice (GAP) audits, the proper role of product testing, an update on pending federal food safety legislation and regulation, and how to balance food safety demands and their unintended impact on the environment. Speakers include PMA and National Restaurant Association members Jorge Hernandez of U. S. Foodservice and Tim York of Markon Cooperative, as well as Dr. Suresh DeCosta of McDonalds Corporation.

For more information about NRA Show 2010 and to register to attend, visit

The annual National Restaurant Association Restaurant, Hotel-Motel Show is the largest single gathering of restaurant, foodservice and lodging professionals. The event attracts tens of thousands of attendees and visitors from all 50 states and 100+ countries, and showcases more products, services, innovative ideas and other growth opportunities than any other industry event.

Founded in 1949, Produce Marketing Association is the leading trade association representing nearly 3,000 companies from every segment of the global produce and floral supply chain. Members rely on PMA year round for the business solutions they need to increase sales and consumption, build strong professional relationships, and expand their business opportunities. For more information, visit
Founded in 1919, the National Restaurant Association is the leading business association for the restaurant industry, which comprises 945,000 restaurant and foodservice outlets and a workforce of nearly 13 million employees. Together with the National Restaurant Association Educational Foundation, the Association works to lead America’s restaurant industry into a new era of prosperity, prominence, and participation, enhancing the quality of life for all we serve. For more information, visit our Web site at
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