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National Restaurant Association - NRA CEO participates in Produce Marketing Association event

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NRA CEO participates in Produce Marketing Association event

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Last weekend, 1,500 produce suppliers, distributors and marketers gathered in Monterey, Calif., for the 30th annual Produce Marketing Association’s Foodservice Conference & Expo.

National Restaurant Association President and CEO Dawn Sweeney took part in much of the action at the event: including visits to Ocean Mist Farms, Driscoll’s berry research facilities and Taylor Farms' processing plant, all in the Salinas valley.

“Growing up, my family had a small roadside produce stand in Maine," Sweeney said Saturday at the conference. "I worked in the fields and at the stand and learned a lot about customer service, the value of hard work and the importance of offering high quality goods. My farm background has served me well my entire professional life."

Sweeney said that visiting the fields Friday and speaking with the growers responsible for providing the healthful, flavorful fruit and vegetables that feed restaurant patrons reminded her a bit of her childhood, as well as her current responsibilities. 

"I walked away even more convinced that flavor and health go hand in hand," she said.

Two years ago, the NRA partnered with the PMA on Foodservice 2020 to create more produce-rich restaurant menus by the year 2020. Today, more restaurants are re-inventing their relationships with produce suppliers across the supply chain to ensure consistency of supply, flavor, quality and operational efficiency, Sweeney noted.

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