PMA expands virtual learning course offerings

Produce Marketing Association (PMA) and Center for Growing Talent (CGT) are expanding their virtual learning opportunities.

FreshEd Academy is a growing portfolio of on-demand, online courses providing industry specific education and training designed by subject matter experts. Launched in 2019 with certificate courses on produce safety, the next FreshEd Academy offering is a certificate course in produce at retail.

“The Essentials of Produce at Retail” contains five modules and is designed for new retail produce department staff and newer associates with up to two years of experience. The course provides an onboarding experience for those new to the produce industry and combines the best practice experience from industry experts with a comprehensive virtual learning experience. Participants will learn about the supply chain, top produce items, effective merchandising, customer focus and interaction and the importance of food safety. Upon successful completion of all quizzes and the final exam, students receive a certificate of completion.

“Professional training is important to member companies and industry professionals alike, driving company performance and professional development. It has never been more important to meet our members where they are with training and education opportunities,” said Doug Bohr, CGT executive director. “Retail is one of our direct connections to consumers. It determines so much of how we as an industry represent products, our industry and grow demand. We’re proud to offer this and support our retail members’ efforts to onboard and train teams who sell your products.”

The program was created in partnership with PMA, CGT and industry experts with years of experience in produce departments. Over 18 months, the task force participated in countless surveys, calls and meetings to create a learning experience for those just beginning their work in the produce and floral industries.

“Volunteer leadership is essential to our industry and I am grateful for the task force members that took part and proud of what we created together,” said Joe Watson, PMA vice-president of membership engagement and resident retail expert. “Many of us on the task force started our careers on the floor in the produce department. They all have a deep passion for the work and for empowering new talent with resources and information.”

The “Essentials of Produce at Retail” joins a growing series of courses focused on produce safety including “The Essentials of Produce Safety” and “Food Safety Crisis Management Simulation.” FreshEd Academy will continue to grow in topic areas and provide education for professionals at all levels of their career in the industry. These certificate courses complement the professional development programs and other in-person and virtual learning experiences offered by PMA and Center for Growing Talent, the industry’s premier partner for talent solutions.

Those interested in speaking with someone about offering a certificate course or courses to their teams or across their company can speak with Anthony Barbieri at

For more information:
Siobhan May
Produce Marketing Association
Tel: +1 (302) 781-5855

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