April 1, 2015
Jennifer Armen, Okanagan Specialty Fruits
Jennifer Armen is a 30-year specialty crop industry veteran. Jennifer earned her Bachelor of Science from the University of Vermont and her Master of Science from North Carolina State University. Originally trained as a botanist and plant pathologist, she spent the first half of her career in the post-harvest crop protection industry, culminating in managing Pace International’s global post-harvest business. Moving into the vegetable seed industry, Jennifer was instrumental in the establishment of the entity that became Dulcinea Farms, which launched PureHeart® personal sized watermelon, and spurred attention from the entire supply chain about the value of genetics beyond the farm gate. Active on multiple industry association boards and committees, today she works as Okanagan Specialty Fruits’ Marketing Director.
A great deal of research examining consumer awareness and acceptance of biotech crops has been carried out over the last decade. One of the key findings has been that, while public awareness of the science behind biotech crops is low, when consumers recognize that a biotech enhancement results in clear, tangible benefits for themselves and the environment, their views become much more favorable. We overview research from groups like the International Food Information Council (IFIC) and market research carried out on our recently deregulated non-browning Arctic® apples, including an examination of what factors and experiences lead consumers to positive impressions.