International Fresh Produce Association's Foodservice Conference is coming up on July 28-29 in Monterey, California. This year's event will see a record number of buyers attending, a sign of the strong appetite for putting produce on the plate at foodservice outlets.
The conference attracts attendees from across the foodservice supply chain, including growers, shippers and processors, transportation companies, technology providers, and packaging solutions. This year's event is shaping up to have record buyer attendance with 800 buyer attendees, including foodservice operators (restaurant chains and groups, colleges and universities, lodging, airlines, and more), foodservice distributors and wholesalers, chefs, menu developers, and more. The event will also welcome a new audience of menu planners and foodservice directors from several of the nation's largest K-12 school districts.
Here's what some buyers are saying about the conference:
Julie Olivarria, vice-president, produce, Sysco: "In addition to what we'll see on the Expo floor and hear from speakers, I've always felt the conference provides a tremendous value for buying teams to connect with each other and members of the grower and supplier communities. Strong supplier relationships are incredibly important as produce continues to grow across foodservice channels. Our time in Monterey will give us an opportunity to re-energize and draw inspiration for what's possible for produce."
Robin Fisher, category manager, P.F. Chang's China Bistro: "The conference is an annual must attendance for me to connect with growers/shippers, distributors, and industry contacts on a global scale. It is a wonderful time to reconnect with industry friends in the beautiful setting of Monterey."
Jim Richter, president & CEO, Amerifresh: "Our 50 US Foods and Amerifresh team members are energized about attending Foodservice 2022. It is important for us to meet with grower-shippers, explore new innovative products and strengthen our partnerships across the supply chain. The event is great for all of us to spend the time together as we build on important business relationships for the future."
Shonia Hall, director, school nutrition services, Oklahoma City Public Schools: "I look forward to seeing what the conference has to offer and collaborating with other K-12 school nutrition operators. Each day we serve 32,000 students breakfast, lunch, snacks, and supper at school sites across our city, with all meals including fruits and vegetables. We also have the Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Program (FFVP), enabling us to introduce our kids to fun and unique produce, like when this past year we served rambutans and persimmons. We purchase a lot of produce each year, so I'm excited to see what's new, ask questions and just spend a few days thinking about opportunities to enhance produce choices for my students."
Conference registration is open, and more information is available on the event website.