International Fresh Produce Association (IFPA) has spent much of the year's first quarter bringing industry insights to international audiences.
Beginning in February in Berlin, a team from IFPA traveled to Fruit Logistica to meet with industry members at the yearly European-based event. In conjunction with the conference, IFPA hosted the Executive Leadership Conference, welcoming leaders from more than 30 countries to hear from experts and peers on various topics critical to global business. IFPA expert, Tamara Muruetagoiena, looked at the latest trends in sustainability while speakers from Euromonitor and Rabobank looked at consumer trends within the context of the global economic outlook.
“Our members are the fuel that powers our association,” said chief membership officer Miriam Wolk. “We are grateful the industry is eager to engage and thrilled we can bring the industry together to help drive global consumption of fruits, vegetables and floral.”
After Fruit Logistica, IFPA vice president of innovation, Vonnie Estes continued to Abu Dhabi in the UAE for the Aerofarms Innovation Summit. The event looks at the future of food supply, speed breeding and AgTech Innovation. Estes served on a panel about “creating resilient urban food systems” with fellow panelists from the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) Agricultural Research Service (ARS); the Foundation for Food and Agricultural Research (FFAR); Priva; and BASF. Estes also attended the opening ceremony of AgX in Abu Dhabi, a 65,000-square-foot indoor R&D farm.
“Innovating our food system is no singular company or industry’s responsibility,” said Estes. “This is one main reason IFPA has created the Fresh Field Catalyst Accelerator program, so we can welcome more players committed to building efficiency and resiliency in the produce industry.”
Estes traveled next to Las Vegas for the Indoor Ag-Con providing insights on Controlled Environment Agriculture. She can be found next at the World Agritech Innovation Summit where she will lead a panel on The Pathway to Climate Smart Agriculture: Technology, Investment and Farm Adoption. This panel features Elliot Grant of Mineral; Cristina Rohr of S2G Ventures; and 2022 Fresh Field Catalyst Alumna Kaitlin Fitzgerald of Sound Agriculture.
IFPA sustainability director, Muruetagoiena, also just returned from Australia and New Zealand where she participated in IFPA’s first Sustainability Summits. These events, in partnership with the Australia-New Zealand-based IFPA team, charged participants to help identify the major sustainability challenges facing the industry.
Other speakers included Pip Best, Oceania Climate Change and Sustainability Services Partner of EY and Rachel Depree, executive officer for Sustainability at Zespri.
“In some regions, pressure to adopt and communicate sustainability practices are coming from policymakers and in others, it comes from retailers. Globally, it’s clear consumer concerns are the root of these pressures,” said Muruetagoiena.
One way to connect with IFPA team experts and members is at upcoming events which can be found here.
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