The International Fresh Produce Association (IFPA) offered up a sneak peek at what exhibitors and visitors can expect at the first and upcoming Global Produce & Floral Show on October 27-29 in Orlando, Florida. The event will be the first of its kind following the merger of two organizations, the Produce Marketing Association and the United Fresh Produce Association, both of which produced their own trade show and exhibition, one in June and one in October.
"People are super appreciative that we no longer have two shows within one year," said Cathy Burns, IFPA CEO. "When we launched IFPA, we committed publicly that we were going to have one show annually, and October was a time frame that seems to work best with our members."
Clockwise from top left: Cathy Burns, Laura Himes, Siobhan May, and Bruce Taylor.
The three-day event is offering up numerous education and networking events and sessions for visitors. Burns, Bruce Taylor, chair of the 2022 IFPA board of directors and CEO of Taylor Farms, as well as Laura Himes, chair of the 2023 IFPA board of directors and senior director of merchandising for Walmart, shared what was to come at the show, including:
- IFPA Comms Conclave Opening Luncheon: This is an invite-only event for senior executives and public relations and communications professionals. "The idea is to work together to figure out what are the key messages this industry is promoting. In addition to our specific company messages too. The idea is to raise all ships together and to collaborate in that way," says Taylor.
- Business Solutions Segment Open: Visitors can peruse products from solutions providers, including supply chain equipment and services, packaging, merchandising, broker services, and more. "This will be a good chance to talk about innovations that they're working on, and also included in that segment will be the new Food Safety & Tech X-Change, where we'll talk about the latest improvements, latest discoveries, the latest best practices in that arena," said Taylor.
- Education Festival: Bypassing standard workshops, IFPA wanted to shake things up for visitors. "It is going to be a fully immersive experience, and we're going to take advantage of the entire conference hall space," said Burns. "You're going to see a mix of sessions and experiences, a strolling lunch, and fast-paced live discussions around essential topics such as advocacy, modern agriculture, and consumer trends."
Also being offered up for attendees are some more familiar events, including the general session, "Changing the World Through the Power of Food" with chef and restaurateur José Andrés, the Women's Fresh Perspectives General Session featuring Golden Globe and Emmy-award winning actress Laura Linney talking about navigating a male-dominated industry and Burns' state of the industry session.
Himes also touched on a more immediate event for IFPA members, the Washington Conference, which takes place September 26-28.
"We're excited to announce a new committee launching this year, the controlled environment agriculture committee or CEA Committee, which has massive potential for the produce industry," she says. The conference features a session on The Next Wave of Produce Advocacy: Indoor Ag, which will explore what attendees need to know about trends in indoor ag, regulatory information, and more. "Volunteer leaders in this committee will truly have the opportunity to shape the future of farming," said Hines.
Click here to find out more about the show or to register.