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Fresh Impact Tours champion industry through member collaboration

Last May, members of the International Fresh Produce Association traveled to McAllen, Texas as part of their Fresh Impact Tour program, hosted by Fox Packaging. This program allows IFPA to travel to member facilities, meet them where they are, make connections, and discuss the issues locally and regionally that impact their area.

"At Fox Packaging, we believe that progress thrives on the exchange of knowledge and ideas," said Lucas Fox, director of operations, Fox Packaging. "Hosting industry peers and partners, such as the International Fresh Produce Association, at our facilities is a cornerstone of our commitment to fostering innovation. These gatherings are not just meetings; they are incubators for forward-thinking solutions that benefit the entire supply chain. By welcoming collaboration, we are not only participating in the conversation but also actively contributing to shaping our industry's future."

Industry experts including Dante Galeazzi, CEO and president, Texas International Fresh Produce Association, John Hollay, Director, workforce labor, IFPA, and Ed Treacy, vice president, supply chain, IFPA, all participated in a panel discussion at Fox Packaging. Local members and nonmembers brought questions and concerns to share with the panel on issues such as labor, climate-smart ag and the Farm Bill.

Additional events of the week included meetings and tours of other regional member organizations including Little Bear Produce, who shared with IFPA their gratitude for the visit to understand the scope of their operations and some of the issues affecting their crops, most significant of which is limited water supply. There is a 25 percent chance of the area not having enough ag water next year, which will cause a ripple effect in the community, affecting hospitals and more. "Mother Nature effects are expected," said Bret Erikson, senior vice president, business affairs, Little Bear Produce. "It is the man-made or policy issues that are the hard pill to swallow."

IFPA staff were then able to witness member innovation while touring Reveam, Inc.'s facility where their technology has been shown to improve produce quality, eliminate pathogens and bioburden, and increase shelf life to reduce food waste.

"It was an honor to host the International Fresh Produce Association at our facility," said Chip Starns, co-founder & executive vice president, Reveam, Inc. "Their visit underscores the importance of collaboration and innovation in the industry. Showcasing our Electronic Cold-Pasteurization (ECP) technology to such a distinguished group was invaluable, as their insights and engagement help us continue to advance our ECP technology."

The tours let IFPA meet members where they are and provide an opportunity for attendees to gain local perspective and build local networks, and further champion the industry. If you are interested in hosting IFPA during a future Fresh Impact Tour, contact Kim Coker, produce industry relations manager ([email protected])

For more information:
Ashley Sempowski
International Fresh Produce Association
[email protected]

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