If it’s October, it’s IFPA Global Produce and Floral Show, which is running this year Oct. 27-29 at the Orange County Convention Center in Orlando.
The 2022 schedule, which can be accessed at https://www.freshproduce.com/events/the-global-produce-and-floral-show/attend/schedule , shows a stellar line-up of sessions, speakers, networking opportunities and receptions and, of course, the enormous exhibit hall floor plan and registered exhibitors.
As of Sept. 20, the Produce Pavilion had more than 500 registered exhibitors, with onions well-represented through grower/shippers, packaging companies, trade associations, science and technology,, equipment companies and more. Among the onion reps exhibiting at the Orange County Convention Center are Onions 52, G&R Farms, Eagle Eye Produce, Wada Farms, Keystone Fruit Marketing, Bland Farms, L&M Companies, Shuman Farms, the Mexico Pavilion, Texas Town, Owyhee Produce/Buck Naked Onions, Dole, Idaho-Eastern Oregon Onion Association, RPE LLC, Volm Companies, Fox Packaging, Peri & Sons, Minkus Family Farms Inc., Potandon Produce, Torrey Farms, Easterday Farms, McAllen Produce Terminal Market, Americold and the Georgia Department of Agriculture.
If you’re interested in attending the show and haven’t already done so, registration can be handled online at https://my.freshproduce.com/s/community-event?id=a1u5b000002ePS0AAM
A quick look at the schedule shows a retail produce tour, Fresh Ideas Showcase that provides updates on innovations and products/services launched in the last year, a general session and lowdown on the State of the Industry presented by IFPA CEO Cathy Burns and – something new this year – an “Education Festival” that replaces traditional workshops.
The Association’s website advises, “In between the general sessions, join us for a few hours of fast-paced live speakers, self-guided information, casual conversations, food and more in this unique setting. We’ll inspire you, help you imagine the possibilities, and apply them to your priorities.” Presentations for produce and floral sectors will include climate issue discussions, consumer expectations and regulatory pressures.
There will also be an in-depth look at what’s next for organics as well as what’s happening in the supply chain and environmental policy arenas.
Sustainability science and the psychology of the consumer are also on the agenda, along with produce advocacy and a look at how social media has changed the way the world is viewed and information disseminated.
Other sessions include controlled environment growing, produce growth at retail, talent and labor challenges, selling during inflationary times, food safety and fighting hunger and nutrition insecurity
General sessions will further look into supply chain matters, technological innovation,
Keynote speaker this year at the General Session on Friday morning is José Andrés. Not only is this Spanish-born and raised chef the founder of World Central Kitchen (WCK), a non-profit devoted to providing meals in the wake of natural disasters, but he also owns restaurants across America from Washington, D.C. to Los Angeles, Las Vegas to South Beach, Orlando to Chicago and, of course, in New York City.
He was the recipient of the 2015 National Humanities Medal at a 2016 White House ceremony for his work with World Central Kitchen, and he has received honorary doctorates from Georgetown University, George Washington University, Harvard University and Tufts University.
His keynote address is “Changing the World Through the Power of Food – A Conversation with José Andrés.”
The Women’s Fresh Perspective General Session on Saturday morning will feature Golden Globe and Emmy Award-winning actress Laura Linney who will tackle the topic of gender discrimination. Her presentation is entitled “Women in Film: Navigating a Male-Dominated Industry.”