Featured image: Eagle Eye team exhibits at IFPA show expo in Anaheim, CA, photo courtesy of Joe ANge with Eagle EYe Produce Company
The curtains have fallen, the booths dismantled, and the International Fresh Produce Association’s (IFPA) Global Produce & Floral Show concluded with resounding success. As the industry recovers from the pandemic’s impact, this event proved to be a beacon of hope and innovation, attracting attendees and exhibitors from more than 60 countries.
This year marked IFPA’s return to Anaheim for the first time, and it left a lasting impression on attendees and participants alike. The show, which featured packed general sessions and a bustling show floor, has been dubbed the best show ever by many industry professionals.
“Coming back to Anaheim for the first time as IFPA, I could not be more impressed and inspired by the support the global produce and industry gave us this week,” remarked IFPA’s CEO, Cathy Burns. “The Global Produce & Floral Show truly is THE force for connections and creativity for anyone involved in fruits, vegetables, flowers, and plants.”
The event brought together members from across the entire supply chain and, with a buyer for every six attendees, facilitated quality connections and partnerships. IFPA Vice President Joe Watson emphasized that the show’s goal has remained the same – to provide a platform for members to connect and transform their businesses.
The expo floor opened after a keynote speech by Apple Co-Founder Steve Wozniak. Over 1,160 companies exhibited at the show, including 157 first-timers. This year’s focus was on technology solutions, with the Innovation Hub taking center stage. The Future Tech Pavilion and the Fresh Field Catalyst Accelerator program participants, who concluded their year-long program at the show, were highlights of the Hub.
One of our industry friends, Joe Ange with Eagle Eye Produce who was an exhibitor at the show provided his take on the expo event. “We found it to be a great show with a huge turnout!” Joe said. “We met with many great customers and friends and made a few new acquaintances as well. This year, we were lucky enough to have our booth positioned right next to the Idaho-E. Oregon Onion Committee booth and we spent some time helping out in their booth as well.” He continued, “One of the take-aways for me was the interest of USA Onions to be exported into Mexico, we met with several buyers interested in importing our valley’s onions into Mexico which is promising for current market conditions.”
Several exhibitors received recognition for their outstanding booths, including Molly’s Grape & Citrus Company, International Paper, Kwik Lok Corporation, Windset Farms, Frieda’s Branded Produce, Fresh Gourmet Company, and Offshoot Brands. In the floral category, Gems and Penang Nursery, Inc. earned top honors.
The Fresh Ideas Showcase featured 245 participants, with Alpine Fresh Hippie Organics receiving accolades for their sustainable packaging, and Mastronardi Produce recognized for their product promotion.
Apart from the bustling expo floor, the event also featured four keynote speakers and over 30 speakers across 12 Education Festival sessions. The speakers included Apple Co-Founder Steve Wozniak, Olympian and Advocate Allyson Felix, and a CEO panel with Patrick Vizzone, Dr. Elliott Grant, Andrea Albright, and Johnny C. Taylor, Jr. IFPA’s Cathy Burns delivered a highly anticipated State of the Industry presentation, challenging the industry to take action and emphasizing that “Action is THE answer” to any challenge.
With record-breaking attendance, a vibrant show floor, and a strong focus on innovation, IFPA’s Global Produce & Floral Show is leaving a lasting mark on the industry, setting the stage for a bright future for produce and floral businesses around the world. IFPA looks forward to welcoming even more guests next year in Atlanta.
Here are just a few photos of some friends and booths from the event. Click image to enlarge and scroll.