Expanded to include entries from across the produce spectrum, Year Two of the Viva Fresh Innovation Showcase has proven to be a hit, with 22 finalists vying for top honors at the Expo in San Antonio on April 27.
According to a release from organizers, “Industry members were encouraged to submit any and all new advances from field to fork. Innovations were not limited and could include advances in new seed varieties, products, packaging, advances in production, machinery, packing facilities and greenhouses; technology or application software, food safety, traceability, sustainability efforts and more.”
Dante Galeazzi, president and CEO of Viva Fresh host organization Texas International Produce Association, said, “We’re excited about the large number of entries we received this year! It is a powerful reflection on this region; an area that built its reputation on timeless innovations such as the Rio Star Red Grapefruit and the Texas 1015 Sweet Onion.” Dante went on to say, “Our vision for this showcase has been to recognize excellence and celebrate the creative, unique and industry-changing technologies that are both shaping and improving every aspect of the fresh produce supply chain.”
The judging panel is comprised of retail, foodservice and produce industry vets, and they carefully chose the finalists based on a strict set of strict criteria. Those finalists are Fox Packaging and Fox Stand-Up Combo® Bag; Allen Lund Co. and its AlchemyTMS – Spot Bid tool; Apeel Sciences and Apeel plant-derived shelf life extension technology; Coast Tropical and Organic Wrap Around Mango; Del Monte Fresh Produce and Del Monte Honeyglow® Pineapple; Del Monte Fresh Produce/Mann Packing and Caulilini® Baby Cauliflower; Frontera Produce/Sostena and Golden Crush Cantaloupe/Ground Site/Produce Plan; GoodFarms and Equitable Food Initiative and Andrew & Wiliamson’s EFI Continuous Improvement Teams; IFCO Systems and MyIFCO™ Recollect App; International Paper and International Paper – Stakor™; Ippolito International and Royal Brussels Sprouts™; Kingdom Fresh Farms and Solar Panel System; Magic Sun Farms and CEICKOR University; Mastronardi Produce and ALOHA™ Peppers; Mr. Lucky and Mr. Lucky Garlic Blister Pack; Mucci Farms and CuteCumber™ Poppers; National Mango Board and In-store Mango Display; Pure Flavor and Mini Munchies Tomato Snack Pack; SunFed and SunFed Sweet Melon Machine; Triple H Produce and Triple H Grower’ App; Ventura Farms/Marie’s Refrigerated Salad Dressing and Marie’s Market Reserve Refrigerated Dressings; and Village Farms and Village Farms Texas Grown.
Finalists will be displayed before and during the Expo on Saturday, April 27, and all attendees are encouraged to vote live from the show floor via mobile device for their favorite from among the innovations. The innovation receiving the most votes will be honored with the Best of Show Award, and there will be second and third runners-up named as well. All winners will be announced during the Expo.
For more information, visit www.VivaFreshExpo.com.