The International Fresh Produce Association hosted its first ever Global Produce & Floral Show in Orlando, FL last week. The show brought together the entire global supply chain for produce and floral.
With just over one buyer for every three attendees, the show offered a critical opportunity to make connections and create new partnerships. Attendees from approximately 40 countries attended the show, creating a buzz of energy from the education sessions to the show floor.
“I am thrilled with the overwhelming support our first Global Produce & Floral Show received from across the supply chain this year. This was a long-overdue return to gathering in October and it was made possible due to the leadership and support of our exhibitors, sponsors, volunteer leaders, and guests,” said IFPA CEO Cathy Burns. “I know I am leaving Orlando feeling energized and inspired about where the global produce and floral community is headed and how IFPA can clear the path for success.”
The expo floor opened a day earlier than years past to allow attendees to visit with Business Solutions Providers and technology partners. Included in this segment of the show floor were 12 members of the Fresh Fields Catalyst Accelerator Program. These companies participated in this unique immersion program to bring new — ready for market — solutions to the produce and floral industries. They joined a record-breaking 217 first-time exhibitors sharing their products on the floor this year.
On Saturday, IFPA announced the Best of Show Winners, selected by a panel of judges to represent the best of the expo floor:
- Best First Time Exhibitor: Northern Greens
- Best Inline in the Produce Marketplace: Conscious Foods
- Best Island in the Produce Marketplace: Red Sun Farms
- Best Inline in the Solutions Marketplace: Verdant Technologies
- Best Island in the Solutions Marketplace: AirFlo Merchandising Systems
- Best Inline in the Complementary Items Marketplace: Franklin Farms
- Best Island in the Complementary items Marketplace: T. Marzetti Co.
- Best Inline in the Floral Marketplace: Allure Farms Inc.
- Best Island in the Floral Marketplace: Live Trends Design Group LLC
From the Fresh Ideas Showcase Participants:
- Best Overall Product Promo: Mastronardi Produce – SUNSET Qukes with Dip & Angel Sweet with Dip
- Best Sustainable Packaging: Jac. Vandenberg Inc. – SUNRAYS Home Compostable Grape Bags
In addition to networking events, GPFS also featured over 20 education programs and over 45 expert speakers sharing the key insights to help guide businesses into the future. This includes the four general sessions that featured famed chef and humanitarian Jose Andres; award-winning actress and activist Marlee Matlin; and IFPA’s Burns. This is in addition to a series of sessions taking place on the show floor and other informal programs.
“Putting together this show is no small order and requires incredible partnership across the industry,” said Burns. “Ultimately, however, the show is not possible without the IFPA staff. I am so proud of this team and so grateful for the dedication and passion they all have for our members and our great industry.”