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IMG 7695The annual Fresh Produce & Floral Council charity luncheon took place Dec. 6 at the Sheraton Cerritos Hotel in Cerritos, CA. Between the live and silent auctions, as well as numerous other generous donations, the FPFC event raised more than $160,000 for the Orange County Food Bank and Caterina’s Club, a charity that feeds pasta dinners to homeless and underprivileged children every night.

Mark Lowry, director of the Orange County Food Bank, and chef Bruno Serato of Caterina’s Club both spoke passionately about their respective causes. Celebrity chef and restaurateur Jet Tila served as chief auctioneer of the program.   the charities.  The annual FPFC Dinner Dance is next on the horizon and will take place Jan. 27 at Disney’s Grand Californian in Anaheim, CA.

Gloria Carpio and Jules Buehler of North Shore Living Herbs.

Ronnie-Alberto-ObregonPUERTO VALLARTA, MEXICO -- Palm trees and the blue Pacific Ocean framed the inaugural Congreso Mundial de Productores y Exportadores de Mango, or World Congress of Mango Producers & Exporters, which drew more than 500 people from 15 countries.

Presented by EMEX, the association of packers of Mexican export mangos, the two-day event covered a range of topics, with a focus on the Mexican mango industry overcoming hurdles for exporting more volume in years to come. In 2017, Mexico exported a record 80 milllion cases of mangos.

The meeting included two oceanside parties with live Mexican musical and dance entertainment. This congress followed a two-day board meeting of the National Mango Board.

Showing a festive spirit were Chris Ciruli of Ciruli Bros. LLC in Rio Rico, AZ, and Ping Lu of ISHS Mango Working Group in Australia.

fsa1NEW ORLEANS -- The Produce Marketing Association kicked off its 68th annual Fresh Summit convention and exposition Oct. 20, here, drawing members of the fresh fruit, vegetable and floral industry from around the globe. While the final numbers were not yet available, there were indications that the event would draw a record number of attendees.

Ronald Bown, chairman of ASOEX, the association of Chilean fruit importers, and Nancy Tucker, vice president of global business development for PMA, sign a memorandum of understanding to increase cooperation between the two organizations on Oct. 20 during the PMA Fresh Summit.

Canada-Wide-OmarTUBAC, AZ — The 49th Produce Convention & Golf Tournament, presented by the Fresh Produce Association of the Americas, was held Nov. 2-4 at the Tubac Golf Resort & Spa.

The keynote speaker of the Nov. 2 conference was Rick Stein, vice president of fresh foods at the Food Marketing Institute. The Nov. 3 program brought the second annual culinary showcase of top dishes out of Mexico’s top produce. Sponsored by FPAA and the Mexican Consulate of Nogales, AZ, the showcase sampled unique and tasty culinary creations from chefs and culinary teams, all featuring the wonderful flavors of Mexican produce.

The social events included a two-day golf tournament, helicopter rides over the rugged border terrain, a Nov. 2 cocktail party and a Nov. 3 gala dinner featuring the Pillars of the FPAA Awards Ceremony.

Lance Jungmeyer of FPAA flanked by TIPA executives Dante Galeazzi and Hector Garza.

Clinton-BallNew Orleans -- The Produce Marketing Association's Fresh Summit opening party was held here Oct. 19 at Mardi Gras World Float Den, which is on the waterfront of the Mississippi River. Appetizers reflected the flavorful local foods of the city. PMA's Fresh Summit Convention & Expo continues through Oct. 21.

Lyle Castle and Frank O’Dowd of BFC Associates Inc.