13-ROB---1CERRITOS, CA — More than 300 produce professionals packed the ballroom at the Sheraton Cerritos, here, June 21 for the Fresh Produce & Floral Council Southern California Membership Luncheon.

Michele Haveles and Amanda Grillo of CMC Sales & Marketing.

Featured speaker for this event was Melissa Hartwig, New York Times best-selling author and co-creator of the Original Whole30 Program, a 30-day plan that eliminates ”problematic food” such as sugar, grains, alcohol and processed food from one’s diet, and introduces healthy-sized portions of vegetables and fruits.

The idea, Hartwig said, is to “fill your plate with vegetables and add some fruit.”  

She added that the Whole30 Program changes a person’s health and habits when fruits and vegetables are incorporated into a healthy eating plan. She also said that although company websites are great, it’s social media that drives consumers purchasing habits today, and produce companies should take advantage of the opportunities social media affords.

The next event for the FPFC will take place July 18 at the Disneyland Hotel in Anaheim when the annual FPFC Southern California Fresh Produce & Floral Expo will take center stage. The featured speaker for the Expo will be NFL Hall of Fame running back Marcus Allen.


BALL-SEEDCHICAGO — The International Floriculture Expo June 13-15 in Chicago drew more than 7,500 attendees, including over 600 floral buyers. There were 225 exhibiting companies at the show -- 30 of which were first-time exhibitors – and they brought many innovative new products to the buyers.

Show highlights included John Simko, president at Sunshine Bouquet Co. in Dayton, NJ, being honored at the IFE Flower Naming Ceremony; Corey Rader, designer at FreshBlooms and DVFlora in Sewell, NJ, winning the 2017 Iron Designer competition; and Syndicate Sales in Kokomo, IN, winning the Innovation Battlefield competition.


Kim Tozier and Mark Thompson of Hiawatha Evergreens.

allegiance4681SECAUCUS, NJ -- Allegiance Retail Services LLC's 2017 Holiday Food Show, held Thursday, June 15, at the Meadowlands Exposition Center, here, drew a big crowd to its annual event. "The estimate is somewhere around 1,000 people," Vic Savanello, Allegiance's senior director of produce and floral, told The Produce News midway through the show.

This sign at the entranceway announced that former Major League baseball great Bernie Williams was a featured guest at the Allegiance Retail Services 2017 holiday show Thursday, June 15, at the Meadowlands Exposition Center in Secaucus, NJ.

The first day of summer was still almost a week away, but holiday music was playing in the expo hall as a way of reminding attendees of the importance of the holiday season to the retail industry.

"Every department and every one of our members groups are represented here," said Savanello. "For the most part, we're showing our members items that are innovative in our industry, and also helping them choose items for the upcoming holidays -- Thanksgiving, Christmas, all the way to New Year's and even to the Super Bowl."

It is somewhat of a tradition at the Allegiance show to invite a Major League baseball player to bring a little extra excitement to the day, and 2017 was no exception. Former New York Yankees star Bernie Williams was on hand to sign autographs and pose for photos.

In his long career (1991-2006) as center fielder for the Bronx Bombers, Williams earned four World Series rings and played on five All-Star teams. His number, 51, was retired by the Yankees in 2015.

x6The Produce Marketing Association hosted Fresh Connections: Floral Anaheim on June 8 in Southern California, a U.S. regional event designed to help professionals in the mass-market floral supply chain gain insights into trends and network to increase sales.

Arnold Rouws of Intergreen USA Inc., Jason Kendall of Kendall Farms and Debbie Zoellick of Walmart.

Joe Bischoff, senior vice president at Cornerstone Government Affairs in Washington, DC, discussed legislative and regulatory objectives of the Trump administration, including tax reform, trade agreements like NAFTA, and federal spending, and encouraged attendees to think about risks and benefits potential changes could have on their business strategies in the coming years.

Elena Ozeritskaya, founder at Fresh Insight in the Netherlands, provided insight on generational consumer trends, and shared ideas on successfully marketing to Millennials and ways to collaborate within the floral supply chain. In addition, three floral industry executives participated in a panel discussion on what U.S. retailers expect from their suppliers today, especially when it comes to new consumer concepts.

DSC 2650CHICAGO — The United Fresh expo floor opened Wednesday, June 14, marking the debut of the FreshTEC and FreshMKT expos. The aisles were packed, and attendees were able to experience every segment of the supply chain in one exhibit hall — FreshTEC Expo, FreshMKT Expo, Global Cold Chain Expo and International Floriculture Expo.

Justin Coffey, Scott Owens, Jason Osborn and James Lopez of Wonderful Citrus.