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DSC 1806On Thursday, Sept. 22, about 200 members of the Fresh Produce & Floral Council met for lunch at the Castlewood Country Club in Pleasanton, CA, to break bread and talk a little about life and sports. The featured speaker was Doug Cosbie, former tight end for the Dallas Cowboys, who discussed many of the life lessons he has learned while participating in sports as a player or coach for the past 50 years.

Featured speaker Doug Cosbie with FPFC Chairman Marvin Quebec of Quebec Distributing and Ken Silveira of Sunset Produce.

nepc3854BREWSTER, MA — The New England Produce Council's 17th annual Produce, Floral & Foodservice Expo got under way Wednesday, Sept. 21, with a presentation by Tom Stenzel, president and chief executive officer of United Fresh Produce Association, who delivered the keynote address, titled, "We're Driving a Fresh Revolution." This was followed by a consumer panel on shopping habits specific to produce purchases, moderated by Kevin Coupe, a food industry expert, journalist and author.

The event is being held Sept. 21-23 at the Ocean Edge Resort & Golf Club in Brewster, MA, which is located on historic and beautiful Cape Cod.

Following a VIP reception from 5 p.m. to 6 p.m., attendees enjoyed the annual Cape Cod style clambake, followed by a bonfire, cocktails and S'mores on the beach later in the evening.

The expo was scheduled for Thursday, from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., with a "Sunset Sail" later that evening.

Doug Stewart of Giorgio Fresh with Kim and Bill Brophy of Stop & Shop.

IMG 6730ISELIN, NJ — The Eastern Produce Council's dinner meeting Tuesday evening, Sept. 13, was different than most EPC meetings. Billed as a tailgate dinner, attendees were invited to dress in their favorite football jersey, and former New York Jets defense player Joe Klecko spoke at the dinner.

The meeting, held at the Renaissance Woodbridge Hotel, here, was co-sponsored by Avocados from Mexico and the Idaho Potato Commission. Maggie Bezart-Hall of Avocados from Mexico and Seth Pemsler of the Idaho Potato Commission also spoke briefly at the event, the council's first meeting after its traditional summer break.

Maggie Bezart-Hall of Avocados from Mexico, one of the co-sponsors of the EPC's Sept. 13 dinner meeting; Susan McAleavey Sarlund, executive director of the EPC; Joe Klecko, a defensive player with the New York Jets from 1977 to 1987 where he was a member of the team's 'New York Sack Exchange'; Victor Savanello, president of the EPC; and Seth Pemsler of the Idaho Potato Commission, the other co-sponsor of the meeting.

Klecko, who was with the Jets from 1977 to 1987 and where he was a member of the team's "New York Sack Exchange," told the audience a little about his career in football and elsewhere. "My world has always been about teamwork," he said. "Not too many people" become successful just by themselves. "It comes from working together."

EPC President Victor Savanello, director of produce and floral at Allegiance Retail Services LLC, said, "Tonight, we have two sponsors who are great supporters of the Eastern Produce Council. "Potatoes mean so much to our industry," and "avocados are certainly a big thing but have so much growth potential still."

In closing, Savanello reminded the audience that the council's second annual Joe DeLorenzo Family Day will be held Saturday, Oct. 1 at Melick's Town Farm, from 10 a.m. to noon. The event is held in honor of Joseph DeLorenzo, a longtime member of the council and one of its past presidents, who died Nov. 12, 2014.

"Joe D would have loved this event," said Savanello. "Bring your children, bring your grandchildren. This is just a fantastic day."

2NEW YORK — Pedro Pablo Kuczynski, the newly elected president of Peru, made an appearance at the Peru to the World Expo, here, Sept. 18, to support the launch of a new Superfoods from Peru brand.

PPK, as he is widely known, arrived toward the end of the four-hour expo to voice his commitment to Peru's agriculture industry and its growing importance in global markets. Throngs of fans clamored for a photo or even just a glimpse of the popular president, who defeated Keiko Fujimori in a close contest in June.

The expo featured 20 chefs, who prepared traditional Peruvian dishes that featured some of Peru's agricultural gems, such as avocados, blueberries and quinoa.

The new Superfoods from Peru brand was launched at the Peru to the World Expo Sept. 18 at Metropolitan West in New York City.

Eduardo Ferreyros, Peru's Minister of Foreign Commerce and Tourism, told The Produce News that the launch of the Superfoods from Peru brand at the expo was significant, as the United States is the most important market for Peruvian agriculture.

"In 2009, Peru exported $500 million worth of agricultural products to the United States," he said. "Today, the value is $1.5 billion, and we hope to increase that to $3 billion in the next five years."

Ferreyros said the ministry has worked hard for years to promote agriculture and the effort is now paying off. He said it will continue with its promotions and has opened U.S. offices in New York and Miami to help support the cause.

Avocados and blueberries were the featured superfoods at the expo, and Lima-based Camposol is a leader in both items.

'We support Avocados from Peru and Blueberries from Peru," said José Antonio Gomez Bazan, chief executive officer of Camposol Trading. "We have seen double-digit growth of these items and we need to keep consumption growing. The Superfoods from Peru brand was the second step after Avocados from Peru and Blueberries from Peru, and we will add more in the future, with items like citrus and grapes."

8SUN VALLEY, ID — The Idaho Grower Shipper Association held its 88th annual convention, here, Aug. 31-Sept. 2, providing a mix of business and networking opportunities at the picturesque and historic Sun Valley Resort. One of the highlights of the convention was the Sept. 1 Railroad Reception & Cocktail Party, celebrating the importance that the railroad industry has had on Idaho potatoes throughout the years.

Darla and James Hoff of Hoff Bros. Inc., growers for G.P.O.D. James Hoff is also a commissioner with the Idaho Potato Commission as well as a grower.