Continental Fresh heading back to Viva Fresh with mangos on its mind
Continental Fresh has been attending Viva Fresh for the past four years, but 2022 was the first time it exhibited at the show. Things went so well the Miami-based company will be back in 2023 at booth No. 100. The company specializes in tropical imports from Latin America — especially mangos — servicing retail, foodservice, wholesale and process customers throughout the United States.
“Viva Fresh is very important to us because this will be our fourth year involved in the Mexican mango program,” said Albert Perez, CEO of the company. “The new program recently started and by the time the show happens, we will be going into some good supplies and that will take up all the way through September, with mangos coming from the different Mexican regions.”
That’s’ where the company packs the majority of its Water For All label. “Mangos is currently the only Mexican item we have, and we see Viva Fresh as a crucial opportunity for us to meet with our growers and customers we have in the Texas area,” Perez said. “The show has been extremely successful and has grown and I have always enjoyed going.” As the eighth-largest importer of mangos from Mexico, the segment will be the focus of the company for the entire summer. “We’ll be making sure we have the right quality for our retail, foodservice and processing customers during the period,” Perez said. “The key to a successful mango program is lots of communication and coordination between all the many regions of Mexico where these mangos will come from.”
Continental Fresh is sending a large contingent of people to Viva Fresh, including people from sourcing, quality control and all of its salespeople. “It’s the biggest group we’ve ever taken to a show,” Perez said. “We hope to be able to get more people who don’t know our label to understand the passion and the purpose behind it, and to get on board with what we’re trying to do there.” Another unique thing about the Continental Fresh booth this year is that it’s going to have Patrick Kelly, founder and host of The Produce Industry Podcast, running some interesting promotions and activities. “Patrick is someone we have partnered with to promote our label,” Perez said.
Each year, Continental Fresh promotes awareness of water issues globally through its Water For All label, where a percentage of proceeds from every box of produce sold is donated to BLUE (Building Love, Uniting Everyone) Missions to fund clean water and sanitation projects in Latin America. It also hosts an annual Water For All Trek, a fundraiser hike for BLUE missions, that is attended by Perez, staff and other members of the produce industry. Kelly was part of this year’s hike, and will be at Viva Fresh’s booth to persuade others in the industry to take part in the hike, offering a free trip to one lucky attendee who sent in a video prior to the show.
“I was so inspired after taking this trip with Albert Perez last fall. I knew I wanted to make sure more produce people would be able to have the same experience,” Kelly said. “I’m humbled to be able to offer this trip, paying it forward and ensuring the Water For All mission continues.”
This year’s trip will take place Nov. 17-23, and the winner will receive complimentary airfare to and from the Dominican Republic from Miami, one night hotel accommodations in Miami prior to departure, as well as all featured accommodations of the trip once in the Dominican Republic. The winner of the complimentary trip will be announced on March 31 live from Viva Fresh.
“We are urging anyone who would like to join us to register at the show,” Perez said.