IFPA show to emphasize innovation
Virtually every aspect of the International Fresh Produce Association Global Produce & Floral Show will focus on innovation and the role it is playing and needs to play in improving the health of the industry, the planet and people.
That was the overarching message delivered by a trio of IFPA officials during a virtual press briefing Aug. 17 designed to promote the Oct. 19-21 show, which will be held in Anaheim, CA. IFPA CEO Cathy Burns said innovation is always an important element of any show, but “more than any other year this year’s show is all about innovation.”
She said there is an impressive lineup of speakers that will be focusing on innovation including the keynote address by Apple Co-founder Steve Wozniak. The educational sessions will also feature several other tech-oriented panels. In addition, another keynote session will feature a panel of CEOs from various business sectors, each of whom is well-schooled in technology and the power of innovation.
The floor show itself will feature an Innovation Hub, which will include the exhibitors operating in the tech world. The hub will also include a Future Tech Pavilion and a Tech Exchange. The pavilion has been designed to attract agtech companies that are either start-ups or in the early stages of their development. They are being invited to present their ideas at the pavilion free of charge. The Tech Exchange will be an informal education space on the show floor where an interchange of ideas will be fostered.
IFPA Chairman Laura Himes of Walmart was also involved in the briefing reiterating her three strategic priorities when she took over the helm at the 2022 show, which were strengthening the health of consumers worldwide, the health of the produce and floral community, and the health of the planet. She said the association has made progress on each priority, which she will showcase during her address at the convention.
John Anderson, who is chairman, CEO and president of Oppy, is the incoming chairman of IFPA, and also weighed in during the Zoom event. After expressing his own desire to hear what Steve Wozniak has to say, Anderson noted that the Anaheim show will be the largest U.S. fresh produce show that there has ever been. He is excited to engage with produce and tech companies from all over the world to help solve the industry’s challenges. In particular, he said the industry has to work on increasing fresh produce consumption. “We have to figure out how to get that done.”
Reiterating Anderson’s observation that the October Global Produce & Floral Show will be the largest show ever, Burns promised that the association “will bring our best game.”