IFPA takes industry insights international during Q1
The International Fresh Produce Association has spent much of the first quarter of the year bringing industry insights to international audiences.
Beginning in February in Berlin, a team from IFPA traveled to Fruit Logistica to meet with industry members at the yearly European based event. In conjunction with the conference, IFPA hosted the Executive Leadership Conference, welcoming leaders from more than 30 countries to hear from experts and peers on a variety of topics critical to global business. IFPA expert Tamara Muruetagoiena provided the look at the latest trends in sustainability, speakers from Euromonitor and Rabobank provided a look at consumer trends within the context of the global economic outlook.
“Meeting with members at Fruit Logistica and the Executive Leadership Summit is both exciting and validating,” said Chief Membership Officer Miriam Wolk. “Our members are the fuel that powers our association. From our volunteers to those who shared insights with peers at our event or at our booth, we are grateful that the industry is so eager to engage and we’re thrilled can bring the industry together to help drive global consumption of fruits, vegetables and floral.”
After the Fruit Logistica event, IFPA Vice President of Innovation Vonnie Estes continued her world tour to Abu Dhabi in the UAE for the Aerofarms Innovation Summit. The event is organized to discuss the future of food supply, speed breeding and AgTech Innovation. Estes served on a panel about creating resilient urban food systems with fellow panelists from the U.S. Department of Agriculture Agricultural Research Service; the Foundation for Food and Agricultural Research; Priva; and BASF. Estes also attended the grand opening ceremony of AgX in Abu Dhabi, a 65,000-square-foot indoor R&D farm.
“Aerofarms’ Innovation Summit is an example of the necessity of private-public collaborations and company to company global partnerships to create productive and innovative ecosystems,” said Estes. “Innovating our food system is no singular company or industry’s responsibility. This is one of the main reasons IFPA has created the Fresh Field Catalyst Accelerator program, so we can welcome more players who are committed to building efficiency and resiliency in the produce industry.”
Estes traveled next to Las Vegas to participate in the Indoor Ag-Con providing insights on Controlled Environment Agriculture. She can be found next at the World Agritech Innovation Summit where she will lead a panel on The Pathway to climate Smart Agriculture: Technology, Investment and Farm Adoption. This panel features Elliot Grant of Mineral; Cristina Rohr of S2G Ventures; and 2022 Fresh Field Catalyst Alumna Kaitlin Fitzgerald of Sound Agriculture.
IFPA Sustainability Director Tamara Muruetagoiena also just returned from Australia and New Zealand where she participated in IFPA’s first Sustainability Summits. These events, in partnership with the Australia-New Zealand based IFPA team, charged participants to help identify the major sustainability challenges facing the industry to drive grassroots improvements and understanding of sustainability in the fresh produce sector.
Joining Muruetagoiena as speakers were Pip Best, Oceania Climate Change and Sustainability Services Partner of EY, and Rachel Depree, executive officer for sustainability at Zespri.
“I appreciate our Australia and New Zealand members hosting and engaging in IFPA’s first Sustainability Summit,” said Muruetagoiena. “In some regions, pressure to adopt and communicate sustainability practices are coming from policy makers and in others, the pressure is coming from retailers. Globally, however, it’s clear that consumer concerns are the root of these pressures, and these concerns cannot be ignored.”
One way to connect with IFPA team experts and members is at upcoming events. All events, both in person and virtual can be found at https://www.freshproduce.com/events/.