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IFPA Foodservice 2022: The buyers’ perspectives

The International Fresh Produce Association’s Foodservice Conference is nearly here, and this year’s event will see a record number of buyers attending, a sign of the strong appetite for putting produce on the plate at all foodservice outlets.

The IFPA Foodservice Conference attracts attendees from across the foodservice supply chain.  Supplier attendees include growers, shippers and processors, transportation companies, technology providers and packaging solutions. This year’s event is shaping up to have record buyer attendance with 800 buyer attendees, including foodservice operators (restaurant chains and groups, colleges  and universities, lodging, airlines, and more), foodservice distributors and wholersalers, chefs, menu developers and more. The event will also welcome an exciting new audience of menu planners and foodservice directors from several of the nation’s largest K-12 school districts.

Here's what some of the buyers are saying about IFPA Foodservice Conference 2022.

"In addition to what we’ll see on the Expo floor and hear from program speakers, I’ve always felt the IFPA Foodservice Conference provides a tremendous value for buying teams to connect with each other and members of the grower and supplier communities,” said Julie Olivarria, vice president of produce for Sysco. “Now more than ever, strong supplier relationships are incredibly important as produce continues to grow across foodservice channels. Our time in Monterey will give us all an opportunity to reenergize and draw inspiration for what’s possible for produce and where we go next."

"The Foodservice Conference is an annual must attendance for me to connect with growers-shippers, distributors, and industry contacts on a global scale," said Robin Fisher, category manager for P.F. Chang’s China Bistro. "It is a wonderful time to reconnect with industry friends in the beautiful setting of Monterey, CA."

"Our 50 US Foods and Amerifresh team members are energized about attending Foodservice 2022," said Jim Richter,  president and CEO of Amerifresh. "It is important for us to meet with grower shippers, explore new innovative products, and strengthen our partnerships across the supply chain. The event is great for all of us to spend the time together as we build on important business relationships for the future."

"I’m looking forward to seeing what the IFPA Foodservice Conference has to offer, and to collaborating with other K-12 school nutrition operators," said Shonia Hall, director, school nutrition services for Oklahoma City Public Schools. "Each day we serve 32,000 students breakfast, lunch, snack and supper at school-sites across our city, with all meals, including fruits and vegetables. We also have the Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Program enabling us to introduce our kids to fun and unique produce, like when this past year we served rambutans and persimmons. We purchase a lot of produce each year, and so I’m excited to to see what’s new, ask questions, and to just spend a few days thinking about opportunities to enhance produce choices for my students."

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