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Discussing ransoms, reputations and a health revolution at Viva Fresh

With less than two weeks until the 2022 Viva Fresh Expo opens the doors, the excitement is palpable as the industry prepares to gather with friends and colleagues to showcase their newest products and share ideas. And with that, this week TIPA has announced the lineup of education sessions.

vivaThe first education sessions will kick off with The Clean Eating Challenge: Can it Be a Health Revolution for the Produce Industry? Wendy Reinhardt Kapsak, president and CEO of Produce for Better Health will visit with past and present participants and explore what clean eating means, how it’s a tool to change consumption of fruits and vegetables and what our industry needs to know about changing behaviors to support eating healthy.

Next up expect to be led into the dark world of cybercrime. Greg Gatzke, president of Zag Technical Services, will talk Cybersecurity: The Real Threat of Malicious Attacks. As an industry that prides itself on being out in the fields, we often forget about the importance — and vulnerability — of the digital platforms we run our systems on. In September 2021, a cyberattack shut down 60 grain elevators in Iowa, responsible for feeding more than 11 million animals in the Midwest. In June, meatpacker JBS was hit, and it cost a reported $11 million to regain access to its systems. It’s not a matter of if these hackers will come for fresh produce, they have, and they will continue to do so. This session will shed light on how these attacks happen, and how companies can take proactive steps to prevent these costly and business alternating events.

Richard Kottmeyer from FTI Consulting will lead The Power of Reputation Management: Understanding the Language That Keeps You from Being the Headline. FTI Consulting has handled reputation management for all kinds of companies and industries, including Monsanto. Agriculture has been under attack for years around topics related to GMOs, pesticide use, food safety, sustainability, climate change and social responsibility. The industry is prone to ignore the role of reputation management in brand building and engaging in consumer conversations until there is a crisis to be managed. At this session, attendees will learn how to speak to consumers in their language and how to make information easier to understand in order to get to the heart of the facts. Everything from food safety to the dirty dozen will be on the table. Attendees should expect to laugh, but also feel a little or a lot uncomfortable as he talks about the risks we face, the problems we create and how we can manage them all.

“In person education has always been a catalyst to learn and engage in challenging conversations and we are so happy to bring back a full education schedule and tackle compelling topics,” said Dante Galeazzi, CEO and president of TIPA. “Finding the right topics is always a process and we are proud of the lineup we have created and excited for our attendees to explore new ideas that can better themselves, their businesses and our industry.”

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