By:Betty Coker, Editor in Chief For World Liberty TV
The Eastern Produce Council and PRODUCE BUSINESS magazine present an exciting world-class event for the industry. The four-day event includes networking opportunities, a one-day trade show of over 400 companies, retail “thought-leader” breakfast panel hosted by Perishable Pundit Jim Prevor, educational micro-sessions and tours of the region’s vibrant industry, including local retailers, wholesalers, foodservice distributors, urban farms and unique eateries.
The program also includes an outreach to students and faculty at regional universities as well as distinguished culinary schools, plus the “Connect with Fresh” media immersion, luncheon and show tour involving influential bloggers, consumer editors and those working with all forms of social media.
In addition to the 1-day Trade Show are three co-located conferences for those wishing to expand and enhance their visit to our one-of-a-kind produce industry experience.
Monday, the Foundational Excellence program – with Cornell professors offering one day of industry trends and take-a ways for executives with less than 5 years in produce.
Tuesday, the Global Trade Symposium offers attendees the latest insights on produce importing and exporting to and from the Northeast Region.
Wednesday, our 1-day Trade Show and Exposition, featuring Keynote Breakfast and Thought Leaders Panel, show floor educational Micro-Sessions, Chef’s Demonstrations, and the Connect with Fresh Media Immersion.
Thursday, the “Ideation Fresh” Foodservice Forum covers the role of produce in culinary innovation and foodservice profitability.
Foundational Excellence: future leaders in Produce was the theme of this year, welcoming remarks were by Ken Whitacre, Publisher Produce Business. Topics included The US. Food system and Fresh Produce, which included Kristin Park, Senior Extension Associate of Food Industry Management program., many more topics were discussed by experts in the field, educating many of the younger aspiring students who in the future want to be involved in the produce business.
Global Trade Symposium: This Symposium is my favorite part of the produce show, where leaders from all over the world come and speak about produce, and share insights and ideas. The Symposium was headed by Gustavo Yentzen, Founder and general manager, Yentzen group.
Some of the topics and participants included: The Global Scope of the US Produce Industry by Miguel Gomez, Robert G. Tobin Professor, Dyson School of Applied Economics and management –Cornell University, analyzed how the U.S produce industry interacts with different regions of the world.
The Symposium finished with an elite panel of experts analyzed the situation for U.S. imported fruit ,the pandemic ,inflation, and much more. The Panelists included: Moderator Gustavo Yentzen, John Pandol, of Pandol Bros, Bill Weyland of Seven Seas Fruit, Manuel Jose Alcaino of Decofrut and Miles fraser Jones of Sierra produce.
Right after the panel a cocktail hour took place in the grand ballroom of the Hilton hotel New York city. Where close to one thousand guests were in attendance, eating food from many stations set up, Asian style food, to Italian and wonderful spread of vegetables and full open bar.
Breakfast thought leadership Panel titled Consumption: Let’s work together was moderated by Wendy Reinhardt Kapsak, President and CEO, Produce for Better Health Foundation (PBH). Other panelist’s included: Marianne Santo, Senior Category Manager, Produce and Floral, Wakefern Food Corp., and President Produce Council, Mary Mitchell, Category Merchant, Produce, Fresh Direct., Caitlin Tierney, Senior Director, Produce for local and innovation Sprouts Farmers Market and Lisa Helfman, Senior Director, Public Affairs, H-E-B, and Co-Founder, brighter bites.
Right after the breakfast everyone headed to the ribbon cutting ceremony. Then on to the highlight of the show, on the floor with close to 400 vendors in attendance from all over the world showcasing, every fruit, vegetable you can think of and some you have never seen or heard of. I want to share few of the new findings and things that impressed me and caught my eye.
Bowery: is elevating the grab-and-go salad experience with three new flavors of salad kits that feature forkable pesticide-free, no need to wash greens, bold flavor, and crunchy toppings from pepitas to parm crisps.
Jooliettes dark chocolate covered diced dates: are bite-sized nibbles of joy. With three different flavors, there is one for everyone! Sea Salt Dark Chocolate is for the chocolate lover, who likes to keep it simple with sea salt, dark chocolate, and Joolies dates.
Habanero and Tropical Fruit Salad Topper: With the right ingredients, salad can be so much more than a boring bowl of leaves. We created Habanero & Tropical Fruit salad topper to transform your mundane salad into a hot tropical experience. This unique blend of dry roasted pumpkin seeds, habanero spiced sunflower seeds, refreshing dried papaya and pineapple the perfect balance of sweet and heat that will take your salad to the next level.
Alonna™ Canary Melons: Exotically Delightful™, a single bite of an Alonna™ Canary Melon can persuade effortlessly. Crisp, refreshing, and oh so smooth creates a healthy cocktail of fresh flavors.
Solara™ Mini Gala Melons: Tastefully Tropical™ and ever so sweet, Solara™ Mini Melons are greenhouse grown where it’s paradise 365 days a year. They are nurtured with the ideal amount of light, nutrition, and water to deliver the same sweet flavor families love, regardless of the season.
Trinity Fruit Company: Squeezed Juice, Squeezed Juice is fresh, 100% from fruit, no water added, and never from concentrate. We use only 100% California-grown, non-GMO pomegranates and mandarins to make the freshest and most delicious juice on the market.
There was so many to list, you can see many more in our World Liberty TV, Food Channels by Clicking here.
Media Luncheon, headed by Jodean Robbins Duarte, Coordinator, NYPS Media Lunch Contributing Editor, Produce Business magazine. This Luncheon is an only media invite, for the media in the industry of produce. This year’s theme was Hacks to Habits: Unpacking Behavioral insights to bolster Fruit and Vegetable Consumption. Panelists included: Wendy Reinhardt Kapsak, President and CEO, PBH., Amy Myrdal Miller, PBH Culinary and Foodservice Specialist, Annette Maggi of PBH, Retail specialist as well as Chef and Abbie Gellman PBH, Have a plant Ambassador.
I have covered the New York Produce Show, from day one since it made its debut approxemently 13 years ago. I met Jim Prevor , Founder of the New York Produce Show. As I attended my first show and as I engaged in conversation with Jim, I asked him many questions about produce around the world. He would take time and answer my questions, this was unusually done between breaks, at cocktail hour, at the media luncheon. Jim was always on the move. Moderating a panel, introducing the next speaker.
I remember one time, Jim had to get up and speak about a topic, about produce from South America, because one of the speakers was not able to attend. So Jim took the Bull by the Horn and tackled the topic his self. He spoke so elegantly, with facts, and had everyone’s attention while he spoke, during the Q&A, he answered each question with ease.
I asked Jim, during luncheon, after the panel, how were you able to do that. He went on to tell me that his family was involved in the Produce Business for many years, in the Hunters Point Market in the Bronx, when he got out of college he got involved in the family business and was given a position as an international sales person. Selling Produce to the World. He went on to say he travelled all over the world, met some of the most brilliant minds in this profession, he went on to say, he made notes and remembered so many things in his mind.
Hence forward I developed a great friendship with Jim, for many years he would enjoy all my articles and videos which I would send him to view. He would reply many times thanking me for the coverage. He had me attend almost every event and opened doors for me by introducing me to many great people in the industry.
As I hold my tears back, while writing this next sentence. Jim Prevor passed away on November 7th 2022, at age 61. A breakfast tribute took place to honor his legacy with a video tribute, his business partner for over Thirty years Ken Whitacre, Publisher of Produce Business, had tears rolling down his eyes as he saw the tribute on video.
Let me just say this, Jim was a walking genius who was vastly knowledgeable, had such a wonderful personality. Down to earth person you can ever know. I am proud to call him a friend, he will be deeply missed and never forgotten. Thank you Jim for your wisdom, friendship to me over the 13 years I have known you, Rest in Peace. We will eventually all join you. All I ask you is having a table of Fruits and produce ready to welcome us, so we can continue our conversations forever, dear friend.
The New York Produce Show 2022, broke every record, with attendance doubling on the show floor, I have not seen so many people in attendance, over the years I have attended. I plan on attending and showcasing Jim’s organization for many years to come.
See Many videos and blogs of Jim Prevor in our World Liberty TV, Food Channels by Clicking here.