The International Fresh Produce Association (IFPA) has high hopes for the sophomore version of its Global Produce & Floral Show, set for Oct. 19-21 in Anaheim, Calif.

“The global show is a force for discovery and dialogue about trends and topics of importance to our industry,” said Doug Bohr, IFPA Chief Education and Programs Officer. “We bring global thought leaders and influencers to share their perspectives and experiences to inform and inspire our members.”

On Oct. 19, IFPA CEO Cathy Burns presents the can’t-miss State of the Industry presentation, which will explore opportunities for the global produce and floral community in the areas of technology and innovation, sustainability, talent attraction and workforce development, consumer trends, and advocacy.

The Global Leaders Panel later that day will be moderated by Patrick Vizzone, managing director and head of Agri-Food and Impact Investment at Franklin Templeton, Global Private Equity. Speakers include:

Judith McKenna, president, Walmart International, will speak about retail consumer trends.

Elliott Grant, CEO, Mineral (an Alphabet/Google company), will address technological innovation in agriculture.

Johnny C. Taylor, CEO, Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM), will talk about talent trends, including diversity, equity, and inclusion.

The general session Friday, Oct. 20, will feature Steve Wozniak, co-founder of Apple, tech entrepreneur, and computer scientist, will examine technological innovation and the future of technology.

At the Oct. 21 Women’s Leadership Breakfast, attendees will hear from Allyson Felix, the most decorated American track and field athlete in Olympic history and champion for gender equity. She will speak about her career, life experience, and advocacy for gender equity at this limited-attendance event (separate ticket required).

“She is a force for inspiration. Accolades praise her as influential, unrelenting, and a definer of global business,” said Megan Nash, IFPA director of education and talent. “Allyson has exemplified that she is about more than just medals — she runs for change, equity and acceptance for women and girls everywhere. You won’t want to miss her presentation.”

The women’s breakfast is open only to global show registrants and requires an additional ticket.

“Coming off the sold-out women’s reception at The Foodservice Conference, we’re advising attendees to get their tickets soon as this high-demand breakfast at the global show traditionally sells out quickly,” Nash said.

The Women’s Fresh Perspectives Breakfast at the global show is just one of the many components of IFPA’s year-long portfolio dedicated to advancing women in produce and floral.

“Not only do we provide resources for women as well as opportunities to connect and learn, we also recognize those in our industry who are equally committed to women’s success,” Nash said.

She noted that IFPA will also present the Frieda Rapoport Caplan Women’s Catalyst Award at the breakfast. Part of IFPA’s Awards of Excellence and DEI efforts, this award honors a leader in the produce or floral industry who cultivates women’s potential by mentoring and providing a path for the leadership, development, and participation of women in the industry.

“Past winners of this award are icons in our industry and the face of DEI commitment,” Nash said. “I encourage everyone coming to the global show to consider this breakfast in your schedule. It is always a highlight of the event.”

“In our increasingly global and inter-connected world, it’s important to look within and beyond our industry to find new ideas and inspiration,” Bohr added. “Our business-building keynote speakers and panelists bring a range of expertise, experience and insights on topics ranging from technology and innovation, talent and consumer trends, and advocacy that members across the supply chain and around the world will find engaging and compelling.”

This article is an excerpt from the September 2023 issue of Supermarket Perimeter. You can read the entire IFPA '23 feature and more in the digital edition here