Fresh Summit a Prime Time Showcase for Florida Produce
If you are a specialty crop grower, or simply a lover of fresh fruits and vegetables, attending the Produce Marketing Association’s (PMA) Fresh Summit should be on your bucket list. The event draws more than 21,000 attendees and hosts 1,200 exhibitors each October. More than 3,000 buyers, from wholesalers to retailers, visit booths to strike deals for the produce grown in the coming year. Every few years, the Fresh Summit makes a stop in Florida at the Orange County Convention Center in Orlando. And it did again in 2018.
The Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services (FDACS) has been a member of PMA for nearly 30 years. The agency’s Fresh From Florida program brought a large contingent of growers to this year’s event.
“Participation in Fresh Summit is one of the longstanding traditions that the department has in the fall to help promote Florida to the upcoming season’s produce buyers throughout the industry,” says Chris Denmark, Development Representative Supervisor, FDACS Division of Marketing and Development.
The Florida Pavilion at Fresh Summit was created to include Florida companies that exhibit alongside the Fresh From Florida exhibitors. This allows them to use their own creative marketing team and expand to the size they wish to optimize their experience.
FDACS works to secure the space through PMA on behalf of Florida agribusinesses at no charge. The only requirement is the company is a current member of the Fresh From Florida program.
Home Run Year
This year’s event featured 24 companies in the Fresh From Florida exhibit and 25 companies that exhibited separately. A total of 49 companies participated within the Florida Pavilion.
“This year was the largest Fresh From Florida and Florida Pavilion exhibit to date,” Denmark says. “This tends to happen when we are in our home state.”
“The responses from exhibitors have been overwhelmingly positive. The FDACS team and exhibit contractor that put together the exhibit and pavilion definitely knocked this one out of the ballpark in Orlando.”
See You Next Time
Next year’s Fresh Summit will take place Oct. 17-19 in Anaheim, CA. The show will be back in Orlando in 2022.
“I would encourage any professional in the produce industry to attend the event,” Denmark says. “It is the one event that really creates an understanding about the magnitude of the industry. There are options for growers to purchase an attendee badge at a reduced rate through exhibitors. Additionally, exhibitors are given a set number of points that they can use to sign up attendee guests.”
For any companies interested in exhibiting in the Florida Pavilion or within the Fresh From Florida exhibit, contact the FDACS staff by calling 850-617-7330, or email Debra May at [email protected] for more information.