Nov 9, 2023FPAA inaugural SWIPE expo hailed as success
The Fresh Produce Association of the Americas’ (FPAA) inaugural expo has been deemed a success.
A recent enhancement to their FPAA’s popular yearly convention, the Nov. 2-4 Southwest International Produce Expo, or SWIPE, attracted more than 500 attendees, buyers and exhibitors to Tucson, Arizona.
In its 54th year, the convention, which as at Loews Ventana Canyon Resort, included three days of activities. Growers, distributors, allied industry partners and buyers gathered for educational sessions, networking events, an awards reception and multiple outdoor activities including retail store tours and golf and tennis tournaments.
“We’re very pleased with the success of our first expo, alongside our annual conference, that brought together buyers, sellers, and growers for an elevated experience in the Southwest,” Lance Jungmeyer, FPAA’s president, said in a news release. “With the richness and diversity of our region and industry on display, SWIPE provided an intimate opportunity for trade partners to come together for quality business development and networking.”
Thursday evening kicked off with the Opening Fiesta, a culinary celebration of the bounty and culture of the Southwest, where the industry gathered to join in the rich environment of the SWIPE event.
Friday began with a half-day agenda of education sessions which addressed challenging supply chain topics such as dealing with unforeseen disruption such as weather, labor and policy; delivering value across customer tiers presented by a panel of industry buyers. A session was on understanding the opportunities for women in the produce industry from those who have excelled in spite of adversity.
Following the education sessions, the first SWIPE expo opened its doors to a show floor, where the ratio of exhibiting companies to buyers was 1:1.
“As FPAA Chairman, the inaugural SWIPE exhibition exceeded my expectations,” Rod Sbragia, vice president of sales for Crown Jewels Produce, said in the release. “From the energy on the show floor, excitement for our Southwest region on display during the networking events, and outdoor activities, it was a pleasure to host the industry for this year’s event, and I look forward to next year’s event to be held at the JW Marriott Resort at Starr Pass.”
SWIPE 2023 concluded with golf and tennis tournaments.
Prior to SWIPE, FPAA hosted its annual meeting where the organization honored Emilia Gotsis of Omega Produce Company as the 2023 Pillar of the Industry. FPAA chairwoman-elect Raquel Espinoza of Produce House was named the FPAA 2023 Member of the Year.