International Fresh Produce Association Board of Directors Starts Strong in 2023; Laura Himes Shares
NEWARK, DE & WASHINGTON, DC - Nearly a month into 2023, organizations like the International Fresh Produce Association (IFPA) are already beginning to chart their progress on goals set for the year ahead. Last October at the Global Produce & Floral Show, Laura Himes, Senior Merchandising Director at Walmart, started as Chair of the IFPA Board of Directors, and now she is being joined by 12 other new Directors to continue making progress on the priorities she and the association outlined.
“Our industry faces great challenges around labor, supply chain, food safety, nutrition security, inflation, and climate. There are no simple solutions, but where there are challenges, there are also opportunities,” Himes stated in her address at the Global Produce & Floral Show.
Himes went on to outline her objectives for 2023, which include strengthening the health of consumers, the produce and floral community, and the planet, a release stated.
Additionally, she urged attendees to continue expanding the boundaries of the industry, seeking out new talent to develop that would create greater diversity, equity, and inclusion.
“I’m proud to lead an incredibly diverse Board of Directors that includes more than 40 percent representation from industry leaders who are women. But I also recognize there remains a lot of work to be done to continue creating opportunities across our community for everyone,” added Himes.
In her address, Himes also stated the importance of sustainability in the eyes of consumers. She said that for shoppers, water and energy conservation, healthy soils, waste, and recyclability were key focuses that could change how shoppers view brands throughout the industry. Therefore, the association is helping suppliers make moves to meet demand through various grants and programs.
In late December, Himes appointed Naturipe Farms’ Vice President of Finance Aribel Beck to serve as the new Chair of the Finance & Business Management Council. Beck succeeds Michael Castagnetto of Robinson Fresh.
Following Himes in the role of IFPA Chair-Elect is John Anderson, Chair, Chief Executive Officer, and Managing Partner of Oppy. He served multiple volunteer leadership positions for the former Produce Marketing Association as well as its Center for Growing Talent and was recently recognized by JA British Columbia as a 2023 Inductee into the Business Laureates of British Columbia (BLBC) Hall of Fame.
“The opportunity to serve our global fresh produce and floral as the 2024 IFPA Chair of the Board is an incredible honor as the organization continues to evolve its diverse portfolio of resources and programs to help our members further expand their business connections,” said Anderson. “I’ve always felt strongly about giving back to the industry that has given me such a rewarding career, and I am excited about collaborating with the Board in the years ahead so that IFPA remains a valuable and trusted source of insights, ideas, and opportunities for the membership and industry.”
To read more about the organization's 2023 initiatives and Board, click here.
What will the year ahead hold for IFPA? Keep reading AndNowUKnow for answers.