Texas International Produce Association Announces Viva Fresh Clean Eating Challenge
MISSION, TX - The Viva Fresh Expo promotes eating fresh fruits and vegetables as part of a healthy diet, and the event is taking new steps to get the word out. Viva Fresh is launching a health and wellness campaign starting the week of November 18, and continuing until the 2020 Viva Fresh Expo from April 30 to May 2, 2020, in San Antonio, Texas. The organization has tapped Dr. Ian Smith, a physician, best-selling author, and TV personality, to lead a group of four produce industry professionals who are taking on the Clean Eating Challenge to make changes to their diets to become healthier.
“Since the inception of the Viva Fresh Expo, health and wellness has been one of the main cornerstones of our program,” said Dante Galeazzi, President and CEO of the Texas International Produce Association (TIPA). “There’s been a global rise in clean eating causing consumers from all age groups to embrace a plant-based diet. But growers are often removed from these trends creating a disconnect with the consumers who are buying their produce. That’s why we’re excited to launch this challenge and use the resulting insight to empower the produce industry to better understand and act upon the clean eating trend.”
The Clean Eating Challenge is sponsored by SunFed, Grow Farm Texas, Coast Tropical, Rio Fresh Inc., and J&D Produce, and follows participants who bring a variety of backgrounds, health challenges, and goals for the program.
The four brave industry participants include:
- Tommy Wilkins, Grow Farms Texas
- Ed Bertaud, IFCO
- Jed Murray, Tenaza Organics
- Michelle Cortez, Empacadora GAB – Mr. Lucky
Throughout the Challenge, Dr. Smith will work closely with each participant to craft a plan based on their goals, health challenges, and the results of their physicals. Interested industry members will be able to follow the participants’ progress online through the Viva Fresh website.
“This focus on health and wellness really sets Viva Fresh apart from other regional trade shows, so we’re looking forward to seeing the results of the Clean Eating Challenge,” Kyle Stevens, Vice President of Produce for H-E-B, said in a press release. “Each year the show brings a new, vibrant energy to the industry and highlights the growing importance of Texas and Mexico in fresh produce.”
As the keynote speaker, Dr. Smith will reveal the final results during the Viva Fresh Keynote Luncheon on Friday, May 1, from 11:30 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. The Challenge participants will join him on stage to share their experiences.
Dr. Ian Smith has authored 17 books, nine of which were on The New York Times bestsellers list, including The Clean 20, Blast the Sugar Out, SUPER SHRED: The Big Results Diet, SHRED: The Revolutionary Diet, The Fat Smash Diet, and Extreme Fat Smash. His most recent book, CLEAN & LEAN: 30 Days, 30 Foods, A New You!, was released on April 9, and was an immediate New York Times bestseller. With his books, Dr. Smith has helped thousands of people reduce bad sugars from their diet, lose weight, lower blood sugar levels, and cut the cravings.
After serving two terms on President Obama’s President’s Council on Fitness, Sports, and Nutrition, Dr. Smith is currently the medical contributor and co-host of the nationally-syndicated TV show, The Rachael Ray Show. He has been a former co-host of the Emmy award-winning syndicated daytime talk show, The Doctors. Dr. Smith has also served as the medical/diet expert for the six seasons of VH1’s Celebrity Fit Club, and is the Creator and Founder of the national health initiatives The 50 Million Pound Challenge and The Makeover Mile.
Viva Fresh began in 2015, first as a small regional tradeshow looking to shine a light on the importance of the Rio Grande Valley as an emerging trade corridor and production zone. But now, the show has grown into an event that consistently draws sold-out crowds, and buyer attendance has increased 110 percent since the first show.
The 2020 Viva Fresh Expo takes place April 30 through May 2, and will be located at the JW Marriott Hill Country Resort in San Antonio, TX. Dr. Smith’s keynote speech and the results of the Clean Eating Challenge are just some of the many highlights to be had at next year’s show.
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