International Fresh Produce Association Announces Annual Foodservice Conference's Return to Monterey; Joe Watson Discusses
WASHINGTON, DC & NEWARK, DE - Monterey, California, will once again be playing host to International Fresh Produce Association (IFPA) as the association brings back the annual Foodservice Conference. Come July 28–29, the expo along with keynote speaker and Food Network star Robert Irvine will light up attendees’ itineraries with a packed schedule.
“The Foodservice Conference is the only place dedicated to bringing the produce industry to the foodservice sector,” said Foodservice Lead and Vice President at IFPA, Joe Watson. “There is no better opportunity to put more produce on the plate than in Monterey. With spotlights on fresh ideas on the show floor, and speakers who are all transforming the foodservice industry, we are excited to be back in the Bay connecting in person.”
In addition to the Thursday keynote featuring world-class chef Robert Irvine, who has 20 seasons on his hit show Restaurant: Impossible, Friday will include Monterey Bay Live! This session will welcome guests who are challenging menus and appetites for produce, including Michel Nischan, Founder and Chairman of Wholesome Wave; and award-winning author, speaker, and television host Leslie Sbrocco.
According to the release, more than 500 buyers and influencers are expected to attend, including an exciting new audience of menu planners and foodservice directors from several of the nation’s largest K–12 school districts looking to revamp their menus.
To further bolster the foodservice sector, the Foundation for Fresh Produce received a donation from Healthy Family Project. This donation, announced in early March, goes toward increasing access to, and education about, fresh fruits and vegetables in schools as part of National Nutrition Month. This contribution will also contribute to the new audience of K–12 foodservice attendees at the event.
In addition to the annual Networking Reception at the Barns, which will take place on the first day of the conference, the schedule also features Buyer Sourcing Meetings, Peer to Peer discussions, and a closing reception that includes a Wine for a Cause Auction benefiting Brighter Bites.
This year, the Foodservice Conference will also be welcoming the participants of the Leadership Program, a prestigious, year-long development experience for industry rising stars, and the Career Pathways program, which brings university students to industry events and provides mentorship and education on the industry and potential career opportunities.
Stay tuned as we cover the latest in the lead-up.