Retailers Reveal Five Top Reasons to Attend IFPA’s Retail Conference; Vic Savanello, Daniel Bell, Meghan Diaz, and More Comment



Retailers Reveal Five Top Reasons to Attend IFPA’s Retail Conference; Vic Savanello, Daniel Bell, Meghan Diaz, and More Comment


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NEWARK, DE - With trade shows back in swing, everyone’s schedule is slowly filling up. Another event on the horizon is a must-attend, according to retailers across the industry. Which event, you ask? None other than The Retail Conference from the International Fresh Produce Association (IFPA).

Joe Watson, Vice President of Retail, Foodservice, and Wholesale Membership, International Fresh Produce Association“This conference is a one-stop shop where retailers, suppliers, and solutions providers can get together to connect, do business, and learn,” said Joe Watson, IFPA’s Vice President of Retail, Foodservice, and Wholesale. “Having a 1:5 buyer-supplier ratio makes this an event where business happens. And because it has limited attendance, it’s easy to make meaningful connections.”

The event itself takes place June 7–8 near Chicago, and it involves ample networking opportunities, industry insights, and so much more.

Industry members are gearing up for IFPA's Retail Conference, which will take place in June

Let’s hear from the retailers themselves on why they’re looking forward to attending.

Vic Savanello, Vice President of Produce and Floral, SpartanNash

Vic Savanello, Vice President of Produce and Floral, SpartanNash“Last year’s IFPA Retail Conference in Chicago was a relaxed opportunity for me to meet with an incredible number of leaders in the produce retail industry, talk about our business, and share some of our experiences over these incredibly turbulent retail times. The retailer attendance is impressive, and with that comes many of the top vendors and suppliers we value an opportunity to connect with.”

Daniel Bell, Director of Produce, Grocery Outlet

Daniel Bell, Director of Produce, Grocery Outlet“As a first-time attendee, I’m looking forward to meeting some new people in the industry as well as seeing old friends. As always, with every in-person event, I’m looking to come away with new insights, information, and hopefully some new suppliers and products for our customers.”

Roland Harmon, Senior Director of Global Food Sourcing, Walmart

Roland Harmon, Senior Director of Global Food Sourcing, Walmart“I am looking forward to this year’s FPA Retail Conference. This event is going to be a great opportunity for me to engage with suppliers and talk about new and exciting product offerings. I hope to see a lot of suppliers this year—at the conference and on the golf course!”

Mark Jewell, Category Manager of Produce and Floral, Hanford Brothers

Mark Jewell, Category Manager of Produce and Floral, Hannaford Bros. Supermarkets“I attended The Retail Conference in 2022 and want to share how engaging the event was. It allowed me to talk to many different business partners face-to-face, to hear how other suppliers and retailers are solving and adapting to the current headwinds and those we all will be facing in the future. If you have been considering attending, or maybe you have never attended, put this event on your 2023 calendar—you will not be disappointed.”

Tony Mitchell, Vice President Corporate Produce, Associated Wholesale Grocers

Tony Mitchell, Vice President of Corporate Produce, Associated Wholesale Grocers“The IFPA retail conference is a great way to engage and connect with industry peers and enjoy the multiple educational sessions offered. The golf outing is a great way to network in a relaxed environment. I would encourage anyone that has not attended to come check it out and walk away with some new Innovative solutions and trends.”

Meghan Diaz, Senior Director of Local Produce, Sprouts Farmers Market

Meghan Diaz, Senior Director of Local Produce, Sprouts Farmers Market“The Retail Conference has a more intimate setting, allowing for connection, networking and educational opportunities. I really enjoyed the golf outing as it gave me the opportunity to meet new vendors and discuss a multitude of topics with them, ultimately giving me a great understanding of their perspective of retail and how, as retailers, we can better approach the business.”

Brian Penfield, Produce Director, Sendik’s

Brian Penfield, Produce Director, Sendik's“Last year when I attended the Retail Conference, I walked away energized and engaged! I found that the conference allowed me to network with both fellow retailers and suppliers on a much more personal level, creating real partnerships for the upcoming year.”

Check back in with ANUK for the latest on trade shows and networking opportunities.

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International Fresh Produce Association

The International Fresh Produce Association is the largest and most diverse international association serving the entire…