Pharr International Bridge to Celebrate Start of the Produce Season on October 7; Luis Bazán and Dante Galeazzi Share
PHARR, TX - The journey that fresh produce makes from the farm to the dinner table is a sacred one. This is exactly what the Pharr International Bridge is honoring as it gears up to celebrate the produce industry with its annual Start of the Produce Season event on October 7.
“This is the region’s premier produce season kickoff event,” Bridge Director Luis Bazán explains to me. “As the number one produce bridge in the nation for over four years now, we continue to break import records of fresh produce grown in Mexico. Last year alone, we crossed nearly 200,000 shipments of fresh produce, which equals over 30 percent of produce imports on a monthly basis. We’re very proud of this event and we plan to grow it by adding more special events throughout the week.”
The Pharr International Bridge has become critical to the fresh produce industry nationwide, with its ideal location allowing trucks leaving Pharr to deliver to any point in the United States within four days, and any point in Canada within five. These fewer miles lead to fresher produce, better truck rates, and the ability to streamline operations, especially for fresh produce buyers.
The Start of the Produce Season event takes place at the bridge and attracts special guests such as Texas Ag Commissioner Sid Miller and other elected officials. Leaders across the fresh produce industry who optimize Pharr Bridge donate pallets of fresh produce to be professionally displayed at the event, and all of the produce is given away to those in attendance, including the local food bank.
“The Pharr Bridge has crossed more fresh produce than any other international bridge in the U.S., and this event is a great opportunity to highlight that growth and what it's meant for the bridge, the community, and the industry,” says Dante Galeazzi, President and Chief Executive Officer of the Texas International Produce Association. “The variety of fresh produce at the event is really impactful in highlighting just how vast the array of items crossing the Pharr International Bridge has become. It's a visual that demonstrates the diversity of produce items available from Mexico.”
Not only is the event a chance for industry members to highlight fresh produce and its path to consumers’ tables, but it also invites the public to share in the celebration, amplifying the value of the products that adorn the produce department.
“I am looking forward to all of the enthusiasm about fresh produce that happens at the event,” Dante adds. “It's not often that people outside of our industry get excited about fresh fruits and vegetables, and even fewer times do people choose to celebrate fresh produce enough to hold an event to talk about it to the rest of the world. That's why I really love this occasion. It brings the message of health, nutrition, and access to fresh produce to the public in an exciting way.”
Those in attendance will also have the chance to reflect on the Pharr International Bridge’s tireless efforts to bolster the fresh produce supply chain.
“I’m looking forward to helping attendees understand the significance of this event and what Pharr is doing to make the produce industry prosper,” Luis says. “We’re making million-dollar investments to keep facilitating fresh produce trade by building a cold inspection facility, an expansion of the dock, and a regional ag lab and training center.”
The Start of the Produce Season Celebration has grown to be a well-known event for the trade community, outlining the crucial role of Pharr International Bridge and turning the spotlight to the fresh produce industry as a whole.
Don’t miss out on a free chance to celebrate fresh on October 7!