United Fresh Convention & Expo to Make Digital Debut
WASHINGTON, DC - Diamonds are formed from an extreme amount of pressure, and so are produce industry firsts. As we continue to seek connection amidst the necessary precautions against the COVID-19 crisis, the United Fresh Board of Directors has announced its annual convention will not be canceled, but instead moved to a new platform—United Fresh LIVE!
“In the coming days, United Fresh will be working with our exhibitors and sponsors to build out our virtual platform that delivers live experiences, valuable content, and new connections to industry members around the world,” Danny Dumas, Senior Vice President, N.A. Sales, Marketing, and Product Management, Del Monte Fresh Produce, and Chairman-Elect of United Fresh, said in a press release. “United Fresh LIVE! is a testament to the quick-pivot thinking to ensure that our industry can continue to gather and thrive, even in these unprecedented times.”
Partnering with an existing platform to bring a new approach to the new world we find ourselves in, this virtual event will make the United Fresh convention free to attendees to connect customers, suppliers, and colleagues across the industry.
“During these past few weeks, we’ve all learned something about connections,” said United Fresh President and CEO Tom Stenzel. “While we can’t wait to join with industry friends again in person, we’ve also realized that we’re connecting today in new ways. We’re all online, with video streaming, face-to-face chats, and group interactions that, just a month ago, we didn’t know how to do.”
On a call to further discuss the move, Tom and the United team emphasized their excitement for how this step will open up the accessibility, and therefore the reach, of this new approach. Everyone will have access to everyone, either by a private email link or online chat, while retailers and producers will be able to bring even bigger teams to the table than they would be able to in a traditional setting.
“United Fresh LIVE! is an innovative solution to an unprecedented challenge. Businesses across the supply chain are clamoring for information and connections,” said Michael Muzyk, President, Baldor Specialty Foods, and Chairman, United Fresh Board of Directors. “As we’ve learned to adopt online platforms to conduct our daily business, offering this free virtual event broadens our opportunity to deliver real value to thousands of industry members at a time when they need it most.”
United Fresh 2020 LIVE! will debut the week of June 15, 2020. Live keynote presentations, roundtable discussion groups, networking interaction among different communities, and a robust expo floor are all still on the schedule, albeit in a different form than we are used to. With a couple of months to prepare, the team explained that it will be continuing to hone the system and make more information known as the event gets closer.
United Fresh LIVE! will debut at www.unitedfreshlive.org, and while I am hoping for a speedy resolution to the COVID-19 crisis, it is exciting to see how one of the oldest industries continues to prove why it is one diamond that never loses its shine.