New TIPA Event Will Promote U.S./Mexico Border & Produce Diversity

The Texas International Produce Association (TIPA) is replacing its former Texas Produce Convention with a new event next year—the VIVA Fresh Conference and Expo, showcasing produce grown in the southwestern U.S. and Mexico.

The expo is planned for March 26-28, 2015, at the Hilton Austin in Austin, Texas.

“We’re incredibly excited to debut this new international conference that will showcase the high quality, variety and availability of fresh produce from Texas, the southwestern U.S. and Mexico,” said Bret Erickson, president and CEO of TIPA.

The show change fits with the trend of more intimate and affordable regional trade shows that allow vendors and customers to create meaningful networking opportunities that highlight products and build relationships, TIPA said.

Retailers and foodservice companies are invited to attend for free to enhance participation.

The expo will focus heavily on networking and education and include virtual field tours at farms and facilities in Texas and Mexico, a supermarket dietitian symposium, the latest in merchandising trends and a wide range of topics focusing on issues and opportunities with trade between Mexico and the U.S. and how that impacts both growers and customers, according to TIPA.

TIPA Chairman Dante Galeazzi of Crescent Fruit & Vegetable and the Expo Committee chair, remarked, “Imported products continue to grow in volume and distribution. We believe that the topics and opportunities we will provide at Viva Fresh as it relates to the growth and expansion of produce from Mexico, transportation issues and upcoming trade regulations specifically for this region will make this conference unique to other trade shows and create the international draw that is missing from the ‘regional’ shows available today.”

Along with the education component, the expo will be focused on the health benefits, style and taste of Southwestern and Mexico-grown produce, with chef-inspired events and receptions with a region-specific “foodie” flair.

The VIVA Fresh Expo website will launch in August and include detailed information on schedule, registration, sponsorship and exhibiting. For more information, contact Bret Erickson at



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An observer of the grocery industry since 1988. Away from her editor job, she’s a wife and mother of two grown sons and thinks cooking is (usually) relaxing.