Produce Southwest

TIPA Sponsored ‘Bloom Where You Are Planted’ Virtual Event A Success


While the floral and produce industry may not have gotten the opportunity to go to the Texas International Produce Association (TIPA) sponsored Viva Fresh this year, Viva Fresh is bringing various events to the industry—one of them In Bloom’s “Bloom Where You are Planted,” a virtual experience that offered stories and shared support for surviving and finding ways to thrive in difficult times.

More than 80 attendees listened to five different speakers recount tales of trying times such as starting a business days before the coronavirus lockdowns began and the resilience that came from that, setting boundaries to help navigate through all of one’s responsibilities and multitasking work and personal life when there are no other options.

The 90-minute event featured an ongoing poll which asked attendees what their biggest worries during the pandemic have been (loved ones getting sick and maintaining sanity while trying to balance it all being the top winners), what tactics have helped them juggling and balancing it all (making lists being the favorite) and fun questions such as what new things have they tried during lockdown (new recipe exploration and reading/quiet times seemingly taking top honors).

“I really enjoyed the webinar—as a mom of a young boy and a wife to a husband who is an essential worker, it’s definitely refreshing to hear how other women are navigating through this time. There were some great tips and lots of nodding along,” said Cate Aldrete, tradeshow and marketing manager at Organic Produce Network.

Attendees took solace in knowing that they weren’t alone in many aspects of the nationwide lockdown, but people polled are most afraid of the unknown and are feeling anxiety over everything involving Covid-19. Most attendees are moderately concerned about how the current pandemic will impact them, their family or their business, followed by very concerned and somewhat concerned. Very few people claimed to not be concerned.

“While we may be having these sorts of conversations with our peers and our families, it was very eye-opening to see and hear how people in our industry are coping,” said Tonya Hill, owner and president of TM Hill Produce. “As managers and employers, we need to be asking these questions of those with whom we work. Without the face to face interaction we were used to in the past, it may sometimes be hard to know that someone is struggling and that they need help. It’s important that we check in and see how this is impacting their lives.”

For a full report on poll findings and a list of resources in navigating these unknown times, visit

Additionally, TIPA would like to invite industry members to attend its virtual Viva Fresh Clean Eating Reveal on May 20. This is a free event, although registration prior to the event is required. For more information or to register online, visit or Details for the Clean Eating Challenge 2021 will be revealed at the conclusion of the event.  

The Viva Fresh Produce Expo was established in 2015 by TIPA to create meaningful networking and educational opportunities for TIPA members, while shining a light on the importance of the Rio Grande Valley as an emerging trade corridor and production zone for healthy and nutritious fruits and vegetables all year long. Viva Fresh Produce Expo will be back but at its new home at the Gaylord Texan in Dallas, Texas, on March 26-28, 2021.

Founded in 1942, TIPA promotes, advocates, educates and represents the more than $8 billion in fresh produce that is either grown in the state or calls Texas the first point of U.S.-arrival for North American distribution.

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