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TIPA, Viva Fresh Open Honor Texas Produce Icon Fox

Group photo of TIPA scholarship presentation in memory of Craig Fox

During this year’s Viva Fresh, the Texas International Produce Association (TIPA) celebrated the vibrant spirit of the fresh produce industry while also paying tribute in memoriam to Texas produce icon Craig Fox of Fox Packaging.

The Viva Fresh Open golf tournament, presented by BEBO Distributing and H-E-B, posthumously honored Fox with a $25,000 scholarship in his name. Funds were raised through registrations from the annual golf tournament, which was held this year at the Golf Club of Houston in Humble, Texas.

The scholarship is open to employees of TIPA member companies and their immediate family members.

Fox died Feb. 1, 2023, after dedicating more than four decades of service to the produce industry. After graduating from Texas Christian University in 1982, Fox started his career at his family’s business, Kenneth Fox Supply Co. (now Fox Packaging).

As VP of sales at Fox Packaging, his innovative approach and dedication to building relationships propelled the company to new heights – with a passion and vision for the industry that were unmatched.

Described as a visionary and a friend to many, Fox’s impact extended far beyond the industry. He was known for his deep understanding of the market challenges and his unwavering commitment to his customers. His legacy lives on through his sons, Jacob, and Dylan Fox, who continue in his footsteps at Fox Packaging.

During the Viva Fresh Open, Ed Bertaud, IFCO’s director of retail sales, co-chair of the tournament and member of the Viva Fresh Steering Committee, announced the posthumous scholarship in Fox’s honor.

“Once a year we have the opportunity to recognize and honor a member of the Texas produce industry who is no longer with us but made numerous contributions to our industry,” Bertaud said. “Craig is not only a member of a family, but also a member of a family business that we all would struggle to find a better example of, in terms of legacy, excellence, education and promotion of our industry, and I’m so proud to have him as this year’s recipient.”

Aaron Fox, Craig Fox’s brother, accepted the scholarship check on behalf of the Fox family, expressing gratitude to TIPA and the Viva Fresh committee for the honor.

“From everyone in the Fox family, I want to express a heartfelt gratitude to TIPA and the Viva Fresh steering committee for bestowing this honor to my brother,” he said. “Craig had an unbelievable gift for understanding the intricate balance between tradition and innovation. While he had a tremendous respect for the roots of this industry, he constantly pushed the boundaries of what could be possible.

“As we honor his life and legacy, let us pledge to uphold his greatest principle: remaining fully present in our interactions with the industry and listening attentively to our customers. This level of attentiveness allows us to uncover the path forward, while determining necessary paths and actions to maintain the loyalty of the industry.”

The Viva Fresh Open scholarship provides funding for students pursuing any educational opportunities related to any field of the fresh produce supply chain. This includes not only four-year college degree tracks but also technical and certification-related tracks, such as electrical, HVAC and heavy equipment operators. More than three dozen scholarships totaling more than $150,000 have already been awarded from previous Viva Fresh Golf Opens to help the region’s supply chain develop the next generation of produce professionals.

For more information about the Viva Fresh Open Golf Tournament and the scholarship in Fox’s honor, visit www.vivafreshexpo.com.

About Viva Fresh Produce Expo

The Viva Fresh Produce Expo was established in 2015 by the Texas International Produce Association to create networking and educational opportunities for members while highlighting the importance of the Rio Grande Valley as a trade corridor and production zone for fruits and vegetables year round.

About TIPA

Founded in 1942, the Texas International Produce Association promotes, advocates, educates and represents the $10 billion in fresh produce that is grown in the state or calls Texas the point of U.S.-arrival for North American distribution.

Read more produce news from The Shelby Report.

About the author

Treva Bennett

Senior Content Creator

After 32 years in the newspaper industry, she is enjoying her new career exploring the world of groceries at The Shelby Report.

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