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IFPA’s Burns Previews Foodservice Conference

IFPA Foodservice Conference signage

As the signature event for produce in the culinary arts, the IFPA’s Foodservice Conference promises top-notch education sessions, networking opportunities and a premier expo with products and services targeted to the foodservice industry.

Cathy Burns, CEO of the International Fresh Produce Association (IFPA), said the event brings the foodservice industry together around one of its most important components – fresh produce. The conference is July 25-26 in Monterey, California.

“This is the go-to event for foodservice operators and distributors as well as the suppliers,” she said. “It’s the only place foodservice and produce meet, and anyone who is not there will miss out on significant insights, innovations and partnerships.”

Besides the buyers and suppliers mentioned, the conference features a strong contingent from K-12 schools.

“Nothing is more important than starting our kids off right when it comes to healthy eating,” Burns said. “The K-12 attendees are helping kids choose and enjoy fresh produce as they form healthy eating habits for life.”

[RELATED: IFPA Names Retail Produce Manager Award Recipients]


Two general sessions shine the spotlight on the foodservice business environment and the role of women in the industry:

Opportunities for Fresh Produce in Foodservice

David Henkes, senior principal and head of strategic partnerships at Technomic, will lead a discussion of the latest research to determine the flow of commodities throughout all foodservice channels, shedding light on key trends, challenges and potential avenues for growth and development.

Empowering Women in Foodservice

A panel discussion on success, challenges and innovation at the Women’s Fresh Perspectives Breakfast will showcase the diverse experiences of women in foodservice. It will also celebrate the multigenerational legacy of women in the industry and offer insights and inspiration from trailblazing women shaping the future of foodservice.

Moderated by Lauren M. Scott of IFPA and The Foundation for Fresh Produce, the panel includes: Maria DeSarbo of Carbonella & DeSarbo, Linette Dodson of the Georgia Department of Education and Grace Goudie of Scratch Board Kitchen.

This decades-long event is where the who’s who of produce and foodservice intersect in a one-to-one buyer-seller ratio. “This is where we come to connect, learn and do business,” Burns said.

“Culinary professionals use produce to differentiate their offerings and respond to patrons’ and consumers’ demand for plant-forward options on the plate. IFPA’s Foodservice Conference is where the people, the insights and the inspiration connect.”

About the author

Sommer Stockton

Web Editor

Sommer joined The Shelby Report in January 2022 after graduating from Brenau University in Gainesville, GA with a B.A. and M.A. in Communications and Media Studies. Sommer is excited to learn about the grocery industry and share her findings with The Shelby Report's readers!

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