H-E-B's Hugh Topper Endorses Viva Fresh Produce Expo
- by Robert Lambert
AUSTIN, TX – Viva Fresh Produce Expo is making its debut March 26 – 28, 2015. Attendees are already lining up, and the Texas International Produce Association (TIPA) is rolling out the red carpet. The Association is offering complimentary registration for retail and foodservice attendees and complimentary travel fees for buyers.
Hugh Topper, Group Vice President of Fresh at H-E-B, tells me, “Connecting with suppliers is key to our success and the Viva Fresh Expo brings all of Texas and Mexico to us. It’s the best of both worlds, a regional expo that stretches international boundaries.”
With the amount of large-scale companies already committed, I believe this event is a 2015 must. Held at the Hilton in Austin, Texas, this exciting host city is situated among top produce retailers and offers attendees a slice of the state’s larger than life culture.
Tommy Wilkins, Director of Sales and Business Development for Grow Farms Texas, adds, “I love Texas, and I believe that it’s time to showcase our passion and innovation along with all that we have to offer. With the growing amount of products that pass through and are grown in Texas each year, it really is the gateway to the Americas. Plus, Austin is such a wonderful town. You’ve got to come and experience what makes Texas like no place else.”
This show offers an unparalleled look at the “Gateway to the Americas,” showcasing produce grown in the Southwestern United States and Mexico. Visitors will gain valuable insight through this unique opportunity to learn first-hand about issues like transportation, product availability, and upcoming trade regulations within and between the U.S. and Mexico.
TIPA CEO, Bret Erickson, says, “The goal of Viva Fresh is simple, we want to increase the consumption of fresh fruits and vegetables by creating new connections for producers and buyers. We wanted to create an intimate event, where we could pull in buyers from the U.S. and Canada to come in and meet first-hand with Texas, Mexico, and other Southwest U.S. grower/shippers and importers.”
Erickson adds, “This is an event created by grower/shippers for grower/shippers, and it’s designed specifically to facilitate meaningful dialogue between buyers and sellers without the typical trade show distraction.”
If you aren't familiar with Austin, here is a quick look:
- Austin is the 11th largest city in the U.S.
- It is the home of Whole Foods Market
- The University of Texas at Austin has the fifth-largest single-campus enrollment in the country, with over 50,000 students
- Austin is considered the live music capital of the world with over 100 live music venues
- One of the top U.S. cities for barbeque
Don’t miss out on this opportunity to network while taking virtual field tours at farms and facilities in Texas and Mexico, discussing the increasingly important role of supermarket dieticians, and discovering the latest in merchandising trends. Plus, this expo offers a fun, educational look at the health benefits, style, and taste of Southwestern and Mexico-grown produce, with chef-inspired events and receptions with a region-specific foodie flair.
I'm excited about this show. The Viva Fresh Produce Expo is a must-see event. Don’t miss it!