Viva Fresh Expo Launches Second Annual Clean Eating Challenge
- by Lilian Diep
MISSION, TX - As clean and healthy produce continues to remain a top priority in our industry, Viva Fresh is here to remind us to practice what we preach. The Texas International Produce Association (TIPA) is riding the wave of its successful Clean Eating Challenge by challenging the industry once again to incorporate more fresh fruits and vegetables at the center of the plate. TIPA is kicking off the second run of the Clean Eating Challenge, and folks, you don’t want to miss out this time.
“As leaders in the produce industry, we need to be at the forefront of health and wellness in order to set an example for the consumers we are trying to reach every day,” remarked Dante Galeazzi, President and CEO. “As new health fads come and go, fruits and vegetables are the foundation on which we should focus every journey to better health. We are so excited to continue the Clean Eating Challenge for the second year in hopes of inspiring even more people to change their eating habits for the better.”
This year, the challenge will start on October 1 and culminate at the 2021 Viva Fresh Expo in Dallas, Texas, next March.
Launched in 2019, Viva Fresh’s first-ever health and wellness campaign followed four produce industry professionals who changed their diets and as a result, changed their lives. From November 2019 to March 2020, the produce industry followed four members on their journey as they collectively lost more than 160 pounds by putting fruits and vegetables at the center of the plate. Now, TIPA wants to continue that challenge and is seeking participants to join one of two tracks: a featured contestant and a regular contestant. Featured contestants will have their progress highlighted online and as part of the reveal at the Viva Fresh Keynote in Dallas next March.
All featured participants will also receive a Fitbit and FitScale to better track their progress. Featured contestant spots are limited so interested parties are encouraged to act fast. However, all contestants on all paths will also receive peer mentorship and a chance to win a Peloton bike complete with a year-long subscription (a $2,500 value) for completing the challenge.
According to the press release, SunFed, Grow Farm Texas, Coast Tropical, Rio Fresh Inc., and Little Bear Produce (J&D Produce) were among those that sponsored the 2020 Clean Eating Challenge. Several participants from last year’s challenge and some new faces will serve as mentors who will offer peer support to newcomers as they join the path to better health:
- Ed Bertaud, IFCO
- James Bassetti III, Little Bear Produce
- Michelle Cortez, Vision Imports
- TJ Flowers, Lone Star Citrus Growers
- Tommy Wilkins, Grow Farms Texas
“The changes I learned to make during my time as a participant were truly life-changing,” said Michelle Cortez, Clean Eating Challenge Committee Chair. “I want to help others find the same success I have found which will allow them to live their best lives and reduce their health complications.”
Besides peer support, contestants will receive healthy recipes, cooking tips, and demos from professional chefs to help them move fruits and vegetables to the center of the plate as they make healthy lifestyle changes.
Last year, Dr. Ian Smith worked closely with each of the participants to tailor a plan based on their goals and health challenges and coordinated the results of their physicals that showed exciting progress during the spring reveals. Dr. Smith will once again join TIPA to deliver the keynote speech during the Viva Fresh Welcome Luncheon to close out the 2021 challenge where he will highlight the new challengers’ success stories as well as updates from this previous year’s participants.
Viva Fresh began in 2015. The show now consistently draws sold-out crowds, and buyer attendance alone has increased by over 110 percent.
Registration deadline is this Friday, September 18, folks! Are you up for the challenge? For more information or to register for the Clean Eating Challenge, click here.
We are in for an exciting time ahead! Stay up-to-date on the latest updates from Viva Fresh as well as all fresh produce news with ANUK.