International Fresh Produce Association. As the floral exhibition tour continues I find myself on the west coast going from Disneyworld to Disneyland. The 2nd edition of the IFPA is huge and is certainly a different experience from a pure floral show, as this show is dominated by the produce industry. Floral only represents about 10% of the show floor space but that 10% represents nearly 100% of the bouquet makers.
This is where “The Gerber guy meets Mr. Potato head.
There is simply a lot going on at this show and you need to focus on your mission before you wander off in search of all the sweet smells wafting around the building. You need not order lunch if you have the time to thread through the isles picking up samples of everything from tacos to dried fruit and everything in between.
This merger between what was the Produce Marketing Association (PMA) and Floral and United Fruit to become the IFPA makes for a serious event. When the featured speaker is none other than Steve Wozniak the co-founder of Apple you know this is big.
His story was quite entertaining as he was the gadget guy/engineer behind the what is now the giant Apple brand.
The state of the industry address given by Kathy Burns CEO if IFPA focused on the changing customer base, AI, and sustainability with a focus on packaging.
There were good discussions about all these topics and I learned an interesting statistic that stood out regarding population growth. There are more adult diapers sold in Japan than baby diapers! They referred to the “browning and greying of America”. We are getting older and not so white.
This organization is very serious about getting people eating healthy and about being a good global steward of the land. This is fundamental to the agriculture we are all in. “We feed the World” was a featured slogan. It was good to hear that they are working to identify an improve the supply chain and food waste among other things.
It was stated that 100% of US farm workers come from foreign countries and half of those are undocumented. This was during a political discussion about immigration policies. So you can learn a few things at a show.
On to the Floral part of the show. Once you find the floral area in the gigantic room you will find, who you might expect to find, at a show designed to sell to the mass markets. Because it is typical for the head of produce at a major supermarket to also be in charge of floral, the big buyers are there for both produce and floral. That attracts all the biggest and best and most hopeful bouquet makers and the bigger they are the bigger their displays. I think the Sunshine Bouquet company booths took up about a hectare….. at least it seemed that way.
As you will see in my video there were every type of bouquets in every kind, shape and color you can imagine, Galleria Farms and Fresca Farms were showing off the new Blue Ocean Chrysthimum from Suntory. While I am still not convinced it is blue it sure is a pretty color lavender.
That was something new and I also saw a new spill proof vase shown by Dream Farms of Ecuador. Clever idea and I hope it sells.
The Floral Marketer of the year was Erin Esensee Director of Floral HEB company. Congratulation!
Finally I am about to fly off to the next big show in Amsterdam the IFTF floral exhibition held in Vijfhuizen Netherlands. This is the final show of the season at least for me. It is a good one and the most international show that I attend each year. Hope to see you there.