FPAA, Center For Produce Safety Launch U.S.-Mexico Food Safety Symposium FDA’s Mike Taylor to address America Trades Produce Conference

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:  The new U.S.-Mexico Food Safety Symposium, an addition to the already robust lineup for the 2014 America Trades Produce (ATP) Conference, will highlight how importers and their grower partners can help ensure a safe food supply.

The event is in collaboration between the Fresh Produce Association of the Americas and the Center for Produce Safety (CPS), Davis, Calif. This new component runs from 2-5:30 p.m. on Wednesday, March 12th, 2014, the afternoon before the main ATP event. Registration is separate.

In addition to the U.S.-Mexico Food Safety Symposium, Mike Taylor, Deputy Commissioner of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, has confirmed as a speaker during the main portion of the America Trades Produce Conference. In a March 13 seminar entitled “Mexico and the US: Partnering for Food Safety,” Taylor is slated to join invited speaker Hugo Fragoso, Director General of Food Safety for Foods, Livestock and Fisheries at SENASICA.

“The collaboration and creativity in the 2014 program development has been outstanding,” stated Lance Jungmeyer, president of the Fresh Produce Association of the Americas. “Bringing top government food safety officials from Mexico and the United States into the same space as growers and importers, along with a major research institution like the Center for Produce Safety, shows the supply chain’s dedication to food safety.”

Bonnie Fernandez-Fenaroli, Executive Director of CPS, will lead a session that explores how companies can build a body of knowledge to reduce the risk of foodborne illness.

Fernandez-Fenaroli commented, “CPS is honored to partner with the Fresh Produce Association of the Americas to tailor a program specific to the interests of the FPAA membership. This forum is designed for participants to learn directly from those who have built food safety cultures in their companies and to identify resources available to support strong food safety programs.”

Additional topics at the U.S. Mexico Food Safety Symposium include:

  •  “Leading Food Safety From the Top: Establishing a food safety culture within your company, starting at the CEO-level;”
  • “The Food Safety Data Build – Constructing a Body of Knowledge to Reduce the Risk of Foodborne Illness”
  • Center for Produce Safety Partners in Research Program

“The ATP continues to evolve, and this new component with Center for Produce Safety is a way to acknowledge the increasing emphasis on food safety of Mexican produce, and to give companies the opportunity to engage proactively in the process,” said Alejandro Canelos, Chairman of FPAA and Director of Nogales-based Apache Produce.

Learn more at www.americatradesproduce.com.

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America Trades Produce Conference 2014 Names Christopher Wilson, Associate at the Woodrow Wilson Institute’s Mexico Insight as Keynote Speaker

The fourth annual America Trades Produce Conference is fast approaching, and promises to build upon previous events by examining big-picture US-Mexico trade dynamics, as well as the nitty-gritty of daily business. It is scheduled for March 12 – 13, 2014 at the Tubac Golf Resort and Spa in Tubac, AZ.

As has been the trademark of the event, educational sessions will encourage direct dialogue between the industry and U.S. and Mexican government officials.

“We are delighted with how the agenda and speaker line-up is developing,” said Lance Jungmeyer, President of the Fresh Produce Association of the Americas. The Opening Session – “The Changing Dynamic of US-Mexico Trade,” features keynote speaker Christopher Wilson, Associate at the Woodrow Wilson Institute’s Mexico Institute. Wilson has followed the Mexican economy for years, and is regularly called upon to provide testimony and background to Congress.

During a panel discussion – “Best Practices for Removal from Detention Without Physical Examination (DWPE)” – attendees will hear from experts and peers about their real-life experiences in gaining import approval for fresh produce after being placed on FDA import alert. The session, moderated by Walter Ram of The Giumarra Cos., features confirmed panelists including Domenic Veneziano, Director of Import Operations at the Food and Drug Administration and Rod Sbragia, Tricar Sales.

As tomato growing technologies push volumes ever higher, Roberta Cook of the University of California – Davis, will discuss the challenges in marketing the North American tomato crop, including marketing shifts resulting from the Tomato Suspension Agreement in the Tomato Trends general session. Following the overview there will be dialogue with industry experts: Eric Viramontes, Vision & Services; Martin Ley, Fresh Evolution and Jim DiMenna, JemD Farms.

“The tomato market continues to evolve, and as of March the Suspension Agreement will have been in place for about a year. This is a great time to reflect on the tomato industry,” said panelist Martin Ley.

This year’s conference will bring together individuals and organizations from throughout the produce supply chain and across international borders to discuss the industry’s hottest topics. Attendees will include many U.S. and Mexican representatives, including grower/shippers, retailers, processors, allied industry representatives, and city, state, and federal government officials.

In addition to the historically dynamic topic and speaker line-up attendees have come to expect, participants have the option to register for a sneak-peak tour of the Mariposa Port of Entry, which is undergoing a $200 million expansion that will see its official unveiling later in 2014.

“This is a chance to go behind the scenes and witness the agriculture inspection docks and other facets of what is going to be the nation’s most advanced land port of entry for fresh produce shipments,” Jungmeyer said, adding that space for the tour is limited.

Throughout the event, several industry awards will be announced, including: The Packer’s Importer of the Year, The Produce News Rising Star and the Produce Business Exporter of the Year award.

The event is hosted by the Fresh Produce Association of the Americas in conjunction with the Texas International Produce Association.

Visit www.americatradesproduce.com to learn more about the conference.

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2014 ATP Conference Schedule is Taking Form

The 2014 ATP Conference will be held in Tubac, Arizona, March 12 – 13, 2014. The format has been condensed, and promises to be packed with valuable sessions related to the produce industry. Click on the Event Schedule page to review the full schedule. Topics, to name a few, will include:

  • Best Practices for Removal from Detention Without Physical Examination (DWPE)
  • Tomato Trends
  • West Mexico Produce Pipeline
  • The New Paradigm for Trusted Shipper
  • Financing & Credit
  • Traceability
  • The Role of Third Party Audits
  • FSMA Update
  • The Need for More Customs Officers
  • Marketing Your Company in the Age of Sustainability and Social Responsibility
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2013 ATP Another Success

Both the Fresh Produce Association of the Americas and Texas International Produce Association are delighted with the 2013 event. The feedback we’ve received from attendees has been overwhelmingly positive. We had nearly 350 attendees and over 40 exhibitors at the event. We can’t express enough our appreciation for the great speakers we had this year and to the exhibitors that participated in the new Expo component of the event. The attendees were engaged throughout the event.

Plans for 2014 are underway. Check the website often to learn more about the 2014 event, which is slated to be held in Southern Arizona.

The ATP 2013 Event is Shaping Up to be Bigger and Better than Ever

MISSION, TX – Feb 7, 2013: The 2013 America Trades Produce Conference & Expo, scheduled for March 6-8, 2013 in McAllen, Texas is right around the corner and conference organizers predict it will be bigger and better than ever.

“We have a tremendously exciting lineup of speakers and topics, and we’ve generated some real interest in the produce expo, which is new this year.” said Bret Erickson, President of TIPA.  “As we hit the home stretch, it looks like we’re on pace for another successful event.

This is the 3rd annual ATP, a collaboration between the Texas International Produce Association (TIPA) and the Fresh Produce Association of the Americas (FPAA).  The event focuses on bringing together all sectors of the produce supply chain, with a special emphasis on US-Mexico relations.

This year’s ATP features a number of topics ranging from policy centered discussions to food safety analysis and  marketing panels.

“A Shared Border, A Shared Future: Improving Regulatory and Market Access Cooperation” and “The Powers that Be” will focus on the impact of a second term Obama Administration and a new Pena Nieto Administration.  The conference agenda also lists several panels including an inter-agency panel discussion between USDA-APHIS, FDA, and CBP, as well as a Food Safety table top exercise, a continuation and evolution of a similar exercise held last year in Nogales which got rave reviews from the audience.

Lance Jungmeyer, President of the FPAA, said  “Once again we will bring together some of the top officials who matter to bilateral U.S.-Mexico trade, into an environment where industry can interact with these officials.”

High level government officials from both the US and Mexico will be in attendance and are slated to discuss important initiatives and collaborative efforts aimed at increasing trade between the two countries.

“Congressman Henry Cuellar is the invited keynote speaker on the final morning, and we’re very eager to hear the Congressman’s thoughts on key areas such as border security, immigration reform, and how the government intends to address the need for additional resources at the border in order to improve the flow of trade.”

Erickson explained that one of the new components of this year’s event is the addition of an expo focused on showcasing fresh in-season product from importers and domestic growers.  “We’re making a big push to have retailers come see the high quality products our folks have to offer.  We’re already seeing a commitment from a number of retailers and we know they’ll be pleased with what they see.”

“Our industry is experiencing tremendous growth, and there are certainly some growing pains that come with that. The 2013 ATP & Expo is an event that will stimulate the type of thinking and dialogue necessary to ensure that we can address industry issues and continue to be successful.” said Erickson.

Additional registration and conference information can be found at www.americatradesproduce.com.

America Trades Produce Conference 2013 – New Trade Expo, Food Safety Discussions Added to the Format

The third annual America Trades Produce Conference is fast approaching, and promises to be as relevant as the two prior events.  Scheduled for March 6 – 8, 2013, at the McAllen, Texas Convention Center, this year the event committee has added a trade expo to the mix.  With the addition of a new and exciting EXPO event showcasing fresh in-season product, we are expecting an even stronger turnout this March.

As has been the trademark of the event, educational sessions will encourage direct dialogue between the industry and U.S. and Mexican government officials.

“Last year, we had top officials from FDA and SENASICA, including Mike Taylor and Octavio Carranza,” said John McClung, President of event co-host Texas International Produce Association. “We expect that some more details of the Food Safety Modernization Act will be public by March, and just how the new law will affect produce crossings at the border will be a major point of discussion.”

The event will also feature receptions and educational sessions on the expo floor in a new and exciting format. “Attendees will have the chance to view Mexican fruits and vegetables and learn a little bit at the same time,” McClung added.

This year’s conference will bring together individuals and organizations from throughout the produce supply chain and across international borders to discuss the industry’s hottest topics, political impact of the new administration in Mexico, and other critical topics.

“With the Pena Nieto Administration taking over the reins in Mexico, and potentially some new top leadership within the Obama Administration, we will have a session that gives a preview of how the industry can expect the governments to interact,” said Lance Jungmeyer, President of event co-host Fresh Produce Association of the Americas. “With the Tomato War, immigration and various trade issues in the forefront, it is crucial that our governments work together.”

Attendees will include many U.S. and Mexican representatives, including grower/shippers, retailers, processors, allied industry representatives, and city, state, and federal government officials.

In addition the new expo and historically dynamic topic and speaker line-up attendees have come to expect, attendees can participate in a joint tour of the Pharr/Reynosa Port of Entry and the Quanta Lab facility.  Throughout the event, several industry awards will also be announced, including:  The Packer’s Importer of the Year, The Produce News Rising Star and the Produce Business Exporter of the Year award.

The event is co-hosted by the Texas International Produce Association and the Fresh Produce Association of the Americas.

Visit www.americatradesproduce.com to learn more about the conference.

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The 2013 America Trades Produce Conference

The event is right around the corner! The 2013 America Trades Produce Conference (ATP) will be held in McAllen, Texas March 6 – 8, 2013. The 2013 Conference promises to be another amazing event.