This past Friday and Saturday, October 28 and 29, the International Fresh Produce Association held their Global Produce & Floral Show (GPFS) in Orlando, Florida. For the first time since 2019, the organization was able to hold an in-person event. This, combined with the fact that it was the first show since PMA and United Fresh merged last year, resulted in high expectations from industry members. Whether this would be the biggest and best event ever is what everyone was wondering upfront. Although official numbers are not available yet, it may not have been the biggest show ever, but statistics don't say it all. The success of an event is determined by many more factors. Also this year, the “Floral Marketplace”, that has been introduced several editions ago, is getting a more and more established spot at the show and this year, our FloralDaily.com team was again present to make a photo report of that show.
"I am thrilled with the overwhelming support our first Global Produce & Floral Show received from across the supply chain this year. This was a long-overdue return to gathering in October, and it was made possible with the leadership and support of our exhibitors, sponsors, volunteer leaders, and guests," said IFPA CEO Cathy Burns. "I am leaving Orlando feeling energized and inspired about where the global produce and floral community is headed and how IFPA can clear the path for success."
The Expo floor opened a day earlier than in years past to allow attendees to visit with business solutions providers and technology partners. Included in this segment of the show floor were 12 members of the Fresh Fields Catalyst Accelerator Program. These companies participated in this immersion program to bring new, ready-for-market solutions to the produce and floral industries. They joined a record-breaking 217 first-time exhibitors sharing products on the floor this year.
The LiveTrends team won the Best of Show for Floral.
Best of Show Winners
On Saturday, IFPA announced the Best of Show Winners, selected by a panel of judges to represent the best of the expo floor. The 2022 award is sponsored, in part, by The Packer, and included:
- Best First-Time Exhibitor: Northern Greens
- Best Inline in the Produce Marketplace: Conscious Foods
- Best Island in the Produce Marketplace: Red Sun Farms
- Best Inline in the Solutions Marketplace: Verdant Technologies
- Best Island in the Solutions Marketplace: AirFlo Merchandising Systems
- Best Inline in the Complementary Items Marketplace: Franklin Farms
- Best Island in the Complementary items Marketplace: T. Marzetti Company
- Best Inline in the Floral Marketplace: Allure Farms, Inc.
- Best Island in the Floral Marketplace: Live Trends Design Group, LLC
From the Fresh Ideas Showcase Participants:
- Best Overall Product Promo: Mastronardi Produce - SUNSET® Qukes with Dip & Angel Sweet with Dip
- Best Sustainable Packaging: Jac. Vandenberg, Inc. - SUNRAYS® Home Compostable Grape Bags
The LiveTrends team
Networking events and education programs
In addition to networking events, GPFS also featured over 20 education programs and over 45 expert speakers sharing insights to help guide businesses into the future. This includes the four general sessions that featured famed chef and humanitarian Jose Andres, award-winning actress and activist Marlee Matlin, Burns, and more.
"Putting together this show requires incredible partnership across the industry," said Burns. "Ultimately, however, the show is not possible without the IFPA staff. I am so proud of this team and so grateful for the dedication and passion they all have for our members and industry."
The amount of traffic seemed pretty evenly distributed over the two days. Traditionally, the first day is a busy day, but the second day saw good traffic as well. However, on the show floor, traffic didn't seem to be evenly distributed, a thought that many exhibitors shared. It was very busy in the Produce section, but the business solutions and technical segments were separated and didn't nearly see the traffic Produce and Floral saw. "We thought it would be a huge blowout we were excited for," said Gretchen Lane with NatureSeal. "Although we are all produce, Business Solutions was put in a separate section," she added. On Thursday afternoon, a day before the show started, the Business Solutions section was open for two hours to give them a head start. Although this was helpful for some exhibitors, others said it wasn't well publicized, and they didn't see much traffic.
Like every year, also special attention was paid to the novelties of the exhibiting companies. Also, the floral exhibitors had the possibility to showcase their novelties. In the hallway, they were on display all together. Click here to see all floral novelties.
Over the last year, more hort suppliers have found their way to the PMA, of course with the suppliers in their wake. Our colleagues of HortiDaily also paid them a visit, click here for the photo report of horticultural suppliers and greenhouse growers at the IFPA.
Next year, IFPA's Global Produce & Floral Show will be held in Anaheim, California, from October 19-21.