Apr 13, 2022
Viva Fresh in Texas welcomes return of education sessions

With under two weeks until the 2022 Viva Fresh Expo opens the doors, the industry is preparing to gather to show its newest products and share ideas. And with that, the Texas International Produce Association has announced the lineup of education sessions.

Viva Fresh will be held April 21-23 at the Gaylord Texan Resort in Grapevine, Texas.

The Viva Fresh Produce Expo was established in 2015 by the Texas International Produce Association (TIPA) in order to create meaningful networking and educational opportunities for its members while shining a light on the importance of the Rio Grande Valley as an emerging trade corridor and production zone for healthy and nutritious fruits and vegetables available all year long.

The April 21 education sessions will kick off with The Clean Eating Challenge: Can it Be a Health Revolution for the Produce Industry? Wendy Reinhardt Kapsak, president and CEO of Produce for Better Health will visit with past and present participants and explore what Clean Eating means, how it’s a tool to change consumption of fruits and vegetables and what our industry needs to know about changing behaviors to support eating healthy.

Next up expect to be led into the dark world of cybercrime. Greg Gatzke, president of Zag Technical Services will talk Cybersecurity: The Real Threat of Malicious Attacks. As an industry that prides itself on being ‘out in the fields,’ we often forget about the importance – and vulnerability – of the digital platforms we run our systems on. In September 2021, a cyberattack shut down 60 grain elevators in Iowa, responsible for feeding more than 11 million animals in the Midwest. In June, meatpacker JBS was hit, and it cost a reported $11 million to regain access to their systems. It’s not a matter of if, these hackers will come for fresh produce, they have, and they will continue to do so. This session will shed light on how these attacks happen, and how companies can take proactive steps to prevent these costly and business alternating events.

On the heels of the release of this year’s infamous Dirty Dozen, we all know the reality of bad press. So does Richard Kottmeyer from FTI Consulting who will lead The Power of Reputation Management: Understanding the Language That Keeps You from Being the Headline. FTI Consulting has handled reputation management for all kinds of companies and industries including Monsanto. Agriculture has been under attack for years around topics related to GMO’s, pesticide use, food safety, sustainability, climate change, and social responsibility. The industry is prone to ignore the role of reputation management in brand building and engaging in consumer conversations until there is a crisis to be managed.

At this session, attendees will learn how to speak to consumers in their language and how to make information easier to understand in order to get to the heart of the facts. Everything from food safety to the dirty dozen will be on the table. Attendees should expect to laugh, but also feel a little or a lot uncomfortable as he talks about the risks we face, the problems we create and how we can manage them all.

“In person education has always been a catalyst to learn and engage in challenging conversations and we are so happy to bring back a full education schedule and tackle compelling topics,” said Dante Galeazzi, CEO and president of TIPA. “Finding the right topics is always a process and we are proud of the lineup we have created and excited for our attendees to explore new ideas that can better themselves, their businesses and our industry.”

Admission to the educational sessions is included with registration for Viva Fresh. Visit www.vivafreshexpo.com for more information on the 2022 Viva Fresh Produce Expo educational sessions, schedule, registration details, or general questions about the event.

The Viva Fresh Produce Expo was established in 2015 by the Texas International Produce Association (TIPA) in order to create meaningful networking and educational opportunities for its members while shining a light on the importance of the Rio Grande Valley as an emerging trade corridor and production zone for healthy and nutritious fruits and vegetables available all year long.

For more information, please visit www.vivafreshexpo.com.

Founded in 1942, the Texas International Produce Association (TIPA) promotes, advocates, educates and represents the nearly $10 billion in fresh produce that is either grown in the state or calls Texas the first point of US-arrival for North American distribution.

For more information about TIPA, visit www.texipa.org or call 956-581-8632.




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