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Mergers, acquisitions, tech and food safety on tap at Viva Fresh Expo

The 2018 Viva Fresh Produce Expo has announced the agenda for this year’s educational sessions. The Viva Fresh education committee has assembled this lineup to focus on proactive ways attendees can capitalize on trends shaping the produce industry, especially as they pertain to the Tex-Mex

“We’re excited about the diverse range of topics as well as the quality of our speakers,” said Melinda Goodman, education committee chair. “Our main focus is to bring in the right thought leaders to address the challenges facing our industry and provide insight on how attendees can best position themselves for lasting success.”

This year’s topics include the following:

Mergers & Acquisitions: The Game-Changing Lottery of Private Equity and Big Business Dollars: Hosted by Robert Lambert of Vantage Point Media, this panel will discuss the benefits, implications and processes surrounding mergers and acquisitions as well as the role that private equity firms may play in a variety of settings. With a veteran panel including Jay Pack, former owner and chief executive officer of Standard Fruit & Vegetable Co. Inc.; Joel Montminy, Founder and CEO of CREO | Montminy & Co.; and Ferrell Daste, President of Agriglobe Capital LLC, this panel promises to bring clarity and understanding to attendees.

How Amazon and Technology are Fueling a New Food Retailing Paradigm:’s $13.7 billion purchase of Whole Foods instantly made them a major player in the U.S. grocery industry, leaving shoppers, marketers and other brick and mortar competitors wondering what lies ahead. Viva Fresh welcomes Tom Edwards, chief digital and innovation officer at Epsilon and expert in emerging technology and its influence on consumer behavior, to discuss the impact of Amazon and technology on the future of fresh produce retailing and purchasing habits.

Can You Say Inocuidad? Examining Food Safety Initiatives in Mexico: In an increasingly global society, establishing and understanding food-safety regulations as well as the similarities and differences in regulatory procedures across borders is more important than ever. Luis Alberto Cruz García brings nearly 20 years of experience as a top consultant in food-safety practices, policy and regulations, and looks forward to sharing his insight and experience in this field with Viva Fresh attendees.

The Multi-Generation Marketplace: How it’s Changing the Face of Produce Consumption: Phil Gwoke, generational expert and consultant at Bridgeworks will address consumer perceptions and motivation factors that differ from generation to generation as it relates to the produce industry during the Keynote Luncheon. Learn what drives purchasing between consumer groups, and whether you are a grower, packer or retailer, take home valuable information that your company can implement to capitalize on these patterns.    

The Viva Fresh Education Series will take place on Friday, April 6 at the JW Marriott San Antonio Hill Country Resort & Spa as part of the 2018 Viva Fresh Produce Expo. Admission into the educational events is included with registration for Viva Fresh attendees and exhibitors. Visit for more information on the Viva Fresh Educational Series, registration details, or general questions about the show.