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    United, FMI to Co-locate Trade Shows, Build Produce Expo & Conference

    WASHINGTON, DC - Officials of the United Fresh Fruit & Vegetable Association and the Food Marketing Institute have announced that they will co-locate their annual trade shows at McCormick Place in Chicago, beginning in May 2004.

    WASHINGTON, DC - Officials of the United Fresh Fruit & Vegetable Association (United) and the Food Marketing Institute (FMI) have announced that they will work together to enhance value to the worldwide retail supermarket and fresh produce industry by co-locating their annual trade shows at McCormick Place in Chicago, beginning in May 2004.

    The United 2004 Produce Expo & Conference will be hosted by United in conjunction with the FMI Show in Chicago, occupying a major portion of the North Hall with exhibits featuring products and services of interest to supermarket retailers, wholesalers, distributors and marketers of fresh produce.

    The conference portion of the event will include educational programs and workshops to assist the supermarket and produce industries in promoting sales of fresh fruits and vegetables through increased production and distribution efficiencies, new technologies in quality control and handling, innovative packaging, state-of-the-art marketing and merchandising, and more.

    One registration fee for the FMI Show will allow attendees to be admitted to all events, including the United Produce Expo & Conference, at no additional charge. United members will be admitted to the entire FMI event at the same member registration rates as FMI members.

    United will host and manage the United Produce Expo as a self-contained trade show and produce community co-located adjacent to the FMI exhibit area. The United Produce Expo will feature a 70,000-square-foot area for all produce-related exhibits, a separate entrance area, a hospitality area for visitors, an Expo Produce Theater for product demonstrations and seminars, the United Member Services Booth, and more.

    "This agreement enables FMI to offer our supermarket members and worldwide attendees a brand new focus on fresh produce, one of the most important areas of growth in the retail supermarket," said Tim Hammonds, president and CEO, FMI. "Our Board's long-term vision is that the FMI Show in Chicago will continue to grow with communities representing all sectors of the supermarket."

    "This agreement provides United the opportunity for our members to drive greater investment and support for produce among worldwide retail partners," said Tom Stenzel, president and CEO, United. "The produce industry has left the playing field at FMI to our grocery competitors for far too long. As the fastest-growing, highest visibility, and most profitable department in many retail stores today, it's clearly time for fresh produce to step up and build partnerships with those retail officials who are deciding not only what produce item to buy today, but how much store space will be devoted to produce in the future."

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