The first-ever Global Produce & Floral Show (GPFS) burst onto the scene in Orlando Oct. 27-29. Many “firsts” were involved in the event, which left no doubt in anyone’s mind that the international fresh fruit, vegetable, and floral industries are juggernauts headed for their brightest days.

GPFS was presented by the International Fresh Produce Association (IFPA). IFPA is the product of a smart and highly efficient merger between the Produce Marketing Association (PMA) and the United Fresh Produce Association. More than 20,000 attendees from approximately 40 countries attended the show.

GPFS took the October convention timeslot that was held for decades by PMA. The show was very similar to that of PMA, but at least one veteran reporter who thought he knew the drill was regularly sent scrambling for the schedule.

The Orlando convention arrived after two years of PMA cancellation and postponement due to the global pandemic.

Industry members were thrilled to reconvene and get on with unmasked, face-to-face business.

IFPA indicates it is the only event in the world that brings together the entire global supply chain for produce and floral.

IFPA’s dynamic CEO Cathy Burns is clearly the right woman to lead the global industry forward.

“What we do is not for the faint at heart and it’s not only for our prosperity,” Burns pronounced at the show’s “State of the Industry” address. “What we do is produce products that impact the health and well-being of every human on the planet.

“I’ve never felt more certain that time and purpose are linked to creating and leading what happens next for our industry.”

Burns noted that from medically tailored meals to precision nutrition to produce prescriptions, fresh fruits and vegetables are poised to lead meaningful changes in global consumer health. “It’s becoming ever clearer that the solution to many of our health challenges is on the farm, not in the pharm.”

IFPA’s 2023 show will be held Oct. 19-21 in Anaheim, CA.