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Four industry members take the Viva Fresh Clean Eating Challenge

viva fresh clean eating challenge
The inaugural Clean Eating Challenge featured Tommy Wilkins, Ed Bertaud, Jed Murray and Michelle Cortez working with Dr. Ian Smith to tailor a clean eating plan with a foundation in fresh produce.

PRESS RELEASE: Mission, Texas – Viva Fresh is launching a health and wellness campaign that starts this week and will continue until the 2020 Viva Fresh Expo on April 30 – May 2, 2020 at the JW Marriot Hill Country Resort in San Antonio, Texas.  Best-selling author, TV personality and physician, Dr. Ian Smith will lead a group of four produce industry professionals who are changing their diets in an effort to become healthier.  Industry members can follow their progress online at the Viva Fresh website.

“Since the inception of the Viva Fresh Expo, health and wellness has been one of the main cornerstones of our program,” remarked Dante Galeazzi, President & CEO of Texas International Produce Association (TIPA).  “There’s been a global rise in clean eating causing consumers from all age groups to embrace a plant-based diet.  But growers are often removed from these trends creating a disconnect with the consumers who are buying their produce.  That’s why we’re excited to launch this challenge and use the resulting insight to empower the produce industry to better understand and act upon the clean eating trend.”

Sponsored by SunFed, Grow Farm Texas, Coast Tropical, Rio Fresh Inc. and J&D Produce, the following Clean Eating Challenge participants bring a variety of backgrounds, health challenges, and goals for the program.

  • Tommy Wilkins, Grow Farms Texas
  • Ed Bertaud, IFCO
  • Jed Murray, Tenaza Organics
  • Michelle Cortez, Empacadora GAB – Mr. Lucky

Dr. Ian Smith is the author of 17 books, 9 of them NY Times bestsellers including The Clean 20, Blast the Sugar Out, SUPER SHRED: The Big Results Diet, SHRED: The Revolutionary Diet, The Fat Smash Diet, and Extreme Fat Smash.  His newest book, CLEAN & LEAN:  30 Days, 30 Foods, A New You! hit the stands April 9th, 2019 and was an immediate NY Times bestseller.  His books have helped hundreds of thousands of people reduce bad sugars from their diet, lose weight, lower blood sugar levels, and cut the cravings.

President Obama appointed Dr. Smith to two terms on the prestigious President’s Council on Fitness, Sports, and Nutrition. He is currently the medical contributor and co-host of the nationally syndicated television show The Rachael Ray Show.  He is a former co-host of the Emmy award-winning syndicated daytime talk show, The Doctors.  He also served as the medical/diet expert for six seasons on VH1’s highly-rated Celebrity Fit Club and is the creator and founder of the national health initiatives: The 50 Million Pound Challenge and The Makeover Mile.

During the Clean Eating Challenge, Dr. Smith will be working closely with each of the participants to tailor a plan based on their goals, health challenges and the results of their physicals.  As the keynote speaker, Dr. Smith will unveil the final results during the Viva Fresh Keynote Luncheon on Friday, May 1 from 11:30 – 1:00 pm.   The participants will join him onstage to share the detail of their experiences.

“This focus on health and wellness really sets Viva Fresh apart from other regional trade shows so we’re looking forward to seeing the results of the Clean Eating Challenge,” remarked Kyle Stevens, Vice President of Produce for H-E-B.  “Each year the show brings a new, vibrant energy to the industry and highlights the growing importance of Texas and Mexico in fresh produce.”

Viva Fresh began in 2015 as a small regional tradeshow with the goal of shining a light on the importance of the Rio Grande Valley as an emerging trade corridor and production zone. Now, the show consistently draws sold out crowds, and buyer attendance alone has increased by over 110%.

For more information or to register online, visit Registration, airfare and hotel expenses are complimentary for qualifying retail and foodservice companies.


About the Viva Fresh Produce Expo

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. In just four years, the Viva Fresh Produce Expo has catered to sold out crowds and increased buyer attendance by over 110%.