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IFPA announces Retail Merchant Innovation Award winners


Washington D.C. and Newark, DE. – International Fresh Produce Association BB #:378962 has announced the winners of the IFPA Retail Merchant Innovation Awards Program. The program, sponsored by Sage Fruit Company, recognizes and celebrates the accomplishments of a Vice President or Director (or equivalent position) in the produce departments of a retail banner that demonstrates passion and purpose in developing innovative strategies to drive produce consumption. IFPA honors five of the industry’s top retail director/VP for this award; one winner per store count category.

“Sage Fruit is honored to sponsor this award program and excited to celebrate the winners of IFPA’s Retail Merchant Innovation Awards Program. Without all the great displays that are built daily, produce sales would not be as high as they are. These artists in produce departments are crucial to the success of the store and the overall image that is projected to the consumer,” stated Chuck Sinks, president of sales and marketing for Sage Fruit.

The winners will be recognized at IFPA’s Global Produce & Floral Show where they will attend as VIPs, participate in the conference education and network.

“Through dedication to our industry, innovative merchandising and customer engagement, these individuals have demonstrated passion and purpose and have direct impact on growing consumption of fresh fruits and vegetables,” said IFPA’s Vice President of Retail, Foodservice and Wholesale, Joe Watson. “We congratulate the winners and look forward to celebrating them at The Global Produce & Floral Show later this month.”

The 2022 Winners of the IFPA Retail Merchant Innovation Award are:

  • 1-50 Stores: Brian Penfield, director of produce, Sendik’s Food Markets
  • 51-150 Stores: Jim Gaylord, category merchant, Wegmans Food Markets, Inc.
  • 151-250 Stores: Barry Paul, produce sales manager, Shaw’s Supermarkets
  • 251-399 Stores: Jeff Mallory, vice president of produce, Hy-Vee, Inc.
  • 400+ Stores: Vic Savanello, regional vice president, produce and floral merchandising, Spartan Nash

Registration is open for The Global Produce & Floral Show, attendees can register and see more about the event on the website:

About the International Fresh Produce Association (IFPA) 

The International Fresh Produce Association (IFPA)?is the largest and most diverse international association serving the entire fresh produce and floral supply chain and the only to seamlessly integrate world-facing advocacy and industry-facing support. We exist to bring the industry together to create a vibrant future for all. We grow our member’s prosperity by conducting advocacy; connecting people and ideas; and offering guidance that allows us all to?take action?with purpose and confidence.? While IFPA is built on the legacy of United Fresh and Produce Marketing Association, it is not just a combination. It is transformational. Recognizing the industry required an even more powerful and unified voice, the leaders of the former United Fresh and Produce Marketing Association chose not to merge, but rather to create an entirely new organization to supersede their organizations, effective January 1, 2022.