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IFPA’s Retail Conference offers four expert education sessions

Discover four supply chain solutions to drive success at IFPA's Retail Conference

Newark, DE. and Washington, D.C. What do transformative changes in retail food and beverage mean for produce? The full retail supply chain will discover answers to that and more at The Retail Conference from the International Fresh Produce Association BB #:378962, June 7-8 in Oak Brook, IL, near Chicago. 

The Retail Conference offers four expert education sessions, networking opportunities, discussion groups, and a golf tournament. 

“While every supplier and retailer works to differentiate their products and services, there are common issues they all must address,” said Joe Watson, IFPA’s vice president of retail, foodservice, and wholesale. “It’s so important to come together in a more-intimate venue to look at those issues from a supply chain perspective. That’s what The Retail Conference is all about – that and outstanding networking opportunities with over 50 retailers.” 

If doctors prescribed produce to enhance health, what would that mean for sales? Millions? Or maybe billions! 

Food as medicine and produce prescriptions hold incredible potential. As patients use those prescriptions to buy produce at retail, every link benefits. Scaled properly, produce prescriptions could put millions – if not billions – of dollars toward produce redeemed at retail. IFPA’s Mollie Van Lieu, vice president of nutrition and health, will moderate a panel of leaders in technology, retail, and healthcare to discuss this opportunity.  

“We know fresh produce is the solution to many of today’s health issues,” said Meghan Diaz of Sprouts Farmers Market. “I want to know more about how produce prescriptions can work because although they will generate sales, which is great, I believe the real benefit is improving consumer health.” 

What makes a great relationship with a buyer? Retailers reveal! 

True partnerships are critical to driving business and weathering uncertainty. Retail veterans will reveal what a real and relevant partnership looks like today. They’ll offer tips to transcend challenges and drive sales momentum in a session moderated by Betsy Folan, senior vice president of organizational and executive development at pro-voke. 

“Ultimately, we’re all in this together as we strive to grow our sales and grow our industry at all levels,” said Jeff Cady of Tops. “Understanding how to improve partnerships with retailers benefits both buyer and seller as we all work toward the same goals – growing sales to consumers.”  

Despite tough times, where is produce strong and how can retailers capitalize? 

The grocery industry faces headwinds at a time when shoppers’ patterns and expectations are rapidly changing. Circana’s fresh foods expert and long-time produce thought leader, Jonna Parker, will examine where produce is experiencing unique strength at retail despite disruptive challenges, and most importantly, how retailers can continue to expand the success of fresh fruits and vegetables for years to come. 

“The pace of change is unprecedented, and it can be hard to keep up with everything,” said Yan Branco of Sobey’s. “I’m interested in how we can all capitalize on best of what we’re doing and improve what’s not going as well to set ourselves up for a future of growth.” 

Confused, perplexed about the FSMA 204 Final Rule?  

FDA released the FSMA 204 Final Rule establishing additional recordkeeping requirements for those who manufacture, process, pack or hold foods the agency has included on the Food Traceability List. IFPA’s Ed Treacy, vice president of supply chain and sustainability, will review the rule and what this means, so companies can prepare prior to the starting enforcement date on Jan. 20, 2026. (That’s not as far away as it seems.) 

“Our members count on IFPA to make sense of the changing regulatory landscape so they can keep their companies compliant,” Joe said. “We’re thrilled to have IFPA experts, like Ed, to support them.”  

In addition to in-depth looks at today’s issues, the conference features social and networking opportunities. “We welcome the full supply chain to this conference, including leading retailers like UNFI and Hannaford, Walmart and Stop & Shop, Dollar General and Target,” Watson said. “This is the right size at the right time for our industry to gather around business issues everyone faces.” 

A 1:5 buyer-supplier ratio ensures participants in this limited-attendance event will build existing relationships and foster new partnerships during sessions, during meals and receptions, and at the golf tournament. Interested parties can find the full schedule on the IFPA website. Registrants are encouraged to sign up by May 24 when conference rates rise and get their hotel rooms by the hotel cutoff date, May 22. 

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.