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IFPA recaps The Retail Conference

ifpa andy smith

Washington, D.C. – Hundreds throughout the full retail supply chain convened for effective networking and essential consumer insights, May 1-2 in Phoenix, AZ, at IFPA’s The Retail Conference. In just its third year, the produce conference is laser-focused on the retail side of the industry and attracted major retailers, suppliers, and solutions providers to connect, do business, and learn. 

The event’s limited registration cap creates more personal networking opportunities that foster partnerships. Nowhere was that more apparent than during the conference’s sold-out golf tournament at the Whirlwind Golf Club at Wild Horse Pass. Vendors and buyers alike hit it off while hitting the links for good conversation in a relaxed setting with a scenic backdrop.  

In addition to productive networking, attendees enjoyed several education sessions. Kicking it off was the State of the Retail Market 2024 session from Joe Watson, Vice President of Retail, Foodservice & Wholesale, IFPA BB #:378962. Watson provided insights into the 2024 retail market, including its positive aspects, challenges, and areas yet to be discovered.  

Additional education sessions covered these crucial topics: 

  • driving produce consumption by understanding consumers 
  • dynamics of supplier relationships in today’s ever-evolving landscape 
  • navigating retail in the AI era 
  • implications of USDA’s Strengthening Organic Enforcement Rule on produce retailers 

“The Retail Conference provided intimate networking opportunities with important, strategic partners,” said conference attendee and SpartanNash BB #:104892 Senior Director of Produce and Fresh Merchandising Andy Smith. “I made meaningful connections with many key suppliers, vendors, and fellow retailers, while gaining actionable insights and information I can implement in my role.” 

“Each year of this event, I’m blown away by the great display of camaraderie between suppliers and retailers in addressing similar challenges to distinguish their products and services,” said Watson. “Ultimately, our attendees recognize these obstacles require thoughtful solutions that can only come from sharing their experiences, ideas, and insights in a setting only The Retail Conference provides.” 

The Retail Conference immediately followed The Consumer Connection Conference from IFPA’s Foundation for Fresh Produce. They were co-located in the same hotel to make it convenient for those throughout the supply chain to attend both events. 

The fourth year of The Retail Conference takes place April 30-May 1, 2025, at the Westin Dallas Stonebriar Golf Resort & Spa. More information on The Retail Conference is available on IFPA’s 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.