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Record international attendees convene at The London Produce Show and Conference 2019

Record international attendees convene at The London Produce Show and Conference 2019

Last week the largest gathering of global fresh produce professionals on UK soil enjoyed three days of meeting, learning and sharing ideas to advance the industry and to drive up produce consumption.

The 2019 edition of The London Produce Show and Conference (LPS19) welcomed a record number of attendees to the ever-popular three-day event, cementing its position as a must-attend date on the international fresh produce calendar.

Decision-makers from all four corners of the globe convened at Grosvenor House, a JW Marriott hotel on London’s Park Lane in the UK, to meet, share and learn ideas to drive forward the international fresh produce business.

Jim Prevor, Editor-in-Chief of Produce Business, officially opened the trade show together with US chef, television presenter and cookbook author Amanda Freitag, and Simon Smits, the Ambassador of the Kingdom of the Netherlands in the UK.

Prior to the trade show ribbon cutting, Ambassador Smits announced the winner and runners-up of the third annual Best International Initiative For Marketing Fresh Produce To Children 2019 Award, sponsored by The Embassy of the Netherlands in the UK on behalf of the Dutch fresh fruit and vegetable sector.

First place went to US-based initiative Produce for Kids in recognition of its efforts to encourage and increase the consumption of fresh fruits and vegetables among children through produce and grocery retail partner programmes.

Created in 2002 by Shuman Farms, a leading grower and shipper of Vidalia sweet onions in the US state of Georgia, Produce for Kids counts on the participation of more than 17,000 children and elementary school classes, and more than 2,000 retail stores. Additionally, the initiative has donated more than US$6 million to charities that benefit children and families nationwide.

Accepting the award, John Shuman said he felt honoured and humbled to receive the unexpected recognition, adding that he hopes to continue educating and giving back in years to come.

“If we can teach children the importance of eating a diet of healthy fruits and vegetables, just think of the impact we could have not only our businesses but on health and nutrition across the world,” Shuman said.

The 2019 runners-up were Aldi UK and Veg Power’s ‘Eat Them To Defeat Them’ campaign. Previous winners of the accolade are ICA Sweden in 2018 and Lidl UK in 2017.

The morning of Thursday June 6 also saw the The Perishable Pundit’s Thought-Leader Breakfast Panel session, whose panelists travelled from four continents and a broad spectrum of the supply chain to discuss topics ranging from Brexit to consumer engagement.

Panelists included: Amanda Freitag, Chef, TV Personality & Cookbook Author, as well as The London Produce Show 2019 Ambassador (US); Clare Linstead, Senior Buying Manager for Tropical, Exotic and Stonefruit at Morrisons in the UK; George Liu, CEO of Frutacloud in China;  Philip Macy, Category Buyer for Grapes and Stonefruit at Sam’s Club in the US; Tom Stenzel, President and CEO of the United Fresh Produce Association in the US; Raj Tugnait, Group CEO of Fresh Direct Group in the UK; Tania van der Merwe, Senior Buyer for Freshmark in South Africa; Stephan Weist, Director Category Management for REWE Group in Germany; and Maria Wieloch, Senior Category Manager for fruit, vegetables and flowers at ICA Sweden.

The LPS19 got underway in earnest on Wednesday June 5 with an action-packed programme featuring multiple, concurrent conferences both public and private, all taking place at Grosvenor House.

The launch of The Global Grape Summit in particular was a roaring success, receiving widespread praise from attendees and drawing a large international crowd of over 300 important industry actors to analyse ways to boost grape consumption and move the industry forward. Read the initial report here.

Also taking place was The Foodservice Forum 2019, sponsored by Reynolds and Fresh Direct, which highlighted the ways in which technology and trends are truly transforming the foodservice industry in the UK, and the potential to make fresh produce more prominent on plates.

Keynote speaker Simon Stenning, Founder and Strategic Advisor of FutureFoodservice.com, made a bold prediction, estimating that the UK foodservice market will be worth £106 billion (bn) by 2030, up from £90bn in 2018, driven largely by population growth. This, he said, represents significant opportunities for both foodservice operators and food suppliers.

Following Freshfel Europe’s annual conference during the morning of June 5, The Fresh Produce Consortium (FPC) rounded off the day with its Trading with the UK seminar. Here, representatives from Defra, the Food Standards Agency and Freshfel Europe provided a comprehensive picture of how to trade with the UK now, as well as the potential trading panorama post-Brexit.

In particular, attendees were made aware of two key dates that will affect some traders with, and importers in the UK market. On 1 September 2019, there will be new legislation that will regulate new pests and introduce new import requirements for certain products; while later, on 14 December, a new EU plant health regulation will come into effect.

The LPS19 concluded on Friday June 7 with a series of industry tours that will visit all factions of the UK fresh produce industry, including: production (hosted by Chambers/The Fruitery), logistics (Halo/DP World London Gateway), wholesale (New Covent Garden Market and New Spitalfields market), foodservice (a walking tour of operators in Shoreditch) and retail.

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Award for Best International Initiative for Marketing Fresh Produce to Children

The “Kids Are Our Future” award, sponsored by The Embassy of the Netherlands in the UK on behalf of the Dutch fresh fruit and vegetable sector, will be presented at The London Produce Show and Conference on June 8.

Produce Business UK and The London Produce Show and Conference have launched an international competition that will award one company or marketing organisation with its first annual International Award for Marketing Fresh Produce to Children.

The “Kids Are Our Future” award, sponsored by The Embassy of the Netherlands in the UK on behalf of the Dutch fresh fruit and vegetable sector, will be presented at The London Produce Show and Conference on June 8, during the Keynote Breakfast Session at the Grosvenor House Hotel in Mayfair, London.

“With all the troubles around the globe, one thing that unites us all is that everyone wants their children to grow up strong and healthy …  and that means more consumption of fruits and vegetables,” said Jim Prevor, editor-in-chief of Produce Business UK and the founder of The London Produce Show and Conference, now celebrating its fourth year.

The competition will celebrate the organisation that has delivered a real stand-out campaign to promote and increase fresh produce consumption to children, with messaging that resonates across all borders. It is open to suppliers of produce as well as international marketing groups, retailers, foodservice distributors/operators and charitable/government entities.

“It’s important that children from a young age learn to eat a healthy diet with plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables,” said Martijn Bergmans, Agricultural Adviser at The Embassy of The Netherlands in the United Kingdom. “As The Netherlands is a large exporter of fruits and vegetables, we are keen to see how operations within the produce industry in all four corners of the globe utilise their marketing prowess to encourage children to increase their intake of fresh produce.”

As a showcase of global leadership in efforts to increase produce consumption in the younger generation, this competition will celebrate the winning organisation’s industry-leading marketing activities and inspire their peers to improve their own marketing endeavors to raise awareness and make fresh fruits and vegetables more attractive to children.

CRITERIA FOR ENTRY
The deadline for entering your organisation’s 2017 promotions into this year’s first annual International Award for Marketing Fresh Produce to Children is midnight on May 26.
 
The contest honours the best marketing promotions from all segments of the fresh produce industry — from growers/packers/importers/exporters to retailers/foodservice operations/distributors to trade associations, marketing groups and charitable/government entities.
 
The criteria for the award is based on originality, creativity, call-to-action, execution based on budgetary constraints, and significance of results. Examples of possible promotions — commenced within the past 12 months — can draw on, but are not limited to, the following:

Use of social media to encourage families with children to buy fresh produce and cook healthier food
Cause marketing campaigns
Point-of-sale signage
Kid-specific web pages
Produce supplier collaboration
Kid-oriented recipes
Vouchers/coupons and promotions to encourage purchase
Contests
360-marketing strategy oriented toward produce for children
Educational and consumer outreach programming
Involvement of registered dietitians
Nutritional information
Tips on choosing, storing and cooking specific produce items
Day-part marketing to encourage produce at breakfast, lunch, dinner and snacking
Efforts before, during and after back-to-school periods
Outreach to classrooms/community
 
HOW TO ENTER
If your organisation has conducted a successful promotion over the past year, and you would like to nominate your campaign to win the award, click here.

For more information, email award@producebusinessuk.com

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London Produce Show returns next month

LPS car - Edited

Now in its third edition, the London Produce Show will be bringing the world of fresh produce together again in London’s iconic Grosvenor House hotel from June 8-10.

Billed as a boutique exhibition for the global fresh fruit, vegetable and flower industries, this annual event for all parts of the fresh produce supply chain – from seed to plate – is presented by the Fresh Produce Consortium and Produce Business magazine.

The London Produce Show gives trade exhibitors direct access to a wide range of international produce buyers from the retail, foodservice and wholesale sectors. It also offers rich opportunities for cross-continental learning, including a series of networking occasions, seminars and chef demonstrations run around and alongside the exhibition.

Last year, this unique show featured 128 exhibition booths and attracted 1,665 attendees, from 36 countries.

This year, the Show Ambassador will be the multi-talented Oli Blanc, the creator of the award-winning Henri Le Worm app and interactive website.

The app is a story narrated by Simon Pegg, featuring recipes by Oli’s renowned father, chef Raymond Blanc, and aims to connect young children with food and nature, increasing their knowledge of fresh fruit and vegetables and encouraging them to eat more healthily.

Images courtesy of London Produce Show