January/February 2020 - 26

UNITED FRESH WWW.UNITEDFRESH.ORG
United Fresh '20 to add controlled-environment focus
Ret a i l e r s
a n d
By Ben Massoud
Manager of
Communications,
United Fresh
Produce
Association
foodservice operators are
always on the hunt for
fresh-cut produce that is
high quality, consistently
available and sustainably
produced. By partnering
w i t h c o nt r ol l e d
environment growers,
they're finding all those
qualities and more.
Through controlled
environment agriculture,
growers in a variety of
climates cultivate fresh-cut produce
year-round in an enclosed setting
using technology to ensure optimal
growing conditions. This innovative
production method enables high
plant qual ity, predictable crop
timing, consistent available quantity
and limited environmental impact,
including using considerably less water
(up to 20 times more efficient) than
field production, according to Cornell
University's College of Agriculture and
Life Sciences.
To support
the rapidly growing
demand for controlled environment
production and the commitment to
drive innovation in fresh produce,
the United Fresh 2020 Convention
& Expo is introducing a Controlled
Environment Pavilion on the show
floor, June 16-19 in San Diego,
California. The Controlled Environment
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Pavilion will serve as the designated
destination for controlled grower
exhibitors to do business with retail
and foodservice buyers.
To foster potential partnerships
at the Convention, United Fresh
has partnered with the Controlled
Environment Agriculture Food Safety
Coalition (CEA Food Safety Coalition)
on the Pavilion. The CEA Food Safety
Coalition is a new independent and
member-governed coalition whose
mission is to develop credible, strong,
and appropriate food safety standards;
educate consumers and regulators on
controlled environment growing; and
communicate the value of controlled
environment agriculture.
" Our members are pioneering
new production models in fresh produce,
and we look forward to the opportunity
to share perspectives and create an
opportunity for conversation across the
entire supply chain with participants at
the United Fresh Convention & Expo, "
said Marni Karlin, executive director of
the CEA Food Safety Coalition.
United Fresh 2020 Convention
Committee Co-Chair Abby Prior, vice
president of marketing for BrightFarms
- a member of the CEA Food Safety
Coalition - explains the opportunities
that controlled growing creates:
" BrightFarms is a relatively new
player on the produce scene, but our
rapid growth reflects the excitement
about how controlled-environment
growing can meet the demand for local
produce, sustainability, and consumer
value. Our sector has become a
major part of the United Fresh
Convention & Expo, attracting new
retail customers, but also allowing
us to find new indoor technologies to
help grow our businesses. "
The Controlled Envi ronment
Pavilion will bring together growers,
companies providing tools and
technologies for indoor production and
thought leaders who are helping grow
indoor agriculture. In a designated
discussion area, participants will share
perspectives on current issues and
growth opportunities for indoor ag,
hydroponics, vertical farms and rapidly
expanding greenhouse production.
" United Fresh has been very
welcoming to the whole controlled
growing environment community, "
Abby added. " We see the association as
a real strategic partner for our growth
and learning and in understanding
the produce industry, and we're really
looking forward to the show in June. "
For more informat ion on the
Controlled Environment Pavilion,
or to exhibit as an indoor grower at
United Fresh Convention & Expo,
contact Erin Hutchison, director,
Supp l y Cha i n Re l a t i on s for
United Fresh, at 202-303-3422 or
ehutchison@unitedfresh.org.
http://WWW.UNITEDFRESH.ORG http://www.EquipmentButler.com

January/February 2020

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