Mark your calendar, the Texas International Produce Association (TIPA) has announced plans to host the inaugural VIVA Fresh Conference and Expo on March 26-28, 2015 in Austin, Texas.  The expo, which is meant to highlight the “Gateway to the Americas,” will focus on produce grown in the Southwest region of the United States and while also showcasing the role of Mexican produce.

The new VIVA Fresh Expo was created to take advantage of the trend to offer more intimate and affordable regional tradeshows that allow vendors and customers to create meaningful networking opportunities that highlight products and build relationships.  The new show replaces TIPA’s grower expo.

“We’re excited to debut this new international conference that will showcase the quality, variety, and availability of fresh produce from the Southwest region and Mexico,” commented TIPA President, Bret Erickson.  “The conference committees will be working directly with retailers and foodservice companies, who are invited to attend for free, to ensure greater participation.”

The expo will focus heavily on networking and education and include virtual field tours, a supermarket dietician symposium, the latest in merchandising trends, and a wide range of topics focusing on issues and opportunities with trade between Mexico and the US that impact both growers and customers.

Dante Galeazzi, of Crescent Fruit & Vegetable and the Expo Committee Chair remarked, “Imported products continue to grow in volume and distribution.  We believe that the topics and opportunities we’ll provide at Viva Fresh as it relates to the growth and expansion of produce grown in Mexico, transportation issues and upcoming trade regulations specifically for this region will create the international draw that is missing from the ‘regional shows’ available today.”

And since everything is bigger in Texas, expect big ideas and big flavors. Along with the education component, the expo will be focused on the style and taste of the Southwestern and Mexican-grown produce, with chef-inspired events and receptions with this region-specific foodie flair.

The VIVA Fresh Expo website will launch in August and include detailed information on schedule, registration, sponsorship and exhibiting.   For more information, contact Bret Erickson at

About the Texas International Produce Association

The Texas International Produce Association (TIPA) was created in 1942 to represent the interest of shippers of Texas-grown fruits and vegetables. In 1996, the scope of TIPA was expanded to address the problems and opportunities surrounding the importation and marketing of foreign grown produce. TIPA’s member companies include: growers, domestic shippers, import shippers, specialty shippers, distributors, and material and service providers.