In the first of what is expected to be an every other year arrangement, United Fresh Produce Association’s 2012 expo and convention will join the American Meat Institute and the Food Marketing Institute in Dallas.
United Fresh’s 2011 show will be May 2-5 in New Orleans.

United Fresh, FMI and meat group join for 2012 expo

In an e-mail to members, Steffanie Smith, chairwoman of United Fresh and chief executive officer of Hermiston, Ore.-based River Point Farms, said that Washington, D.C.-based United Fresh intends to have an alternating year format, with a stand-alone show in odd years and the FMI/AMI co-located event in even years.

“We’re pleased to once again co-locate the United Fresh 2012 Fresh Marketplace and FreshTech expos with FMI based on the very positive experience of attendees at both of our shows in the past,” said United Fresh president Tom Stenzel in a news release. “With AMI, we’ll now have an even stronger platform for increasing the attendee value proposition for all three events.”

The American Meat Institute Expo will be April 30-May 3, while the FMI show will share the same show May 1-3 window as United Fresh, according to the news release. Each show will have an exclusive exhibit hall, in addition to education workshops, according to the release. The trade show partners are considering joint networking and programming possibilities, the release said.

The 2012 show marks a reunion between the FMI Show and United Fresh. The two groups had annual shows at the same location, first in Chicago’s McCormick Place Convention Center and one year in Las Vegas, from 2004-08.

“We are thrilled to launch an event that will encompass all aspects of the industry in one location to provide a continuation of our commitment to bring trading partners together, foster collaboration and build a strong industry community,” said Leslie G. Sarasin, president and chief executive officer, FMI in the release. “This co-location provides the opportunity to foster leadership education opportunities that span across the industry and bring more depth and increased value to retailers from the front-lines to company headquarters.”

The AMI and FMI shows each typically attract about 450 exhibitors and 10,000 attendees from 100 countries, the release said. At this spring’s United Fresh expo, there were about 250 booths and 4,500 attendees.