(Feb. 16, 12:34 p.m.) The United Fresh Produce Association, Washington D.C., launched a Web site to prepare the industry for its April convention and to provide an online catalog of exhibitors and products.

The site, virtualmarketplace.unitedfresh.org, has links for show registration information, promotional opportunities and its spotlight feature, a search engine that lets users search by companies, products and categories. The site already lists product information from more than 220 companies.

United’s Fresh’s Virtual Marketplace was launched to highlight the United Fresh 2009 convention April 21-24 in Las Vegas, but the association plans to update it throughout the year with new products and companies, according to a news release. Users can create online lists to keep track of companies and products they’re interested in.

In addition to finding information about products and services, users can also send messages to companies through the site.