Representatives of more than 200 growing operations from 25 states in Mexico, we as well as growers from a least four other countries (including Spain and Israel) are expected Aug. 24-26 for AMHPAC’s Fourth Annual Convention in Guadalajara, Mexico.

“We are expecting a multidisciplinary audience,” said Eric Viramontes, chief executive officer of Culiacan, Sinaloa-based AMHPAC, the association of Mexican producers of protected horticulture.

Importers, wholesalers, retailers and foodservice distributors also will be in attendance, Viramontes said, adding that the event will feature a “Grower Matchmaking Program” aiming to pair marketers with growers that will fit their needs.

Viramontes identified building market intelligence, spreading out crop yields to stabilize year-round markets and changing consumer perception about Mexico’s fresh produce — particularly in food safety — as key goals and areas of discussion for the convention.

A members meeting and trade show kicks off the convention Aug. 24, where attendees will define the actions and responsibilities of the association for 2011-12.

Scheduled speakers include Lorna Christie, executive vice president and chief operating officer for the Newark, Del.-based Produce Marketing Association, and political analyst Leo Zuckerman.

Christie will discuss communication trends and technology, the evolution of social networks and how they are becoming vital to business. She will emphasize the need for crisis management planning for the entire agricultural sector.

Zuckerman will detail the changing social and economic perspectives of Mexico.

On Aug. 25, the business convention and trade show will allow attendees a chance to review and analyze the supply points and standards and let convention goers discuss issues regarding quality, food safety and security in the Mexican protected vegetable production sector.

Among scheduled presenters are Elliot Grant, founder and chief marketing officer of Redwood City, Calif.-based YottaMark, and Juan Marín Bravo, president of PROEXPORT, who will share insights on how Spain became a leading vegetable supplier to the European market.

The final day will feature the technical convention and trade show, with current technological breakthroughs and discussions on incorporating best production practices.

Vegetable production specialists from the Netherlands, Spain and Israel will share their latest findings and expertise.