SAN DIEGO — The United Fresh 2013 convention launched in festive style the evening of May 14 aboard the aircraft carrier USS Midway.

United Fresh 2013 takes off in San DiegoThe opening night reception drew a large crowd to enjoy food, drinks, a band playing tunes from the World War II era and socializing on the flight deck amid vintage military airplanes and helicopters.

Washington, D.C.-based United Fresh’s convention continues May 15 with Walter Robb, co-chief executive officer of Whole Foods, speaking at the opening general session.

The morning includes workshops on the Food Safety Modernization Act, immigration and transportation regulations.

United Fresh 2013 takes off in San DiegoCalifornia schools will be recognized for the donation of 350 salad bars from the Let’s Move Salad Bars to California Schools program, while the show floor — with more than 275 exhibitors — will be open from noon until 5 p.m.

The reception honoring Women in Produce will be from 5:30-6:30 p.m.

The show continues May 16 with more expo floor hours and sessions involving four United Fresh market segments: grower-shipper, retail-foodservice, wholesaler-distributor and fresh-cut processor.