Potato Expo 2012 is set for Jan. 4-6 at Lowes Royal Pacific Resort in Orlando, Fla.
The 2011 event had 110 companies at its trade show, and 127 had signed up for 2012 as of Dec. 2.
Sponsors include the National Potato Council, the U.S. Potato Board and United Potato Growers of America.
All three groups have scheduled side meetings in conjunction with the 2012 expo:
- UPGA – Annual report luncheon, noon Jan. 3; annual board meeting 8 a.m. to noon, Jan. 4;
- NPC – Annual meeting, Jan. 6-7; and,
- USPB – Winter meeting, Jan. 6-7.
The American Potato Trade Alliance has also scheduled a side meeting during the expo from 1-3 p.m. Jan. 3. The sixth North American Potato Growers Summit is set for 1:30-5:30 p.m. Jan. 3.
Trade show exhibits are scheduled to be open from 1-7 p.m. Jan. 4; from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Jan. 5; and from 9-11 a.m. Jan. 6. Complete schedules and registration information is available online at www.potato-expo.com.
On the evening of Jan. 7, The Packer and its sister publication The Grower present the Potato Man or Woman of the Year award.
The keynote speaker for the expo is Jeb Bush, former governor of Florida. Other speakers include Gordon Bethune, former chief executive officer for Continental Airlines; Walter Scheib, former executive chef for the White House; and Phil Lempert, an industry analyst and journalist known as the Supermarket Guru.
While Bush and the other featured speakers plan to share their personal and professional anecdotes, Lempert will focus on potatoes.
Using information from his own consumer panel, Lempert is scheduled to discuss what shoppers are — and are not — looking for from potato growers and marketers. He will also identify new opportunities for the potato industry that he has gleaned from his research.
Lempert is slated to facilitate a consumer panel that will include discussions of consumer perceptions about potatoes and what they want from the potato industry.