( Fresh Produce Association of the Americas logo )

The Fresh Produce Association of the Americas is gearing up to hold its 50th fall convention and golf tournament, set for Nov. 1-3 in Tubac, Ariz.

FPAA is planning lots of activities (including helicopter rides), panels and educational sessions for the Nogales Produce Convention and Golf Tournament, according to a news release.

“So many times, visitors to the FPAA convention have remarked that this is the most festive, fun event on their calendar,” FPAA president Lance Jungmeyer said in the release. “This year we are pulling out all the stops to make it even more special. We are planning folklorico dancers, a celebrity chef appearance and more.”

The 50th anniversary celebration will include a look back at past conventions, and the annual Pillar of the FPAA Award will go to an individual who has contributed to the success of the annual convention, which includes a reception, elegant sit-down dinner, dancing, entertainment and more, according to the release.

“It is fitting, as FPAA celebrates its 50th Fall Convention, that this year’s Pillar of the FPAA has spent so many years helping plan the event,” FPAA chairman Scott Vandervoet of Vandervoet and Associates said in the release. “We are extremely pleased to honor longtime association member Rosie Favela Cornelius as a Pillar of the FPAA.”

A celebrity chef is being lined up for the event’s third annual culinary showcase, with culinary creations from chefs and culinary teams featuring top Mexico produce items. The culinary showcase is open to the public, sponsored by FPAA and the Mexican Consulate of Nogales, Ariz.

The convention’s education component is scheduled for Nov. 1 and covers a range of Nogales produce industry topics, including the following:

Speeding up the Wheels of Commerce — Invited speaker Bradley Hayes, executive director of the Office of Trade Relations at the Department of Homeland Security, will discuss how U.S. Customs and Border Protection continues to work to streamline commercial border crossings while maintaining security. That work includes programs such as Unified Cargo Processing, pilot programs to scan 100% of commercial cargo and an overhaul of the trusted trader programs.

Produce Industry Ethical Charter — The fresh produce industry recently launched a broad Ethical Charter, spearheaded by the Produce Marketing Association and United Fresh Produce Association. PMA president Cathy Burns is set to discuss the responsibilities and benefits of endorsing the charter.