The Dec. 11-14 New York Produce Show and Conference will pack a punch, delivering a one-day trade show, education sessions and networking opportunities.

The New York Produce Show is in its eighth year and is expected to attract more than 400 companies as exhibitors and 5,000 attendees of the trade show, according to event organizers.

The Eastern Produce Council, which celebrated its 50th anniversary in 2016, is a co-sponsor of the show.

“What makes it unique is that it is not just a trade show,” said Susan McAleavey Sarlund, executive director of the EPC, Short Hills, N.J.

“While the trade show is a big part of it, we have events that wrap around it both on the front and the back end,” she said.

The event first started out in the New York Hilton and soon demanded more space. This year’s expo is again at the Javits Center, though the opening reception and extra educational sessions are at the New York Hilton.

The event will also include tours of the region’s retailers, wholesalers, foodservice distributors, urban farms and notable eateries.

In addition, the program includes an outreach to students and faculty at regional universities as well as culinary schools.

The event also includes the Connect With Fresh media immersion, luncheon and show tour for bloggers, consumer editors and those working with all forms of social media.

An opening cocktail reception for the New York Produce Show is planned for 6-8 p.m. Dec. 12 at the New York Hilton.

The trade show at the Javits Center will be Dec. 13 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., with a breakfast session kicking the day off with a thought-leader panel on industry issues.

Three co-located conferences are available with the event:

  • Dec. 11, the Foundational Excellence program: Cornell professors offer insight on industry trends and take-aways for executives with less than five years experience in produce;
  • Dec. 12, the Global Trade Symposium: the latest insights on produce importing and exporting to and from the Northeast region; and
  • Dec. 14, the Ideation Fresh Foodservice Forum, which covers the role of produce in culinary innovation and foodservice profitability.

“There are a lot of great learning experiences and we hope people take advantage of them,” McAleavey Sarlund said.

“We have people from all over the world that will attend and be exhibiting.”

The event is well supported by buyers and brings in all parts of the produce supply chain in the East, she said.

“We have a great network here to get them to support the event,” she said.

This year’s show is generating a buzz, McAleavey Sarlund said.

“Anytime you can come to New York in the holiday season, it is ramped up with a lot of excitement,” she said.

“This adds to the energy in the air.”

The event is likely to return to the Javits Center next year, she said.