( Courtesy Texas International Produce Association )

The Gateway to Innovation Awards at the Viva Fresh Expo is doing away with categories to accept submissions covering all aspects of the industry, including production, packing, packaging, technology and food safety.

“We’re not putting categories or limits on the type of innovation to be submitted,” Dante Galeazzi, president and CEO of the Texas International Produce Association, which organizes Viva Fresh, said in a news release.  “Our vision is much broader than a typical new product showcase. We want to recognize excellence in innovation that extends from seed to shelf, and really celebrate the ideas that are improving each and every aspect of fresh produce coming from this region.”

All Viva Fresh exhibitors and sponsors are eligible to enter, and 24 finalists will be chosen to be showcased at the expo and conference. Viva Fresh attendees will choose the Best of Show winner.

Applications are due Feb. 20 and finalists will be notified by March 25, according to the release. Applications can be submitted on the Viva Fresh website.

The 2019 Viva Fresh Expo is April 25-27 at the JW Marriott Hill Country Resort in San Antonio. Gateway to Innovation Award winners will be announced April 27.