( Courtesy United Fresh/FPFC )

The United Fresh Produce Association and Fresh Produce & Floral Council, mindful of the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on companies, are joining for a combined convention and expo in 2021.

The event will be June 24-26 at the Los Angeles Convention Center, and includes a two-day expo.

United Fresh’s show was planned for April, but is moving to accommodate companies returning to in-person events after the pandemic, according to a news release. The FPFC show is traditionally in July in Anaheim, Calif.

“The FPFC Expo is always a great event for retailers and foodservice buyers in the west, and now will be part of a global event with United Fresh,” United Fresh President and CEO Tom Stenzel said in the release. “We look forward to welcoming FPFC members and exhibitors to be part of a great celebration as our produce community once again gathers in person.”

The COVID-19 pandemic’s effects on postponed and cancelled events will bleed into 2021, and the combined event is designed to bring relief and savings to exhibitors, retailers and expo attendees, Kori Martin, FPFC Expo chairwoman, said in the release.

“With United Fresh bringing their strong presence to Southern California in the heart of LA, we look forward to creating a solid networking experience working together for all of our members while eliminating one extra tradeshow for the industry as we consider the challenges of the current season,” Martin said in the release.

Baldor Specialty Foods President Michael Muzyk, United Fresh chairman, said he’s seen how new relationships have helped the industry during the pandemic.

“This collaboration between our associations will strengthen the experience for suppliers and buyers in every segment of the business, and provide a cost-effective way for even those companies most stressed by the pandemic to get back into the game meeting new customers and finding new innovations,” Muzyk said in the release.

Education sessions, meetings and networking events begin on June 24, followed by a two-day expo, according to the release. Exhibitors will have access to the United Fresh Live! 365 platform for year-long marketing, along with sponsorship options for online education and networking events, according to the release.

“The consolidation of the two shows for 2021 into a single, two-day event will help bring together an even larger vendor and retail community, providing an increase in interaction for both organizations and their members,” Professional Produce’s Sean McClure, incoming FPFC chairman, said in the release.

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