WASHINGTON, DC — April 16, 2003 — Officials of the United Fresh Fruit & Vegetable Association (United) and the Food Marketing Institute (FMI) announced today that they will work together to enhance value to the worldwide retail supermarket and fresh produce industry by co-locating their annual trade shows at McCormick Place in Chicago, beginning in May 2004.

The United 2004 Produce Expo & Conference will be hosted by United in conjunction with the FMI Show in Chicago, occupying a major portion of the North Hall with exhibits featuring products and services of interest to supermarket retailers, wholesalers, distributors and marketers of fresh produce. The conference portion of the event will include educational programs and workshops to assist the worldwide supermarket and produce industries in promoting sales of fresh fruits and vegetables through increased production and distribution efficiencies, new technologies in quality control and handling, innovative packaging, state-of-the-art marketing and merchandising, and more.

One registration fee for the FMI Show will allow attendees to be admitted to all events, including the United Produce Expo & Conference, at no additional charge. United members will be admitted to the entire FMI event at the same member registration rates as FMI members.

United will host and manage the United Produce Expo as a self-contained trade show and produce community co-located adjacent to the FMI exhibit area. The United Produce Expo will feature a contiguous 70,000 square foot area for all produce-related exhibits, a separate entrance area, a hospitality area for visitors, an Expo Produce Theater for product demonstrations and seminars, the United Member Services Booth, and more.

The United Produce Expo will serve as a home base for all of United’s traditional attendees, and a new destination area for FMI’s traditional attendees, thus bringing together for the first time a large
international audience of retail senior management and buyers with a major produce industry exposition and conference.

“This agreement enables FMI to offer our supermarket members and worldwide attendees a brand new focus on fresh produce, one of the most important areas of growth in the retail supermarket,” said Tim Hammonds, president and CEO, FMI. “We will work with United to create its own unique produce community co-located with the FMI show, as a way to bring greater variety and value to our attendees. Our Board’s long-term vision is that the FMI Show in Chicago will continue to grow with communities representing all sectors of the supermarket. Therefore, we will work with CEOs and senior management to make sure that senior produce professionals now join the one-stop shopping and educational experience offered at FMI.”

“This agreement provides United the opportunity for our members to drive greater investment and support for produce among worldwide retail partners,” said Tom Stenzel, president and CEO, United. “The produce industry has left the playing field at FMI to our grocery competitors for far too long. As the fastest growing, highest visibility, and most profitable department in many retail stores today, it’s clearly time for fresh produce to step up and build partnerships with those retail officials who are deciding not only what produce item to buy today, but how much store space will be devoted to produce in the future,” Stenzel said. “Our work the past few years to build produce consumption through nutrition and health programs has shown that our industry has been overlooking this vital opportunity in the marketplace.

“We’re especially pleased to take this step as we celebrate United’s 100th Anniversary Centennial Celebration at United 2004 in Chicago next May. Our association was actually formed in Chicago by 16 produce companies in 1904 – what a tremendous homecoming to celebrate our first Century of Service and launch the next,” Stenzel said.

For more information about exhibiting or participating in the United 2004 Produce Expo & Conference at McCormick Place, May 2-4, please contact John Toner jtoner@uffva.org at United’s headquarters, 202/303-3400, or Jeff Oberman joberman@uffva.org at United’s Western Regional Office, 831/422-0940.


Food Marketing Institute (FMI) conducts programs in research, education, industry relations and public affairs on behalf of its 2,300 member companies — food retailers and wholesalers — in the United States and around the world. FMI’s U.S. members operate approximately 26,000 retail food stores with a combined annual sales volume of $340 billion — three-quarters of all food retail store sales in the United States. FMI’s retail membership is composed of large multi-store chains, regional firms and independent supermarkets. Its international membership includes 200 companies from 60 countries.

Founded in 1904, United Fresh Fruit & Vegetable Association's mission is to promote the growth and success of produce companies and their partners. United is the national trade organization that represents the interests of growers, shippers, processors, brokers, wholesalers and distributors of produce, working together with their customers at retail and foodservice, suppliers at every step in the distribution chain, and international partners. For more information about United, please visit www.uffva.org or call 202/303-3400.