United Fresh Donates More than 51,000 Pounds of Produce; Global Cold Chain Expo Launches

July 8, 2016

The United Fresh Produce Association had a busy time during its show, United Fresh 2016, which was held June 20-22 at Chicago’s McCormick Place.

First, the association made another substantial donation to the Greater Chicago Food Depository, and second, it launched the Global Cold Chain Expo in partnership with the Global Cold Chain Alliance.

Besides the launch event, United Fresh is collocated with several other shows, including the International Floriculture Expo and FMI Connect.

In an effort to give back to the Chicago community, United Fresh donated 51,042 lbs. of produce and 641 lbs. of assorted dry food to the Greater Chicago Food Depository at the conclusion of the show.

Volunteers collected donations from the convention floor to benefit those in need serviced by Greater Chicago Food Depository partner agencies such as food pantries, soup kitchens and other emergency feeding centers.

The Greater Chicago Food Depository is a member of the Feeding America network of food banks. This year’s total donation of 51,710 lbs. continues a United Fresh tradition of supporting the Feeding America network after the annual convention.

“For many hungry men, women and children in our community, access to nutritious produce is not a guarantee,” said Kate Maehr, executive director and CEO of the Greater Chicago Food Depository.

She added, “But, this generous donation from the United Fresh Produce Association, its exhibitors and partners will help the Food Depository provide much needed fruit and vegetables to our neighbors in need.”

The Food Depository, founded in 1979, makes a daily impact across Cook County with a network of 650 pantries, soup kitchens, shelters, mobile programs, children’s programs, older adult programs and innovative responses that address the root causes of hunger.

"United Fresh and exhibitors at the show are proud to support the Feeding America network of food banks," said John Toner, United Fresh vice president of convention and industry relations.

He added, “Fresh produce is an important part of a healthy diet, and the donation highlights how the industry is helping those in need each and every day.”

The inaugural Global Cold Chain Expo also was a success, with more than 1,200 cold chain professionals from 18 countries in attendance.

All of the collocated shows included nearly 13,000 key decision-makers representing the world’s perishable supply chain including produce, logistics, fresh-cut flowers, temperature-controlled warehousing, food processing and manufacturing.

Created in partnership between the Global Cold Chain Alliance (GCCA) and the United Fresh Produce Association, the Global Cold Chain Expo put a spotlight on the cold chain industry and its critical role in feeding the world’s ever growing population.

“For the first time ever, all sectors of the world’s cold chain came together under one roof,” said Eben James, chairman of GCCA Core Partner the International Association of Refrigerated Warehouses and president & CEO of Trenton Cold Storage. “The variety of exhibitors and attendees at the show provided new opportunities for participants to connect and develop new relationships.”

The 27,000 square foot show floor was populated by 165 exhibiting companies representing the temperature-controlled supply chain including specialists in warehousing, transportation, construction and logistics.

“The first Global Cold Chain Expo was a huge success thanks to the relationship between GCCA, United Fresh and their respective members,” said Tony Freytag, senior vice president of Sales and Marketing at Crunch Pak and Chairman of the United Fresh Board of Directors.

He added, “It was exciting to see the cold chain and fresh produce communities unite to create a unique perishable supply chain experience.”

The second annual Global Cold Chain Expo will return June 13-15, along with United Fresh 2017, to McCormick Place.

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