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US (TX): Viva Fresh Expo launches Gateway to Innovation Awards

The Viva Fresh Expo, hosted by the Texas International Produce Association (TIPA), has launched its first annual Gateway to Innovation Awards to recognize the region’s excellence in packaging design, new product development, food safety, machinery, software, and technology.

“Since the inception of the Rio Star red grapefruit or the Texas 1015 sweet onion, Texas has always been known for its agricultural advancements. But today, the accelerated growth of the Lower Rio Grande Valley that brings together a variety of multi-national industries and talent has made it a hub for technology."

"This has also resulted in the continued development of some of the country’s most innovative fruit and vegetable products and tools,” remarked Dante Galeazzi, President and CEO of TIPA. “Our vision for this award program is to recognize excellence in innovation from this region in a wide range of important areas including machinery and technology in addition to new product development.” 

The contest is open to all Viva Fresh exhibitors.  Winners will be selected by a panel of judges comprised of retail, foodservice, and produce industry veterans based on a set of strict criteria. Applicants may submit their entries at the official application webpage: All applications are due by January 30, 2018 and the finalists and winners will be notified by March 8.  

"I'm thrilled to be chairing the inaugural Viva Fresh Gateway to Innovation Awards Committee this year as we look to continue generating excitement around some of the most progressive and leading-edge companies in Texas, the Southwestern United States, and Mexico,” Jordan Okumura, Editor-in-Chief, AndNowUKnow and The Snack Magazine, said. “Texas and Mexico produce companies are integral to the overall success of the North American produce supply chain, and I can't think of a better venue than Viva Fresh to showcase their dynamic approach to the industry."

The category finalists will be displayed at the Viva Fresh Expo April 5-7, 2018 at the JW Marriott Hill Country Resort and Spa in San Antonio, Texas, and The Excellence in Innovation Award for Overall Best in Show will be announced during the event.

For more information:

Publication date: 12/20/2017



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