My great-grandfather, Jacob Prevor, left his long-established produce business back in Russia to open a produce wholesaling operation in the Wallabout produce market in Brooklyn. My grandfather, Harry Prevor, moved the business to the Washington Street Produce Market, where he was both a wholesaler and an auction buyer. My father, Michael Prevor, moved the business to the then-brand-new Hunts Point market in the Bronx, where he built a large wholesale, import and export operation. It fell to this son to bring to New York what has become the largest fixed-site produce event in the United States.
Among the things that impressed me about my father was his flexibility in building his business. At different times and in different places he had been the largest wholesaler on Hunts Point and one of the smallest; he opened supermarkets, produce stands, gift fruit operations; he got the blueberry concession from the U.S. Army to market blueberries from Ft. Dix in New Jersey; he had a potato and onion bagging operation and offices in Sweden, Venezuela, Miami and Puerto Rico. There was a time he exported California lemons to Scandinavia while on the same day he imported Spanish lemons to New York. He had a remarkable ability to sense the opportunities and make the most of them.
In many ways, my father’s vision characterizes The New York Produce Show and Conference. It is this incredible mix of everyone who matters, doing everything that matters, and so encapsulates all the opportunities for attendees. Organics… check. Local… check. Imported items… check. National producers… check.
Of course, the produce industry has changed, so we are dealing with lots of issues that Dad wasn’t focused on: Food safety… check. Traceability… check. Sustainability… check again.
In my father’s day, it was enough to be smart and knowledgeable – and those two traits still go a long way — but today it is a more complex and sophisticated industry, and we have built on my father’s methodologies to create a new forum in which all of us can succeed. We’ve themed it all new for 2018 around the acronym, SOAR:
- Winning strategies drive innovation (and vice-versa). The New York Produce Show and Conference is a hotbed of new ideas because it draws top innovators from every facet of the global fresh produce supply-chain, particularly the ultra-competitive Northeast. Just showing up equips you to more effectively strategize for 2019.
- Strategies that follow conventional wisdom yield conventional results. Contrary to this, The New York Produce Show and Conference educational programs and networking activities challenge conventional thinking, offer global perspectives and provide contrarian views that serve to rigorously test and strengthen your strategic thinking.
- The New York Produce Show and Conference draws the highest concentration of buyers — retail, foodservice, institutional — of any event. The direct, unfiltered exposure to buyers — listening to their needs, expectations, requirements — spotlights for you what is important in the marketplace and informs a strategy more likely to hit the bullseye.
- The New York Produce Show and Conference is significant and relevant enough to draw top sellers and buyers from across the globe; but, the event is still of a manageable size where professional networking at a cocktail party, a breakfast, in an elevator or on the show floor can yield a new connection. Almost all buyers actually spend time on the expo floor. Virtually all exhibitors — from shippers to industry suppliers — are on equal footing, with uniform conversation-sized booths. In this forum, exhibitors have an opportunity to stand out by virtue of their product, their booth personnel, and the stories they have to tell.
- The combination of the show’s geographic proximity to top retailers/wholesalers, etc., and the compact schedule makes it convenient for fresh produce buyers to attend the event. As a result, exhibitors have an opportunity to meet, present and potentially transact with fruit and vegetable buyers, many of whom don’t have the time to attend other industry events. Even if the buyers do attend other events, the scale of The New York Produce Show and Conference makes these buyers more accessible.
- The unique combination of Foundational Excellence, Global Trade Symposium, Thought-Leader Breakfast, Micro-Sessions, Foodservice Forum and industry tours provides attendees of any seniority level with legitimate opportunities to expand and advance your knowledge.
- The New York Produce Show and Conference is a fundamental component of a portfolio of publications, events and resources designed not simply to inform or promote but to help you convert opportunities into sales, which serves to grow your business. This show is dedicated to helping your company to advance and, collectively, initiate the improvement of the industry.
- By design, The New York Produce Show and Conference program is optimized to generate and reinforce relationships. The structured program provides plenty of time to schedule coffee breaks or din-ners to reinforce existing relationships in an iconic city that attracts people from across the globe. At the same time, contained venues (the New York Hilton and Jacob Javits Center), in combination with a dynamic show floor, create a “blender-effect” that serves to constantly mix people, allowing new introductions to be made and older relationships to be reinforced.
- The most successful professionals have broad, diverse networks of contacts they can tap into. In addition to attracting top companies from the global fresh produce supply chain, The New York Produce Show and Conference draws top academics, extension specialists, government agency representatives, consumer media contacts and more — with all of whom a relationship can prove to someday be quite valuable.
We have combined the local force of the EASTERN PRODUCE COUNCIL with the global reach of the PRODUCE BUSINESS organization to create something truly unique: a Celebration of Fresh, done at “New York speed,” where we combine the famous New York push for excellence with a platform of global outreach.
President and Editor-in-Chief PRODUCE BUSINESS