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WASHINGTON -- The American Meat Institute, the Food Marketing Institute and the United Fresh Produce Association announced May 10 the co-location of their premier trade shows -- the FMI Exhibit & Education Event, the AMI International Meat Poultry and Seafood Convention & Exposition, and United Fresh -- beginning in 2012 at the Dallas Convention Center in Dallas.

The AMI expo will be held April 30 to May 3, 2012; the FMI exhibit and education event and United Fresh will be held May 1-3, 2012.

The three shows will offer their own exhibit halls as well as unique education programming for their own attendees. The partners will explore potential joint programming and networking events.

This marks a reunion between the FMI show and United Fresh but will be the first co-location of either group with the AMI expo. This co-location creates an event that connects the meat processing, fruit and vegetable, and retail industries to create synergy for all exhibitors and attendees.

"We are thrilled to launch an event that will encompass all aspects of the industry in one location to provide a continuation of our commitment to bring trading partners together, foster collaboration and build a strong industry community," Leslie G. Sarasin, FMI's president and chief executive officer, said in a May 10 press release. "This co-location provides the opportunity to foster leadership education opportunities that span across the industry and bring more depth and increased value to retailers from the front-lines to company headquarters."

Patrick Boyle, AMI’s president and chief executive officer, welcomed the partnership opportunity. "Now, in addition to state-of-the art technology and cutting-edge education, AMI packer-processors have a third compelling reason to attend the AMI convention and exposition: thousands of their retail customers in one place," Mr. Boyle said in the release. "Attendees will benefit from a wide array of joint educational programming. Exhibitors at all three shows will take advantage of the expanded marketing opportunity and additional traffic on the show floor."

Tom Stenzel, president and CEO of United Fresh, said in the release, "We're pleased to once again co-locate the United Fresh 2012 Fresh Marketplace and FreshTech expos with FMI based on the very positive experience of attendees at both of our shows in the past. With AMI, we'll now have an even stronger platform for increasing the attendee value proposition for all three events."

The FMI education and exhibit event is the largest and most comprehensive food industry conference and exposition in North America, attracting approximately 450 exhibitors and more than 10,000 attendees from close to 100 countries representing the retail industry, including supermarket retailers, independent operators, wholesalers, mass merchants, distributors and suppliers.

The AMI expo attracts more than 450 exhibitors and 10,000 attendees from 100 countries at all levels of the meat and poultry industries, including executives, plant managers, purchasing agents, engineers, researchers and operations managers. The United Fresh show will attract 300 exhibitors and 5,000 individual attendees.

United Fresh previously announced that its 2011 convention will take place May 2-5 in New Orleans.

“This will be a standalone convention for United similar to this past year, focusing on senior-level retail and foodservice business meetings, education for each segment of the supply chain, and innovations critical to our industry,” United Chairman Steffanie Smith, CEO of River Point Farms,” wrote in a e-mail. “We will then join with our new partners, FMI and AMI, in hosting United Fresh 2012 … at the Dallas Convention Center.”

She added, “This new alternating year format with a standalone United Fresh convention in odd years (2011, 2013, etc.) and a co-located event with FMI/AMI in even years (2012, 2014, etc.) will enable us to drive value for our exhibitors and attendees in different show formats, while building our industry's relationships with senior retail, foodservice and food industry executives.”