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The Philadelphia Wholesale Produce Market’s 26 distributors will host allied industry Nov. 16 for an export seminar.

The invitation-only event will include ocean freight companies and a score of other similar international trade service providers in addition to business and political leaders. The goal of the event is to create a discussion between attendees and Philadelphia’s produce wholesalers about the opportunities and challenges involved in developing a fresh fruit and vegetable export program from the market. The 700,000-square-foot market opened June 5.

Sonny DiCrecchio, president and chief executive officer of the Philadelphia Wholesale Produce Market, said in a Nov. 1 press release, “Our market’s cold-chain protection and other modern features give our merchants the opportunity to capitalize on international trade opportunities. The world’s greatest produce market is located a few miles from the world’s greatest seaport, which is here along the Delaware River. With the many steamship lines that deliver produce to metro Philly, our merchants have a very significant opportunity to take advantage of economical ocean backhaul rates to serve fresh, high-quality produce to customers across large parts of the world.”

He added in the release, “Because our merchants carry a truly full line of fresh produce, they collectively can fill virtually any need — of a straight or mixed containerload — to many international buyers. An export program gives our shipper-suppliers yet another reason to trade with our merchants. Of course this development won’t be simple, but there is such a clear opportunity that we are launching discussions with allied trade on November 16 to clarify next-steps. We will identify challenges and new markets and move ahead from there.”

Louis Penza, chairman of the market’s board of directors, added in the release, “With the draw of this ultra-modern, clean terminal market, Philadelphia distributors enjoy increased regional business, and we remain focused on getting the word out to new customers within 500 miles on the advantages of shopping in Philadelphia. But we are also excited about doing business in an entirely new realm. Having this facility gives Philadelphia merchants very broad and exciting opportunities in new-business development.”