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Screen-Shot-2017-06-22-at-10.05.56-AMCHICAGO — At Sunshine Bouquet Co., it's all about trends and design. In its booth at the International Floriculture Expo, June 14-15, here, the company displayed its 2018 offerings and some of the new products coming from its farm.

Aaron Pickering, the company’s director of marketing and product design told The Produce News, “We spend a lot of time researching current trends and designing to keep up with them. We see what is offered at the shows in Paris, London and the U.S. and we translate those trends into the those bouquets we showed at IFE.”

Check it out as Laura Hoy, marketing manager for Sunshine Bouquet Co., chats with Maggie Giuffrida of The Produce News about one of her favorite products, the Sweet Pea Collection.

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CHICAGO — With four collocated shows, there was an abundance of activity last week at United Fresh 2017, held June 13-15 in the West Hall at McCormick Place Convention Center, here. Some of the produce industry’s movers and shakers took some time to show us their best showstoppers. 

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Each year the Reception Honoring Women in Produce, which is held in conjunction with the United Fresh convention and expo, selects one individual to share her personal experience of service. Lorelei DiSogra, who recently retired from the United Fresh Produce Association, was this year's honoree and featured speaker.

In addition to her time at United Fresh, DiSogra worked for the National Cancer Institute, Dole Food Co. and the California 5 A Day Campaign. She also developed Bobby Banana and 40 other fruit and vegetable characters that encouraged kids to eat “5 fruits and vegetables a day.” 

As one of the creators of Let’s Move Salad Bars to Schools, DiSogra collaborated with the Obama White House, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control & Prevention, the salad bar founding partners, United Fresh members and health foundations to make salad bars the norm in schools nationwide to ensure children have access to a wide variety of fresh fruits and vegetables every day at school lunch. To date, more than 5,000 salad bars had been donated to schools across the country. 

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CHICAGO — This year United Fresh attendees were able to experience every segment of the supply chain in one exhibit hall at the FreshTEC Expo, FreshMKT Expo, Global Cold Chain Expo and International Floriculture Expo. The Produce News asked people about their produce passions to discover what makes them tick.

Whose strawberries are smooch-worthy? What makes Del Monte's Dennis Christou go bananas? Find out in this video from United Fresh 2017. 

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The United Fresh opening party was held Tuesday, June 13 at the Shedd Aquarium in Chicago. Industry members gathered to catch up with friends and peers while making new industry connections -- and possibly making their best fish faces. The FreshTEC and FreshMKT conferences got under way earlier in the day, but it was only the start -- today's flurry of activity includes the opening of the trade show floor.