FRESNO, Calif.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--More than 45 agricultural, political and educational leaders, as well as trade and regional media, took part in a unique regional agricultural and economic impact tour on Tuesday, January 13, receiving a firsthand look at the diverse food and beverage industry that makes up California’s San Joaquin Valley. Tour attendees also celebrated the formal launch of the 2015 Fresno Food Expo presented by Union Bank, the nation’s largest regional food show now in its fifth year, as City of Fresno Mayor Ashley Swearengin and Fresno Food Expo exhibitors shared successes and growth over the past five years.
“We’re honored to be a stop on this agricultural tour launching the 5th annual Fresno Food Expo – helping to share the story of the food industry in California’s San Joaquin Valley,” said Chuck Nichols, Owner of Nichols Farms. “This industry is all about supporting our neighbors and the growth of their operations knowing that mutual success will benefit us all. Fresno is the heart of the San Joaquin Valley and the San Joaquin Valley is the heart of specialty food production. The economic vitality brought to this region through this world-class food show is something worth recognizing and something we’re very proud to be a part of.”
The tour included stops at Nichols Farms in Hanford, one of the region’s largest grower-processors of pistachios; SunWest Fruit Company in Parlier, one of the Valley’s largest tree fruit and citrus operations; and Tioga-Sequoia Brewing Company in Downtown Fresno, a hyper-local craft brewery. The day’s event connected ag and political leaders with Valley food producers as they saw and celebrated the many facets that make up the Valley’s food industry, hearing firsthand the individual stories and successes of these food industry leaders and entrepreneurs. Additionally, proclamations and resolutions were presented to Fresno Food Expo advisory members from U.S. Congress (David Valadao, Jim Costa) and California State Senate (Andy Vidak, Tom Berryhill), Assembly (Devon J. Mathias, Jim Patterson) and local (Fresno County Board of Supervisors, Cities of Fresno and Sanger) political offices honoring the Expo’s fifth anniversary.
Participating speakers discussed innovation, leadership, entrepreneurial ambition and economic development strategies that have helped their businesses flourish, providing a unique outlook at the true economic impact of the Valley’s food industry known for feeding over one third of the world.
Over the past five years, the Fresno Food Expo has evolved into a powerful platform for Valley-based food and beverage producers to network, share industry relationships, create new business contacts and increase exposure to broaden their markets, all leading to increased sales opportunities for Valley companies. The Expo’s participation and interest has increased by over 400% - a 93% growth in number of participating exhibitors, 37% of which were new to the show, and a 250% growth in buyers since 2011. Another year of growth and success is expected for this year’s Expo.
The 2015 Fresno Food Expo will take place Thursday, July 23 with an estimated 150 Valley food and beverage companies expected and 750 international, domestic, regional and local food buyers. Exhibitor and buy registration is now open at www.FresnoFoodExpo.com.
For the full press release on the agricultural tour and more information on the Fresno Food Expo, go to www.FresnoFoodExpo.com/latest-news.