NOGALES, Az – The Fresh Produce Association of the Americas (FPAA) held its annual meeting on November 1, 2022. Attendees joined in-person at the Americana Hotel. This year the FPAA hosted the meeting just prior to the start of the 53rd Nogales Produce Convention and Golf Tournament to celebrate FPAA members and elect a new board as the association headed into its convention.
The FPAA membership consists of Distributor and Associate member companies. Open board seats available included two-year terms for eight Distributor members and one- year terms for two Associate members. During the 2022 Annual Meeting, members had the opportunity to submit nominations for the available seats. FPAA outgoing Chairman, Leonardo Tarriba of Farmer’s Best International, led this portion of the meeting.
Tarriba completed his two-year term as Chairman and was joined by the new FPAA Chairman, Rod Sbragia, from Crown Jewel Produce and out-going Past Chair, Scott Vandervoet, from Vandervoet & Associates.
“I am excited to have added new, young people to the board and leadership. They are the individuals that will carry the Association forward for years to come,” said chairman, Rod Sbragia.
Raquel Espinoza of Produce House was elected as the FPAA’s new Chair-Elect where she will serve a two-year term before transitioning into the role of FPAA Chairwoman.
Raquel Espinoza, stated, “FPAA has been a fundamental Pilar for the growth of Produce House. The knowledge and support I have accorded has given me a sounding board to lean on. I am paying it forward with high expectations to giving it my best.”
The Following Five Distributors Were Re-Elected to a Two-year Term for 2022-2024:
Gonzalo Avila of Malena Produce
Martin Ley of Shipley Sales
Jose Antonio Martinez of Divine Flavor
Kyle McGrath of Tricar
Lesley Sykes of The Sykes Company
The Following Three Distributors Were Newly Elected for a Two-Year Term for 2022-2024:
Frank Camera of SunFed
Enrique Garcia of Flavor King
Scott Vandervoet of Vandervoet & Associates
The Following Associate Member Was Newly Elected to a One-Year Term for 2022-2023:
Alex Suarez of Suarez Brokerage
The Following Associate Member Was Re-Elected for a One-Year Term, 2022-2023:
Chuck Thomas of Thomas Produce
The Following Was Newly Elected as Division Chairman: Tomato Division Chairman:
JJ Badillo of Fresh International
The Following Were Re-Elected as Division Chairmen:
Mango Division Chairman:
Chris Ciruli of Ciruli Brothers
Grape Division Chairman:
John Pandol of Pandol Brothers
These 7 Directors Have One Year Left on their two-year terms, 2021-2023.
Juan Manuel Ibarra of Marengo Foods
James Martin of Wilson Produce
Juan Pablo Molina of Fresh Farms
Walter Ram of The Giumarra Companies
Mikee Suarez of MAS Melons & Grapes
Omar Losolla of Seeded Produce
Guillermo Martinez of Frello Fresh
Nogales U.S. Customs Brokers Association Seat:
Demetrio Kyriakis of K&K International Logistics continues as the FPAA Board Representative of the Nogales US Customs Brokers Assoc.
The FPAA would also like to recognize and give thanks to our outgoing board members for their service. The FPAA appreciates their guidance and involvement on the board.
The following board members completed their two-year terms, 2020-2022.
Bobby Astengo of Peppers Plus
Matt Mandel of SunFed
Eric Meyer of Prime Time
The following board member completed their two-year term as Tomato Division Chairman, 2020-2022.
Jimmy Mungia, Del Campo
In addition to board elections, the FPAA discussed some of the key issues from the previous year that impacted member companies. “FPAA has been very active and all fronts this past year, and it was great to bring together the Members to celebrate the achievements,” said FPAA president Lance Jungmeyer.
In the past year, FPAA has seen:
– The opening of the $135 million flyover route in Nogales, shaving 10-12 minutes off each produce shipment in Arizona.
– In Texas, pushing back against the commercial shipping inspections imposed by Governor Abbott on Mexican imports, including fresh produce, which snarled the market for more than 8 days.
– Successfully facing down a Section 301 Trade Investigation petition from the Florida Congressional Delegation. USTR ruled October 23 to reject the Florida Petition.
“Members of the FPAA rely on us to have their back, and we intend to keep up with that promise in 2023 as well, “Jungmeyer said.
This year’s annual meeting was followed by our annual convention over the weekend in Tubac. The convention consisted of educational sessions presented by some amazing guest speakers. All held in conjunction with the annual culinary showcase and golf tournament. The convention was topped off by the Gala for Pillars of the FPAA award, which was presented to Billy Sykes of the Sykes Company.
“We had a special time with friends in Tubac, but next year’s conference is going to be on another level altogether,” said Lance Jungmeyer, President, FPAA. “We are excited about the SouthWest International Produce Expo in Tucson, Nov. 2-4, 2024. This is FPAA’s first expo oriented toward buyers, and we are well-positioned with ample time between other industry trade shows.”
About the Fresh Produce Association of Americas:
Founded in 1944 in Nogales, Arizona, the Fresh Produce Association of the Americas has grown to become one of the most influential agricultural groups in the United States. Today, the FPAA provides a powerful voice for improvement and sustainability by serving the needs of more than 100 North American companies involved in the growth, harvest, marketing, import, and distribution of produce.
Photo 1 from left to right: Lance Jungmeyer, FPAA President; Scott Vandervoet, Vandervoet & Associates; Leonardo Tarriba, Farmer’s Best International; Rod Sbragia, Crown Jewels Produce.
Photo 2: Rod Sbragia, new FPAA Chairman of Crown Jewels Marketing.