Viva Fresh Expo Wants YOU: the Third Annual Clean Eating Challenge

Mission, Texas; – Who has what it takes? That is the question that Texas International Produce Association (TIPA) is asking as it announces its call to participate in the third annual Viva Fresh Clean Eating Challenge. The 2020 Viva Fresh Clean Eating challenge captured the attention of the produce industry leading into this past year’s long-awaited Viva Fresh Expo as 40 participants challenged themselves to incorporate more fruits and vegetables into their daily routines.

Since the launch of the challenge in 2019, participating members have been involved in the challenge during different phases of the pandemic, making it even more impressive that they have collectively lost over 600 pounds and counting.

And now, the Texas International Produce Association (TIPA) proudly invites industry members to apply for this year’s challenge which will kick off on November 5th and will culminate at the 2022 Viva Fresh Expo in Dallas on April 23rd. This year’s Clean Eating Challenge format will focus on a smaller group chosen to receive guidance from nutrition and fitness professionals, along with mentors to help guide them in their journey.

Spots are limited and participants will be chosen through their applications. Chosen participants must meet the following criteria:

  • Be a member of the produce industry
  • Be able to express what is driving them to compete in the challenge
  • Be willing to share progress online and as part of the reveal at the Viva Fresh Keynote next April
  • Show willingness to commit to the challenge: this is not a weight loss competition but rather a challenge to add more fruits and vegetables to their daily diets while reducing processed foods and adopting healthier habits
  • Commit to engaging with their mentors and advisors on a week to week basis for the duration of the program

Those interested in joining the challenge can apply by filling out an application by October 15 at 11:59 pm CT. 

All participants will receive a FitBit and Fitbit Scale to better track their progress. All chosen participants will receive peer mentorship, nutrition and fitness coaching. Upon meeting the given criteria throughout the challenge, they will also be eligible to win their choice of two prizes: a yearlong membership to a meal subscription service or a Tonal smart home gym (a $4,000 value) for completing the challenge.

“Since the inception of the Viva Fresh Expo, health and wellness has been one of the main cornerstones of our mission and vision,” said Dante Galeazzi, President & CEO of Texas International Produce Association (TIPA). “As we lead the next generation of the produce industry, we must continue to pursue improved health and wellness and that starts with increasing our consumption of fruits and vegetables. The Clean Eating Challenge participants both past and present are our ambassadors in achieving that goal and prove that each and every person, regardless of age, gender, physical challenges or home/work responsibilities can make positive changes that improve their health and wellness.”

Mentors who will offer peer support to this year’s participants as they join the path to better health are:

  • Ashley Ojeda Porter, H-E-B
  • Blake LaGrange, Power Alley Velo
  • Ed Bertaud, IFCO
  • John Toner, United Fresh Produce Association
  • James Bassetti III, Little Bear Produce
  • TJ Flowers, Lone Star Citrus Growers

The Clean Eating Challenge is not a diet but a way of life with a focus on health and wellness and asks participants to adopt a healthier lifestyle that includes eating more fruits and vegetables and moving more.*

Clean Eating Challenge Committee Chair and 2020/2021 participant concluded, “The Clean Eating Challenge offered me a sense of community and support during a very odd time in our lives when so much felt uncertain,” said Jen Velasquez. “The challenge isn’t about losing the most weight but rather a chance to put your health at the forefront, be more conscious of the foods you consume and hold yourself accountable to reach your wellness goals. You can do anything for six months – but it will hopefully be the gateway to the rest of your (healthy) life.”

The Clean Eating Challenge is a Viva Fresh Expo sponsorship opportunity. Those interested in becoming sponsors can contact Hector Garza for more information. For more information on the Clean Eating Challenge visit


About the Viva Fresh Produce Expo

The Viva Fresh Produce Expo was established in 2015 by the Texas International Produce Association (TIPA) in order to create meaningful networking and educational opportunities for its members while shining a light on the importance of the Rio Grande Valley as an emerging trade corridor and production zone for healthy and nutritious fruits and vegetables available all year long. In just four years, the Viva Fresh Produce Expo has catered to sold out crowds and increased buyer attendance by over 110%.