Citrus Showcase set for March 8

Boxed orangesBoxed orangesA panel of industry experts will highlight he 2012 Citrus Showcase planned for March 8 at the Visalia Convention Center.

The event starts at 7:30 a.m. and the first workshop kicks off at 8 a.m. Lunch tickets are available for $30 and can be purchased by contacting the California Citrus Mutual office at (559) 592-3790.

No registration is required to attend the showcase.

The Citrus Showcase is the largest educational forum in California, boasting a trade show with three educational workshops and luncheon program that features two keynote speakers.

More than 1,000 growers are expected to attend the showcase. This year’s show looks at the future of the citrus industry as envisioned by industry leaders and experts.

The theme is “Protecting our Citrus, protecting our Future.”

The showcase’s first workshop will present the evolution of food safety concerns that led to the enactment of the Food Safety Modernization Act of 2011, followed by the subsequent creation and implementation of food safety plans for citrus growers.

Tony Souza of USDA Agricultural Marketing Service will provide instructive information on how growers can prepare for and pass a USDA Good Agricultural Practices audit. Bob Elliott, director of food safety for Sunkist, will give an overview of how the citrus industry can create a balanced approach to meeting food safety requirements.

Kevin Severns, manager of the Orange Cove, Sanger Packing House and Bill Cotner, citrus grower, will provide their experiences of going through a food safety audit and how to better prepare to meet increasing demands form retailers and third parties.

The presentations will be followed by a panel discussion and a question and answer period.