Seven retailers and the AFS produce team came together for the first annual Produce Leadership Summit held at the Farr West Distribution Center last Thursday. The group worked together to better understand current produce challenges, what is planned for the last few months of 2023 and shared ideas on merchandising product.

“AFS retailers are one-of-a-kind, in the best possible way,” shared Brad Mifflin, lead specialist for MRO produce.

Mifflin continued, “To watch them brainstorm, share successes—and even failures—with one another is an interaction I doubt you’d find anywhere else in the industry. They really understand ‘One Associated’ and the success that follows when that principle is embraced.”

Retailers were excited to get a sneak peek at the new produce Exclusive Brand, Basket & Bushel. The new line will offer potatoes, apples, snacking tomatoes, peaches and other commodities throughout the year.

Director of Produce, Leigh Vaughn, was very happy with the first-ever summit of this kind and looks forward to continuing to build opportunities to connect with retailers.

“Our retailers know this business inside and out. Whenever we come together, I always learn from them and appreciate their insights.” Vaughn reflected.