Fresno sees large crowds at food expo

March 15, 2013 12:35:10 AM PDT
The San Joaquin Valley is one of the most agriculturally rich regions in the country. Thursday, people from across the world were in Fresno to get an idea of all the Valley has to offer.

From produce to wine and more the Fresno food expo has a little something for everyone and it's all made or grown right here in the valley.

Brean Bettencourt of Bella Viva Orchards says "you know there's so much food grown here, we produce food for the whole world, and really this is the center for food innovation."

Bellaviva Orchards of Denair is attending the expo for the first time, hoping to get their dried fruit on more store shelves.

This is the third year for the Fresno food expo and officials say every year it gets bigger and bigger. In fact, this year there's more than 100 exhibitors displaying the valley's best products.

Amy Huerta of Fresno Local Business Initiatives said, "One company meeting one to two buyers from the right store can literally increase their sales 30-35 percent. So I think a lot of companies are hearing about that and they want to be a part of it."

Companies come from around the country with intent to buy for grocery chains, schools, and restaurants. New this year to the expo more than two dozen international buyers, including some From Japan and China.

Angela Zhou an international buyer said, "It looks very beautiful, it taste wonderful. We are also interested in packaged products, grocery products and dried fruits. So we want to import more from California, from Fresno."

Valley companies are hoping to reap the networking benefits of the show like cuties, based in fowler. The California mandarins are selling both coast-to-coast, for now.

Kevin Souza of Fowler Packing Company said, "kids love cuties and it's just not in America."

Looking around this room, it's easy to see the San Joaquin Valley is truly the food basket of the world...

The expo runs from 5 p.m. - 8 p.m. at the Fresno Convention Center. Tickets cost $40.


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