The Council Connection March 2024

Membership Registration for 2024-2025 will open April 8th!

Behind every piece of produce are countless people who helped along the way – the skilled hands, sharp minds, and big hearts that comprise a critical industry in our country. SEPC brings these worlds together. Because together, we create a strong, vibrant industry now and for decades to come.

Together We Grow Higher!

Please review the membership information on our website and select which annual membership* best suits your company's needs.

*Please note that our annual membership period runs June through May of the following year. We do not prorate our membership fees.

**All conference attendees are required to be SEPC members in order to attend any events. Exhibitors are required to maintain a corporate membership.**

Our Sponsors

SEPC sponsors are a vital part of our existence. Simply put, sponsor contributions help us bring more to the table for everyone. Like better networking and education events, fresh talent, and a broader awareness of best practices throughout our industry. And of course, when you help us promote produce, your organization will gain crucial exposure at our events and engagements throughout the year. Together, we create a strong, vibrant industry now and for decades to come.

Together We Grow Higher!

FEbruary Sponsor Spotlight


Know Before You Go!

Revealing Southern Exposure 2024

Registration Desk Hours

Location: Tampa Convention Center East Central Hall Registration Desk (2nd Floor)

  • Thursday, March 7th: 1:00pm – 6:00pm
  • Friday, March 8th: 7:00am – 9:00pm
  • Saturday, March 9th: 8:00am – 4:00pm

Convention Center Information

Tampa Convention Center

333 S. Franklin Street

Tampa, FL 33602

Stay Connected

WiFi is complementary during the expo

Network: SE2024

Password: SEPC1999

Charging Stations will be available throughout the conference

Social Media

Facebook: @seproducecouncil

Instagram: @seproducecouncil

LinkedIn: @Southeast Produce Council

Twitter: @producecouncil

Don’t forget to use the hashtag: #SEPCSouthernExposure


This year's conference will be educational and fun-filled, but some of our events require additional fees during registration. Be sure to purchase ahead of time so you don’t miss out! Space is limited.

  • Southern Roots Luncheon: session purchase
  • Retail & Foodservice Reception: by invitation only; Opening Gala session purchase required
  • Opening Gala: session purchase
  • Keynote Brunch: session purchase
  • Closing Reception: session purchase

Badges are also required for admittance into all sessions. Badge swapping is prohibited.

Exhibitor and Attendee Etiquette

  1. Exhibitors and non-exhibiting attendees shall not congregate or solicit trade in doorways or aisles.
  2. Conduct of exhibitors and attendees shall be professional and courteous at all times.
  3. Exhibitors and non-exhibiting attendees may not enter the exhibit space of another exhibitor without express permission. If admission has been granted, exhibitors shall be courteous and move aside when the host exhibitor is showing merchandise to prospective buyers.
  4. Under no circumstances shall an exhibitor or non-exhibiting attendees interrupt another exhibitor showing merchandise to a prospective buyer.
  5. Exhibitors or non-exhibiting attendees may not have models, signs, or other solicitation devices outside assigned exhibit space or in aisles.
  6. No furniture, product or packing materials may be left in the aisle during show hours.
  7. No exhibit will be permitted which, in the view of Show Management, is offensive or poses a danger or potential danger to exhibitors or buyers.
  8. Exhibitors or non-exhibiting attendees must keep their badge on at all times.
  9. Badge swapping is prohibited.
If any company is found in violation, they will lose their right to exhibit and attend the conference.

What Do I Wear?

Overall conference attire is business casual. Use this guide to help decide what to wear throughout the week (also available in the conference app).

  • Tom Page Golf Classic (Thursday, 3/7): Golf attire
  • Educational Sessions, Southern Roots Luncheon &Good Seeds Luncheon (Friday, 3/8): Business casual
  • Opening Gala (Friday, 3/8): Family-friendly, camo or patriotic-themed attire or dressy casual
  • Keynote Luncheon & Expo (Saturday, 3/9): Business casual
  • Closing Reception (Saturday, 3/9): Business casual
  • Al Finch Memorial Prayer Breakfast (Sunday, 3/10): Business casual

Who’s Attending?

You can access the attendee list by logging in to your registration and selecting “Attendees” within the post registration menu dropdown.

*Please note that any external company solicitation has not been approved by the SEPC.

Produce Donations

The SEPC is proud to donate all leftover produce from Southern Exposure to Society of St. Andrew. A Society of St. Andrew representative will be dropping stickers off to each booth during the expo. If your company is interested in donating leftover product, please attach the stickers to your donations and leave them in your booth after the expo. If you have any questions, please stop by the Society of St. Andrew table in the expo hall.

Contests, Games, & Prizes!

Compete in our Southern Exposure – Produce: The Unseen Heroes costume and booth decorating contests! We invite all attendees to participate for a chance to win CASH!

Costume Contest

Join our Opening Gala USO Show on Friday night, March 8th in camo or patriotic-inspired family-friendly attire to compete in our costume contest for a chance to win one of these AMEX gift cards:

  • 1st place: $200
  • 2nd place: $150
  • 3rd place: $100
  • Best Group: $300

Booth Decorating Contest

Have a booth idea that’ll hunt? Decorate your camo or patriotic-inspired booth at the expo for our booth decorating contest! Three of the best decorated booths will receive a prize of one of the following AMEX gift cards:

  • 1st place: $1,000
  • 2nd place: $500
  • 3rd place: $250

Please submit an application if you plan to participate to ensure your booth is reviewed by our SEPC judges.

Save the Date!

Mark your calendars to meet us in Nashville, TN for next year’s Southern Innovations held September 12 – 14, 2024. Registration will open NEXT WEEK, March 9th 2024.

The future is fresh! With this in mind, the Southeast Produce Council is thrilled to announce that its flagship STARS networking event, formerly known as “Cocktails and Careers”, will now be called “Fresh Futures”. SEPC is confident the renaming will poise the STARS’ annual event for success in exposing students to the numerous opportunities available within our industry.

Attention Southern Exposure Buyer Attendees

Looking to get more involved with recruiting rising young STARS to our industry? Your time and connections will go a long way to help introduce our scholarship students to the world of opportunities available in fresh produce. If you would like to volunteer an hour of your time during the expo in Tampa to walk a STARS student around the show and make introductions, please fill out the following form. We will be in touch!


Community Updates

Our Featured Charitable Partner for March is Children's Healthcare of Atlanta. For the past few years, SEPC has been the Title Sponsor of the Children's Healthcare of Atlanta Strong4Life Superhero Sprint and gives away fresh, free produce to event attendees. All proceeds benefit Children's Healthcare of Atlanta's Strong4Life program, which helps Georgia families raise healthy, resilient kids.

We invite you to join our team each year as we support this super benefit, or if you aren’t up for the run, but would like to help out, we would love for you to volunteer with us!

Bridge the Gap Recovery Ministries

“2nd Annual Welcome Home Banquet”

Bridge the Gap Recovery Ministries is a faith based, residential, one year program based in Sevierville, TN. The program celebrated 2 years in operation in February 2024 and served over 100 individuals. Many of these folks have found freedom from addiction, restored relationships with family members, and found a place to belong.

There is no cost for our program. We are a 501C3 Non-Profit organization and rely solely on donations. We are gearing up for our 2nd Annual Welcome Home Banquet that will be held on Friday, April 27, 2024 at 6pm with doors opening at 5pm. This incredible evening is themed, “Welcome Home” focusing on the collection of broken individuals we call family.

During the banquet, there will be a LIVE and SILENT AUCTION. We are contacting you to see if you would like to participate in the evening by donating goods or services to the auction. Businesses and individuals will receive a full retail tax credit for their donations. We ask that donations be received by April 7, 2024.

Attraction tickets, gift certificates, and small items can be mailed to:

Bridge the Gap

PO Box 1584

Kodak, TN 37764

For questions or to arrange donation pick up, please call or text (828) 577-8939

Thank you for investing in our ministry and community.

It will be here before you know it! The 2024 Paul Anderson Golf Classic is set to kick off Monday, May 6th, 2023. We're really excited about this year, as it is the 31ST ANNIVERSARY of the event. You can register via the website,, or scan the QR Code on the graphic below. Register now, as slots are already filling up.



Congratulations to our 2024 Vorhees Vision Scholarship recipients!

Recipients of the SEPC Member Scholarship will each receive a scholarship of $1,500 toward their educational goals for the upcoming school year. The SEPC is proud to have awarded 43 scholarships ($64,500) in 2023 thanks to the dedication of our members.

The SEPC Member Scholarship application can only be submitted online through our link which will be provided beginning March 11, 2024. The application deadline is April 26, 2024 at 5pm EST.

Congratulations to Barb Crider of Bernard Egan & Company for being the first to answer our February SEPC Fruit & Veggie Trivia Question correctly!

March Trivia Question


The tree of this popular fruit, rich in nutrients and vitamins, was once known as the ‘alligator pear tree’. Can you name it?

Contact us

242 North Masonic Street | Millen, GA 30442 | 877.720.SEPC (7372) |