The Council Connection April 2020


Register Now!

Registration is now open for Southern Innovations which will be held September 17th – 19th at the Savannah Convention Center in Savannah, GA .

We invite you to join us for our annual showcase of the most innovative products and ideas within the produce industry. Brush up on best practices, keep up with emerging trends, test new products, hear from national thought leaders, and network with other council members who share the same passions you do.

We would also like to invite you to register as an exhibitor for Southern Innovations as booth spaces are still available. Please note that Southern Innovations allows eight (8) booth associates as part of the exhibitor registration. To maintain our intimate space, additional booth associates will not be allowed. All exhibitor registrations require approval.

southern Exposure 2020 recap


Save the Date!

Mark your calendars for next year’s Southern Exposure held February 25th – 27th, 2021 in Orlando, Florida!


We lead the industry in fostering innovative ideas in produce and technology. We don’t just think outside of the box, we think outside of the farm to provide thought-provoking information to keep our members informed. We honor those who’ve made a significant impact within our industry by presenting our annual Next Generation Award and Terry Vorhees Lifetime Achievement Award.

We will be accepting nominations for our Next Generation Award beginning May 11, 2020. Nominations will only be accepted for SEPC members 39 years or younger who have been employed in the produce industry for at least four years and have made a significant contribution to the industry. To qualify for the Next Generation Award, members must also be in “Good Standing” with the SEPC through regular attendance and contributions to our council.

NOTE: Neither SEPC employees or contractors or their immediate family are eligible for the award. The term “immediate family” includes spouses, siblings, parents, children, grandparents and grandchildren, whether as “in-laws”, or by current or past marriage(s), adoption, cohabitation or other family extension, and other persons residing at the same household, whether or not related.


If our organization is about any one single thing, it’s nourishment—from the literal nourishment of quality produce to the support we offer our members and their businesses. But we don’t stop there. Through the SEPC Cares initiative, we give our time, energy, and resources to fellow non-profit organizations. We encourage you to join us as we give back to the community by educating others about the benefits of healthy eating and habits.

If you are interested in joining any of our charitable partner committees, visit our SEPC Committees page and sign up!

SEPC Reduces Food Waste While Helping Others

In an effort to help alleviate the backlog of foodservice produce inventory as well as the strain on local retailers and community members, the Southeast Produce Council distributed free produce on Friday, March 27, 2020 to those within the Jenkins County area in Georgia. SEPC members packed, shipped, unloaded, re-packed, and distributed over 15,000 lbs of fresh produce via drive-thru format in order to maintain social distancing and serve as many as possible - almost 600 families. The Southeast Produce Council is truly grateful to US Foods, Nickey Gregory Company, and Shuman Farms for their generous donations and to Millen Baptist Church, Millen community leaders, and community volunteers for their selfless donation of time, energy, and resources in order to distribute this abundance of fresh produce safely and effectively.

SEPC President & CEO David Sherrod said,

“There is an industry estimate of at least $1 billion of perishable commodities without a dedicated destination as a result of the unanticipated closure of foodservice establishments, including restaurants, hotels, schools, and universities. Through the SEPC Cares initiative that the council has in place, we felt that this would be an ideal time to give back to our own community. We know that families are hurting right outside our office door, and in working with our produce partners and our local community leaders we were able to create a quick turnaround to get this product into consumers hands in a timely manner. Not only are we able to reduce food waste from the effects of the situation we’re in, but we are also able to extend a helping hand to people in need.”

SEPC members enjoyed serving fresh produce one sunny (and chilly) Saturday morning, March 9th, to participants of the Chick-fil-A Vidalia Road Race! We are truly thankful for our partnership with this outstanding ministry!!


Spring PIT Session Registration Is Still Open!

The registration deadline is April 17, 2020 at 5pm EST.

Education is one of the key foundations of the Southeast Produce Council’s mission. Recipients of the SEPC Member Scholarship will each receive a scholarship of $2,000 towards their educational goals for the upcoming school year.

The SEPC Member Scholarship application can only be submitted online through our link which will be provided on our website beginning March 16, 2020.

The application deadline is May 1, 2020 at 5pm EST.

2020-2021 SEPC Annual Membership

Join the SEPC and Thrive

As an SEPC member, you’ll join a diverse group of like-minded produce professionals, from farmers to distributors and retailers to chefs. It’s about growing your knowledge, sharpening your skills, sharing your passion with others, and enjoying what makes this corner of the country extra special: its long tradition of bringing people together through food that is grown, distributed, and cooked with love.

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.**

Celebrating 20 years with SEPC Trivia

Congratulations to Rene Millburn of King Fresh Produce, LLC for being the first to answer our March SEPC Trivia Question correctly!

April Trivia Question

One of the SEPC’s goals is to promote the consumption of fresh fruits and vegetables from 10 states within the Southeast. Can you name them all? (*hint – the answer is on the About page of our website)

Be the first to answer correctly and win a $25 gift card!

Contact us

315 Hwy 17 North | Millen, GA 30442 | 877.720.SEPC (7372) | Fax: 478-401-0335