The Council Connection July 2020


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

As a solution to the challenge of connecting our Southern Innovations Exhibitors in Savannah with our Retailers & Foodservice Members who are currently under travel restrictions, we are pleased to announce that our conference has evolved into a hybrid experience. Thus, we are offering the following added benefits for our onsite Exhibitors and offsite Retail/Foodservice Members respectively:

Retailers & Foodservice Members
Look for designated SEPC member emails detailing these exciting value added benefits connecting our onsite Southern Innovations Exhibitors with offsite Retailers & Foodservice Members!

This year’s theme, Fresh on My Mind will center around the importance of eating fresh which is especially vital during this season. We are engineering the event with improvised social practices and are working diligently to ensure the safety of our attendees. Some of these safety measures will include:

  • Controlled attendance and booth space
  • Added distance between exhibitors
  • Modified attendee traffic flow
  • Increased hand and surface sanitizing stations
  • Personal Protective Equipment (provided)
  • Collaborative virtual education sessions

For more information regarding your health and safety during Southern Innovations, please visit our Southern Innovations page and select the Health & Safety accordion menu.

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.

Exclusive Retail/Foodservice Member benefit during Southern Innovations:

  • Complimentary private venue in which to either facilitate meetings with Southern Innovations exhibiting companies or conduct company team meetings
  • Complimentary A/V equipment within the space
  • F&B can be ordered at member company’s expense

As a valued member of the SEPC, we hope that you will take advantage of this exciting opportunity. If you are currently still under travel restrictions, we are also offering a hybrid approach for our LINKS meetings, enabling you to remotely connect with onsite exhibitors.* We are sending personal invitations via email with the application link which will include the option to select your preferences. Please submit your application for LINKS by July 17, 2020 to ensure we have ample time to accommodate your meeting invitation and setup needs.

*Please note that you must register for Southern Innovations to participate.

Southern Innovations Digital Toolkit Now Available!

We are pleased to provide you with our newest digital toolkit. We hope you will take advantage of these digital tools available for you as you prepare to join us in Savannah for Southern Innovations! PDF versions of each graphic available upon request (email Sarah at sarah@seproducecouncil.com).

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Save the Date!

Mark your calendars for next year’s Southern Exposure!

Here We Grow Again!

The SEPC is pleased to announce and welcome these outstanding ladies as they join the Southern Roots committee, bringing with them a fresh perspective and commitment to cultivating and enriching relationships of women in produce

Mary-Scott DeMarchis of Fresh2o Growers, Inc.
Erin Waters of Shuman Farms
Stephanie Williams of Scott Farms, Inc.

The Southern Roots committee is confident that these ladies meet and will strive to exceed the requirements as mentioned in the application process:

  • Active SEPC Membership
  • Commitment to be an active participant and attend conference calls (about 1-2 per month)
  • Be creative and open to new relationships and help create new relationships for Southern Roots attendees
  • Ability to attend both Southern Exposure and Southern Innovations events

Southern Roots is designed to make meaningful connections among women working in the produce industry through events, education, and mentoring.

By sharing values, contributions, and experiences, participants will have an opportunity to improve leadership skills individually and collectively—and will then positively affect organizational effectiveness at all levels.

Southern Roots is held at both Southern Exposure and Southern Innovations. Be sure to add our Southern Roots Luncheon to your sessions as you register to attend Southern Innovations: Fresh on My Mind, September 17-19, 2020 in Savannah, GA.


We are still accepting nominations for our Next Generation Award to honor an SEPC member 39 years or younger who has been employed in the produce industry for at least four years and has 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.

Please submit your nomination by July 17, 2020!

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.


community UPDATES

Our Featured Charitable Partner for July is Palmer Home for Children, a faith-based organization that provides a family and community to children in need regardless of race, gender, or background. Serving individual children and sibling groups, Palmer Home provides superior residential care while introducing the love of God through their service to each individual child. Through our participation in their annual Radiothon fundraiser, we are able to donate matching funds to aid in their Ag Literacy Program.

During Southern Exposure 2020, SEPC issued The Golden Rule Challenge to exhibitors as well as attendees to share how they serve others for the greater good of our industry and our world. We’d love to continue that challenge by sharing how our members are continuing to #MakeADifference!

Share your SEPC member philanthropy news with us!

Together, We Can Make a Difference!


Nolan Family Foundation Scholarship

This scholarship was established to memorialize Jim Nolan, who took an ethical stand on a business matter at great cost to himself. As a result of his professional ethics, Nolan was ostracized by colleagues and remained isolated in his efforts to maintain moral integrity in his workplace. It would have taken only a few others with the courage to speak out to change the course of events. Tragically, Jim died before the trial that finally vindicated his actions by a judge and a jury of 13 who found in his favor. Our sincere thanks to Theresa Nolan for providing this scholarship to the members of the Southeast Produce Council. She is a lifetime member of the SEPC and is always available to lend a helping hand wherever needed.

Scholarship Details

One college-aged student (graduating high school senior or current college student) will receive a one-time scholarship of $5,000 to their enrolling college/university. The scholarship will be awarded based on GPA (3.0 or higher), references and quality of essay.

The application can only be submitted online through our link which was provided beginning May 18, 2020. The application deadline is July 2, 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.**

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.

Interested in becoming an SEPC Sponsor?

We thank you for your support and look forward to boosting your business in return.

Check out this month’s Sponsor Spotlights on our social media platforms to learn more about each of our SEPC Level Sponsors!


Celebrating 20 years with SEPC Trivia

July Trivia Question

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

You may already know that a strawberry is not an actual berry. However, you may be surprised to learn that this a-peeling fruit is. Can you name it?

Contact us

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