The Council Connection March 2020


Register Now!

Registration is now open for Southern Innovations which will be held September 17th – 19th at the Westin Savannah Harbor Golf Resort in Savannah, GA .

We invite you to join us for our annual tradeshow and conference focused on highlighting the latest innovations within the fresh produce industry, from organics and new product developments to technology and unique brand approaches. Educational sessions led by industry leaders complement our tradeshow, offering an opportunity to hear how to elevate your brand in an increasingly competitive field and receive valuable fact-based data to strengthen and improve your business. And as always, you will have ample time to make new contacts and visit with old friends and colleagues.

Special Thanks!

We sincerely appreciate our Sponsors, Committee Members, Exhibitors, and Retail/Foodservice Attendees for making Southern Exposure 2020 such a tremendous success!

Save the Date!

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


We are thrilled by the positive feedback and meaningful connections that were made through our Innovation Stations and Bright Ideas Fresh Arrivals during Southern Exposure! Prepare for more opportunities to showcase your innovative products during Southern Innovations as well as next year’s Southern Exposure.


Updates from our Partnering Charities

From Barbara Sayles, Florida Director; Society of St. Andrew:

As we reflect on yet another successful SEPC Produce Expo, we are once again humbled by the generosity of our SEPC family and friends, and the 71 faithful volunteers who chose to spend their Saturday night serving. About 70,000lbs of Beautiful produce donated by SEPC farmers and vendors after the show was packed, wrapped, and loaded onto food bank trucks, including Feeding Tampa Bay, Cornerstone Ministries, Palm Beach County Food Bank, Hyde Park UMC Homeless Ministry and New Covenant UMC Feeding Ministry. Quotes from some of these agencies: "please pass our deep gratitude to SEPC for this amazing food"; " thank you for sharing such variety and quality produce with us, we never get food like this"; "this food is a special gift to those we serve, we are so thankful to you for sharing ". The produce picked up by Cornerstone Ministries was distributed in less than an hour to people in one of the poorest communities in Tampa on Sunday afternoon. On behalf of Society of St Andrew I thank all of you who donated your wonderful produce. I thank SEPC for your partnership and generous donation. And I thank Committee Chair Duke Lane, Genuine Georgia and the 8 additional farmers who contributed to the unexpected gift to SoSA during the Thursday evening gathering. Your donations and donated produce this weekend will provide over a half million servings of nutritious food for people in need. May God continue to bless your servant hearts. ~Barbara Sayles
Kaytlyn Bunting | Daughter of Joseph and Aimee Bunting | United Supermarkets

The Vorhees Vision Scholarship was created to reward the achievements of young individuals who demonstrate a true entrepreneurial spirit in their lives as they pursue their educational goals. This scholarship is named in honor of the late Terry L. Vorhees, founder and first Executive Director of the Southeast Produce Council. Because of his vision and efforts, the Southeast Produce Council became and remains one of the best resources in the produce industry today.

All SEPC Scholarships are awarded to applicants who meet the application criteria of having a parent or grandparent who is a corporate member in good standing with the SEPC, which means they have been on the SEPC membership roster for at least 12 months and have attended at least one SEPC event within the past 12 months.

Beginning this year, SEPC Vorhees Vision Scholarship recipients will receive one $7,500 scholarship to their enrolling college/university annually. Applicants must be either graduating high school seniors or enrolled as college freshmen, sophomores, juniors, or seniors and must have a minimum grade point average of 3.0. Other selection factors include: letters of recommendation from high school and/or college staff, clergy, community leaders, etc., SAT or ACT scores, leadership and community service involvement, and the quality of their essay, describing the most meaningful achievement in life and the results it brought.

Our STARS Class of 2020 experienced the best of the best in networking opportunities along with a healthy dose of true Southern hospitality during Southern Exposure 2020! Thank you for your continued support of this innovative program dedicated to recruiting top students into the produce industry.

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.

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

Save the Date!

Spring PIT Session registration opens March 9, 2020.

Celebrating 20 years with SEPC Trivia

Congratulations to Phillip Bell of Food Lion for being the first to answer our February SEPC Trivia Question!

March Trivia Question

We could hardly keep the surprise of our SEPC Lifetime Membership Award to ourselves before announcing during our Keynote Luncheon at Southern Exposure! Can you name the worthy recipient?

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