Flashback – Highlights of FFVA’s 1952 convention

“Greatest FFVA has ever had” was the consensus on the Ninth Annual Convention of the Florida Fruit & Vegetable Association.

Registrations at the Casablanca Hotel at Miami Beach began early and continued heavy throughout opening days until all attendance records of previous conventions had been broken.

For months, members, suppliers and others interested in Florida’s vegetable industry had expressed keen interest and two weeks before exhibit availabilities were due to be closed, all space had been taken.

Official meeting call was at 1 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 24, with President Dixon Pearce presiding. Mr. Pearce introduced the Reverend J. Mitchell Taylor, who gave the invocation.

Tom Smith, representing the mayor of Miami Beach, expressed a welcome to the convention on behalf of the city. LaMonte Graw, executive vice president of FFVA, said in his opening remarks that the association was appreciative of all the excellent assistance rendered by Mr. Smith’s organization.

At 1:30 p.m., General Manager Joffre C. David gave a resume of FFVA’s many activities, touching on subjects of transportation, labor, marketing and other functions of the various committees and staff members.

The theme of the convention was emphasized throughout all meetings by a huge banner that proclaimed, “Grow to Sell.”

James E. Davis, Jacksonville, chairman of the board of Winn and Lovett Grocery Company, was keynote speaker.

Mr. Davis emphasized merchandising tips including, “Don’t buck a consumer trend. If Mrs. Housewife wants broccoli and strawberries frozen, freeze them for her.”

A film entitled “Merchandising Fresh Fruits and Vegetables” was shown at the close of the session on marketing.

J.E. Wathen, Fort Pierce, chairman of FFVA’s transportation committee, presented the committee’s report and opened up discussion. Other presentations were offered by a plant pathologist and the United States undersecretary of labor, Michael J. Galvin.

FFVA was host to a large crowd at the annual get-together, the first of several social occasions during the convention.

The Thursday, Sept. 25, session began with a forum on labor. Among subjects discussed was the supply situation, the foreign labor program, pending and proposed legislation and workmen’s compensation.

Following the buffet luncheon, the afternoon session, “Production,” featured a crop outlook report.

Directors were elected at the annual business meeting and Dan McCarty, nominee for governor of Florida, made the principal address at the banquet. He noted the importance of South Florida’s flood control program and presented the 1952 FFVA Award for Distinguished Service to Nathan Mayo, commissioner of agriculture since 1923.

The Friday, Sept. 26, session was devoted to a study of reports on controls, foreign competition and legislative matters.

Obviously, it would be impossible in these brief pages to more than outline the many phases of the convention program and to list even the major accomplishments of FFVA. To those who weren’t there: Don’t miss the 10th anniversary convention. It will be the biggest and the best, and an event you wouldn’t want to miss.

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