WASHINGTON — The United Fresh Produce Association has announced that its 2008 FreshTech and Fresh Markektplace shows will be co-located in Las Vegas at the Mandelay Bay Resort & Casino next year, May 4-8. The arrangement has been a goal of United Fresh ever since the association was formed in September 2006 from a merger of the United Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Association and the International Fresh-cut Produce Association. This year, United FreshTech — formerly the IFPA Fresh-Cut Expo — will take place this week, April 25-28, in Palm Springs, Calif. Meanwhile, United Marketplace — formerly the United Produce Expo and Conference — is scheduled for May 5-8 in Chicago. Although the two shows have distinct themes, with FreshTech focusing on produce industry technology, food safety, logistics and supply chain issues, while Marketplace focuses on marketing, merchandising and other retail-level issues, officials at United Fresh said that technical issues were becoming a more important business consideration for top management at retail chains. But, the location and timing of the two shows was challenging for executives that wished to attend both.