January 16, 2008

In Today's Issue:

New United Fresh Directors
A warm welcome to two new members of the United Fresh Board of Directors – Mike Cavallero, President, North American Tropical Fresh Fruit, Dole Fresh Fruit Company, and Brian Kocher, President, North America, Chiquita Brands International, Inc. “We’re honored to have Mike and Brian bring their personal expertise to our Board, filling positions previously held by former executives of their companies,” said Chairman Emanuel Lazopoulos. Mike’s responsibilities include overseeing Dole’s fresh fruit and vegetables marketing departments, as well as the North American banana, tropical fruit, deciduous and vegetable sales divisions. Mike will be serving his second term on the United Fresh Board, having first served from 1996 to 2000. Brian is responsible for all aspects of Chiquita’s operations in North America, including value-added salads, bananas and other produce. He joined Chiquita in 2005 and served most recently as Vice President, Controller and Chief Accounting Officer. For more information about Board service, contact Senior Vice President of Member Services Victoria Backer, 202-303-3408.

FDA Nutrition Posters Now Available Online
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration's (FDA) Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition announced that it has posted on its website downloadable and printable posters of nutrition information for the 20 most frequently consumed raw fruits and vegetables consumed in the United States. Anyone can download the information and posters. FDA is encouraging retailers who sell raw fruits, vegetables to use these posters and participate in the voluntary point-of-purchase nutrition information program. “These posters are a great resource for consumers, retailers, schools, health professionals and anyone interested in a healthy diet,” said Dr. Lorelei DiSogra, vice president of nutrition and health at United Fresh.

Las Vegas Show Preview Coming Soon!
The United Fresh 2008 Las Vegas Show Preview goes in the mail today to more than 10,000 members and produce industry leaders around the globe. “The Show Preview highlights what promises to be one of the best United Fresh events ever,” said John Toner, director of convention sales and service. “Co-locating the FreshTech and Fresh Marketplace expos has resulted in a trade show floor that will serve the total supply chain with live demonstrations of the tools, technology and equipment needed to develop value-added produce, convenience packaging, and better merchandised products, which not so coincidentally are displayed directly adjacent to the tools used in their creation.” United Fresh Las Vegas 2008 offers attendees a comprehensive educational conference and networking opportunities in one of the hottest cities in the world. “From our Food Safety and Research Pavilion on the show floor, to our Retail Awards Banquet at Bally’s, to our hands-on workshop program, to our industry tours to top retail, foodservice and fresh-cut venues in Vegas, I guarantee that there is value for everyone at United Fresh 2008,” he said. Take a look for yourself and learn everything you need to register today. For more information, visit www.unitedfreshshows.com or call United Fresh at 202-303-3400.

Immigration Coalition Meets at United Fresh Headquarters
Members of the Agricultural Coalition for Immigration Reform met at United Fresh headquarters today to plan strategy on ways to advance immigration reform in the next Congressional session. “We’re obviously all frustrated with the stalemate in Congress on immigration, as well as the Bush Administration’s punitive approach trying to use flawed social security records to make employers into policemen,” said United Fresh Senior Vice President for Public Policy Robert Guenther. “But, frustration doesn’t change the fact that the produce industry is in dire need of reforms to help us secure a legal and reliable workforce. The American public must understand that we simply won’t have the workers to harvest and pack fruits and vegetables without a valid guest-worker program and some form of earned adjustment of status for agricultural workers. We are not giving up but will redouble our efforts to win these reforms through both the legislative and regulatory process,” he said. For more information, contact Robert, 202-303-3409.

Traceability Initiative Kicks Off With Steering Committee Meeting
The Produce Traceability Initiative spearheaded by United Fresh, PMA and CPMA kicked off in earnest this week with a meeting of the group’s steering committee in Atlanta. “This is a critically important initiative for the entire industry,” said United Fresh Senior Vice President for Food Safety and Technology Dr. David Gombas. “We’re putting together a summary of the steering committee meeting now, and our three associations will provide that to our memberships next week. We want to make sure that all interested members are engaged in the issues we’re discussing, and look forward to a broad industry dialogue to help move this initiative forward,” he said. For more information, contact David, 202-303-3411.

Tuesday Is Deadline to Nominate Produce Managers for Industry Award
The deadline to nominate store-level retail produce managers for the 2008 United Fresh Retail Produce Manager Awards Program is next Tuesday, January 15. Now in its fourth year, the 2008 program will honor 25 retail produce managers, their corporate produce directors and their companies at the United Fresh Annual Awards Banquet on Tuesday, May 6 at the Bally’s Hotel in Las Vegas. The award winners and their corporate produce directors will receive complimentary airfare, hotel accommodations and admittance to North America’s leading food marketing event – featuring United Fresh Marketplace and United FreshTech, co-located with FMI and Marketechnics®. Download a nomination form or visit our website. To attend the banquet and the expos, purchase the All Access Pass when you register at www.unitedfreshshows.com. For more information, please contact Ginny Pugh, 202-303-3413.

Nutritional Values
From Ashbury Park Press comes mention of a new healthy eating and nutrition plan started by a New Jersey school district with assistance from Sodexho, and the responses are positive.

Consumers’ Perceptions
Reuters highlights how research on a specific commodity leads to results about consumers perceptions of general food safety, showing it is an ongoing issue of accountability.8.

Can’t Put My Finger On It
Although not clear-cut, a beneficial link has been shown between eating fruits and vegetables, containing Vitamin C and decreasing the risk of stroke, notes CBSNews.com.

Organics on the Go
According to the Union Tribune, with the demand for organics on the rise, restaurants providing healthful and fast food should be too.

News and Views
Expanded Delivery
Isabella Shipping Co. Ltd will join Fresh Del Monte Produce in importing tropical fruits and vegetable to Port Manatee expects to deliver tropical fruits and vegetables, reports the Sarasota Herald-Tribune.

Fox News announces a new Chairman of the Board and Chief Executive Officer for Apio, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Landec cut vegetable products.

Funding for Farmers Against Hunger
The press of Atlantic City reveals expirations of past grants and cutoffs for current grants could cause a Funding for Farmers Against Hunger shutdown this year.

Corporate Farming  
Times of India reports plans of one Textile company to include the cultivation of organic produce alongside its organic cotton project.

Majority in the Middle
The majority of American voters are not one-sided when it comes to immigration; they are ambivalent, wanting a solution, according to a Dallas Morning News Op-Ed.