February 20, 2008

In Today's Issue:

United Fresh Visits With Northern California Industry
United Fresh took its “Town Hall” road show to northern California this week as President Tom Stenzel spoke at the Fresh Produce and Floral Council (FPFC) luncheon in Pleasanton, and joined Vice President Jeff Oberman in visiting the San Francisco wholesale markets. In his FPFC speech, Tom shared his vision of the three greatest challenges and three greatest opportunities for the produce industry today. “We have the bold opportunity to change the way America eats with increased consumption of fresh produce,” he said. “But, we could be limited by food safety fears, labor shortages and competition from other food sectors. It’s up to us as an industry whether we will rise to the challenges ahead,” he said. Tom and Jeff also visited with industry members at the San Francisco Wholesale Produce Market and the South San Francisco Golden Gate Produce Terminal. Thanks to Carissa Mace, president of the FPFC; Mike Janis, market manager of the San Francisco Market; and Pete Carcione, Carcione’s Fresh Produce Company (pictured below), located at the Golden Gate Terminal, for hosting these events.

Safeway CEO Steve Burd to Give Keynote Address at United Fresh Show
Safeway Chairman, President and CEO Steven A. Burd will give the keynote address during the Opening Breakfast General Session of United Fresh, Las Vegas 2008, Monday, May 5 at Bally’s Las Vegas Hotel.  “We are thrilled to have Steve Burd help launch our convention,” said United Fresh Chairman of the Board Emanuel Lazopoulos, Del Monte Fresh Produce.  “Our entire industry respects what Steve has done in developing Safeway’s Ingredients for Life market platform, and his vision is now helping drive a national dialogue among business, unions, government and other stakeholders to bring innovative solutions to the nation’s health care needs,” he said. Over the past several years, Mr. Burd has become a leader of the American business community in driving solutions to the health care crisis facing both individuals and businesses.  Based on his experience leading one of North America’s largest food and drug retailers, Mr. Burd has developed real-world solutions with incentives for individuals to make healthy choices, such as getting enough exercise and eating healthy diets based on increased fruit and vegetable consumption.  Attendance at the General Session requires an All Access Pass, which includes all education and conference programs, networking receptions, the Chairman’s Reception & Annual Awards Banquet and three days of attendance at the United Fresh Marketplace and FreshTech expositions, as well as the FMI Show and FMI Marketechnics®.  For information about registering or exhibiting, please visit www.unitedfreshshows.com or call Hector Ranero at 202-303-3420.

2008 Retail Produce Manager Award Winners Are Announced
United Fresh President Tom Stenzel announced this year’s winners of the 2008 United Fresh Retail Produce Manager Award during his speech to the Fresh Produce and Floral Council’s Northern California luncheon yesterday in Pleasanton, CA.  Twenty-five outstanding produce managers and their companies will be honored during the United Fresh show in Las Vegas on May 6 at the Annual Awards Banquet.  “These are the individuals on the front line of produce sales, and we’re glad to say a small ‘thank you’ to these men and women on behalf of the entire produce industry.” said Tom.  The winners of this year’s United Fresh Retail Produce Manager Awards represent twenty different retail supermarket chains, commissaries and independents in seventeen states.  To attend the Annual Awards Banquet and participate in conference workshops with the retail winners, attendees in Las Vegas must have an All-Access Convention Pass.  United Fresh members save $300 on the cost of the All-Access Pass. Registration is now open online at www.unitedfreshshows.com

The 2008 United Fresh Retail Produce Manager Award winners are:

Robert Cardwell Raley's, Fairfield, CA
Gary Clay Raley's, Santa Rosa, CA
Kevin Colligan Brookshire Grocery Co., Lafayette, LA
Terry Cox Foodtown Supermarket, Lambertville, MI
Eddie Duncan Food Lion, LLC, Gate City, VA
Todd Fenton Safeway, Inc., Seside, OR
Brian Gabb Winn-Dixie Stores, Inc., Chalmette, LA
Jake Harding Hy Vee, Inc., Omaha, NE
Neil Hartley Harris Teeter Supermarkets, Kill Devil Hills, NC
Angela Hopson K-VA-T Foods, Big Stone, Gap, VA
Amy Kirk Safeway, Inc., University Place, WA
Mark Leung Smith's Food & Drug Stores, Midvale, UT
Harry Lewis Luke AFB Commissary, Glendale, AZ
Paul Lopez Vons, Paso Robles, CA
David Meier Safeway, Inc., Auburn CA
James Molloy Hannaford Brothers Company, Nashua, NH
John Monahan Price Chopper Sumpermarkets/Golub Corporation, Marlboro, MA
Ken Peche BKT Sentry Foods, Wakesha, WI
Greg Reinhart Hy Vee, Inc., Marshall, MN
Nancy Riekena The Kroger Co., Peoria, IL
Julie Rodriguez Smith's Food & Drug Stores, Bozeman, MT
Bernard Rogers Jewel Osco, DeKalb, IL
John Schwenk Bristol Farms, Newport Beach, CA
Richard Thompson Meijer, Okemos, MI
Ismael Vela Wal Mart Stores Inc., Edinburg, TX

The Awards Program, now in its fourth year, is sponsored by Ready Pac Foods, Inc.

NEW Foodservice Award Program Will Honor Chefs, Companies
The competition is underway to honor companies and chefs among the foodservice industry’s top produce performers in the United Fresh Research and Education Foundation’s new Produce Excellence in Foodservice Awards, thanks to a major grant from Pro*Act LLC. “The Produce Excellence in Foodservice Award is our way of telling chefs and foodservice establishments that the produce industry appreciates what they do to help to increase consumption of fresh fruits and vegetables,” said Amy Philpott, United Fresh vice president of marketing and industry relations.  Individual chefs and companies can be nominated, and winners will be selected based on examples of how nominees incorporate fresh produce into menu development, use protocols for correct storage and handling of produce, and build an overall positive dining experience featuring fresh produce. “We’re delighted to honor individuals and companies that are committed to incorporating fresh produce into menu offerings and who deliver the highest level of customer satisfaction in their restaurants and foodservice operations,” said Tom Stenzel, president of United Fresh. Winners will be honored in each of five business categories: Fine Dining Restaurants, Casual and Family Dining Restaurants, Quick Serve Restaurants, Business in Industry/Colleges and Hotels/Healthcare Operations.  Nominations must be submitted before March 24, and a nomination form will be available online. For more information about the award program, visit www.unitedfresh.org or contact Amy Philpott, 202-303-3400 ext. 425.

Meet Your Staff: John Toner, United Fresh

John Toner, United Fresh director of convention sales and services, was never too far from his United Fresh home, being born four blocks away at George Washington Hospital in the District of Columbia.  John now lives in the Southwest sector of the D.C. and is anxiously awaiting completion of the Nationals baseball stadium, but he feels most at home sitting in an Adirondack chair, soaking in the peace and quite that surrounds Lake George in Upstate, NY… or alternatively, doing anything that involves Pittsburgh Steelers football.

John is a seasoned member of the staff, heading into his ninth convention – yes, he counts time not by years but by conventions.  A typical workday involves a lot of juggling, namely keeping up with member/exhibitor services, industry trends, sales metrics, meetings, and lots of phone calls and emails.  However, at the end of the day, John enjoys meeting with members, understanding their businesses and developing association brand awareness.

John is just as busy when he isn’t in the office; he likes to workout, golf, sail and garden. As a Phi Gamma Delta Fraternity member and a Hampden-Sydney Alumni, he volunteers at Miriam’s Kitchen, a local soup kitchen, every month. John also enjoys cooking, and since his girlfriend Amy is a vegetarian, he is constantly trying new recipes that include lots of fruits and vegetables.

John is one of almost two dozen United Fresh staff members working on your behalf every day.  At United Fresh, we are proud to serve our members and the industry. Feel free to contact us anytime at 202-303-3400.

New Member Welcome
Each week, United Fresh welcomes its newest partners in building a stronger produce industry: United Fresh thanks all members for their dedication to the association and the produce industry. Please let us know whenever we can be of service to you.  For more details about the benefits of membership, please contact Jeff Oberman.

News & Views
No Good Supermarket
The Washington Post reports fewer and fewer inner-city supermarkets to supply fresh fruits and vegetable, which affects a community’s health.  A proposed solution is street vendors and bodegas selling more fruit and vegetables.

The Healthy Trend
When it comes to health, intelligent consumers are motivated into action, but the complexity of superfoods does not make maintaining a healthful diet simple, claims Free Press Releases.

Border Wall
Texas Observer accounts landowners’ questions their land being used by the federal government as an additional means of border patrol.

Outstanding Young Farmer
Holly Mackey of Mackey’s Orchard is the first woman in New Jersey to win a first in farming award for her innovative marketing and day-to-day operating efforts, announces The Express-Times.

Pricey Produce
There are plenty of influences affecting the price of produce in recent years, but CBS 46 News Atlanta shares a way to save.

Fight Food Fears
Reuters Life! reports that Top chefs from around the world will be invited to Japan next year for a food festival aimed at rebuilding trust in food safety.

Heating Oil
Skyrocketing heating bills led a New Yorker to burn free vegetable oil instead of heating oil, which padded his pockets while reducing pollutants, says Queen Chronicle.

Healthy Messaging Going Hi-Tech
According to Nutraingredients.com, the USDA is calling on companies to assist in creative development and distribution of high-tech messaging about healthy food choices.