July 2, 2008

In Today's Issue:

Farm Bill Implementation Tops Agenda at USDA Meetings
On Tuesday, the Specialty Crop Farm Bill Alliance Implementation Committee met with ten different USDA agencies to discuss the implementation process of the 2008 Farm Bill.  Since Congress passed the farm bill in Mid-June, it is now USDA’s responsibility to develop the policy initiatives that will implement the law.  USDA oversees the implementation of the various specialty crop initiatives, including state block grants, research funding, and the fresh fruit and vegetable snack program.  Robert Guenther, senior vice president of public policy for United Fresh, and Matt McInerney, senior vice president with Western Growers, are serving as co-chairs of the Implementation Committee. “We are now in a very important stage of the Farm Bill where we must ensure USDA interprets and implements the law in a way that Congress intended, and in a way that develops sound programs that the fruit and vegetable industry can benefit from,” said Robert.  The Farm Bill implementation process at USDA will take place over the next three to six months.  For more information contact Robert at rguenther@unitedfresh.org or call 202-303-3400 ext. 409.

Don't Miss the Most Patriotic Event in Produce
As we prepare to celebrate our nation this July 4th, we ask you to start making plans to join produce industry friends in Washington, D.C. for the annual Washington Public Policy Conference (WPPC). During this spectacular event, hundreds of produce industry members come together in the nation's capital to engage in their patriotic duty and put our nation's elected leaders to work for the industry. This is your chance to get involved and really make a difference by meeting with hundreds of members of Congress, staff, Administration officials and friends of the produce industry.  Plus, you won't want to miss this year’s kick off reception, the ever popular, Fresh Festival on Capitol Hill.  You'll be joined by hundreds of Washington's political leaders in sampling a delicious array of fresh produce and products displayed by dozens of commodity boards, associations and produce companies.  Click here to review a full schedule of events and register today for this year's Washington Public Policy Conference.

Rep. Lloyd Doggett (D-TX) meets with Pat Kole, Idaho Potato Commission, and David Smith, Idaho Grower Shippers Association.

Rep. Bob Etheridge (D-NC) samples mushrooms at Fresh Festival.

Rep. Virginia Foxx (R-NC) meets with the North Carolina Watermelon Queen at Fresh Festival.

Showcase Your Brand; Position Your Company as a Global Leader
Show your support of the United Fresh Produce Association by being a sponsor of the United Fresh booth at ASIA Fruit Logistica this September 10-12, 2009!  United Fresh will be in Booth A-35, showcasing the association and our annual trade show in Las Vegas, April 22-24, 2009.  Over 3,000 trade visitors from more than 50 countries are expected to attend ASIA Fruit Logistica and Asiafruit Congress in Hong Kong this year.  "As the association continues to grow into international produce trade sectors, this is a great way of showcase your support in front of a broad, global audience," said John Toner, vice president of convention & industry relations.  Each booth sponsor will receive recognition in United Fresh promotional brochures onsite and a company listing on signage in the booth.  Sponsors will also be given access to use the United Fresh booth as your "destination point" at the show.  Each sponsorship is an affordable price of $750, but only a limited number are available.  For more information please contact Hector Ranero at 202-303-3420 or for more information about the 2009 United Fresh convention, visit www.unitedfreshshows.com/2009/home.cfm.

Product Recall Course Comes to Southern California
The Sheraton Gateway Los Angeles is the destination of the next "Training for a Recall, Communicating Under Fire," presented by the United Fresh Foundation.  This two-day course, scheduled for October 1-2, 2008, will focus all aspects of a product recall, including the legal liability, working with the FDA, the importance of traceability, and how to apply a crisis communication plan to product recall situations.  This hands-on educational program is designed to bring together industry members throughout the supply chain, from quality assurance directors to marketing directors to CEOs.  In addition to the two-day product recall course, United Fresh is also offering a half-day of media training on October 3.  Taught by communications and public affairs specialists, this course will teach participants the fundamentals of working with the media and how to deliver messages under the pressure of a real-life interview. Separate registration for the media training is required.  Due to the highly interactive nature of the program, attendance at the Recall Course is limited to 42 attendees and attendance at the Media Training is limited to 10.  Past courses have sold-out, so be sure to register today!  For additional registration and housing information, contact United Fresh Education Manager, Beth Berman, at bberman@unitedfresh.org or 202-303-3405.

New Member Welcome
Each week, United Fresh welcomes its newest partners in building a stronger produce industry:
  • Georgetown Health Policy Institute, Washington, DC
United Fresh thanks all current 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, joberman@unitedfresh.org

News and Views
New York To Issue Licenses for 500 Veggie-Only Food Carts
Say Good-bye to eating unhealthy!  New York has issued a license for 500 food carts that will be allowed to sell only fresh fruit and vegetables. The carts, which are expected to start appearing on the streets later this summer, are restricted to low-income areas that have the fewest sources of fresh produce in the city.

Wal-Mart Branches Out Into Locally Grown Produce
The Washington Post reports that Wal-Mart Stores Inc. plans to purchase and sell $400 million worth of produce grown by local farmers within its state stores this year.  Arizona is now stocked with Grand Canyon sweet onions while aisles in New York display state-grown eggplant.

Kids and Nutrition
According to Busy Cooks Newsletter, parents no longer need to trick their children into eating more fruits and vegetables.  This article provides helpful ideas and recipes to have your child consume more fruits and vegetables. 

War Spending Bill Also Aims To Rebuild Farm Fields
Agriculture Online reports that last week the Senate passed a $162 billion war funding bill that covers $479 million for two emergency programs that could help farmers and landowners in the flood ravaged Midwest.

Top 10 Places to Celebrate July 4
MSNBC lists the top 10 cities to celebrate the U.S. Independence Day.  We’d be remiss if we didn’t point out that Washington, D.C. is among them.