December 3, 2008

In Today's Issue:

Excellence in Fresh Produce Will Earn Chefs, Companies A Trip to Vegas

Produce Excellence in Food Service Award ProgramNominations are now open for the second annual Produce Excellence in Foodservice Awards. Presented by the United Fresh Research and Education Foundation and sponsored by Pro*Act, LLC, the Produce Excellence in Foodservice Award Program recognizes companies and chefs among the foodservice industry's top produce performers. 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. Either individual chefs or companies are eligible for the awards and nominations must be submitted before February 15, 2009. Click here to download a nomination form. The five winning chefs and their corporate executives will receive complimentary airfare, two nights' hotel accommodations and registrations to the United Fresh show, April 21-24 in Las Vegas. The winners will receive their awards at the Annual Awards Banquet Thursday evening, April 23. The chefs will also participate in United Fresh’s convention education program to share their views on produce trends in foodservice.

2008 recipients of the award include:

Chef Tony Baker, Fine Dining, Montrio Bistro, Monterey, Calif.
Chef Daniel Coudreaut, Quick Service, McDonald’s USA, Oak Brook, Ill.
Chef Jonathan Davey, Business in Industry & Colleges, Brigham Young University, Provo, Utah
Chef Reinhard Dorfhuber, Casual & Family Dining, Elephant Bar Restaurant, La Mirada, Calif.
Executive Chef Jean-Paul Hascoat, Hotels & Healthcare, Peconic Landing, Greenport, N.Y.

For more information the award program, please contact Amy Philpott at 202-303-3400 ext. 425.

United Fresh Heads to Southern Hemisphere Congress
Southern Hemisphere Congress Jeff addresses the 300-member Southern Hemisphere Congress in Santiago, Chile on Tuesday

Before more than 300 delegates at the Southern Hemisphere Congress in Santiago, Chile this week, United Fresh Vice President of Membership and Trade Relations Jeff Oberman presented as part of a panel entitled “The Ethical Shopper” and focused on the impact of environmental and social issues and their impact on the North American consumer. The annual conference, presented this year by the Association of Chilean Exporters (ASOEX) and Eurofruit Magazine, moves each year within the major production regions of the Southern Hemisphere, bringing together market leaders from Argentina, Chile, South Africa, Australia, New Zealand and other countries doing business with producers and exporters from these regions.

Southern Hemisphere Congress Oberman tours Avocado Packing House in Polpaico, Chile with Emilio Saavedra, Agricom, Ltd.

"This conference presents a perfect forum to discuss the recently published United Fresh Issues Scan, which provides valuable insight into the mind of the retail consumer, which is critically important to the entire industry – from exporters here in Chile as well as importers and retail operators around the world," Jeff said. Many thanks to Ronald Bown and Andres Rodriguez with ASOEX and Dave Dever of Pandol Brothers, Inc. for helping coordinate regional industry tours and meetings during Jeff’s Chilean visit. "Touring exporter operations provides first-hand knowledge about the current operations and future outlook for the Chilean summer fruit season, and highlights ways in which United Fresh research like Issues Scan and Fresh Facts on Retail can provide value to produce companies," he added.

United Fresh represents members in Chile as well as 27 other countries and continues to develop new international educational opportunities, such as its collaboration with the FreshConex Congress at Fruit Logistica in Berlin in February, 2009.

For more information on the Southern Hemisphere Congress, FreshConex and all the ways United Fresh membership can help your business see global results, contact Jeff at 831-422-0940.

United Fresh Participates in International Summit on Ag and Food Transportation
Supply chainRobert Guenther, United Fresh senior vice president of public policy, addressed attendees at the International Summit on Ag and Food Transportation in Washington, D.C. Robert participated in a panel discussion titled New Opportunities for Commercial Agricultural Transporters and Agriculture in the 2007 Energy Bill and 2008 Farm Bill, where he addressed how produce companies and the transportation community can forge partnerships on a range of public policy areas.

United Fresh co-sponsored the Summit as one of the first initiatives under the new United Fresh Supply Chain Technology & Logistics Program. This two-day conference brought together over 100 Commercial Agricultural Transporters, trucking and agricultural industry suppliers, government agency and congressional personnel, as well as food and transportation trade groups.

A variety of issues were addressed, including: Legal Issues Confronting Commercial Agriculture and Transportation, Global Ag Trade & Transportation Opportunities, Food Safety, Defense and Transportation Initiatives, Technology in Ag and Food Transportation, the 2009 Highway Reauthorization Bill, Food Politics and Business Issues, Renewable Fuels, Food vs. Fuel and more. For more information about the Summit, please contact Robert at 202-303-3400 ext. 409.

Quality Inspection Course Gives Companies Valuable Knowledge
Produce Inspection
United Fresh and the U.S. Department of Agriculture have partnered once again to instruct industry members on the requirements and intricacies of USDA fresh produce inspections with the 2009 Produce Inspection Training Program. Last year's sold-out courses attracted attendees from a broad range of companies such as:


A&P Canada Co.
A&Z Produce Co.
American Seaway Foods
Caito Foods Service, Inc.
U.S. Department of Defense
Food Lion
Giant Eagle Markets
J. Miller & Co.
King Soopers
The Kroger Company/Wesco Foods
Military Produce Group
Produce Packaging
River Ranch Fresh Foods
Target Corporation and others!

United Fresh & the USDA have been offering this course since 2002, so we simply can't list all the companies that have participated, but as you can see, members throughout the supply chain have taken advantage of this specialized program. Class size is limited and on a first-come, first-served registration basis. REGISTER TODAY for our next course January 26-30. Other 2009 courses will be offered June 1-5 and September 21-25. For more information contact United Fresh at 202-303-3400.

The course is divided into two segments: First is the two-day Introductory Produce Inspection reviews inspection fundamentals, general market principles, PACA and an introduction to the FV 300 Inspection Certificate. Next, the three-day Advanced Produce Inspection focuses on the different types of inspections (quality, condition, size, etc.,) sampling procedures, marketing orders and import requirements, and commodity-specific instruction. The advanced course automatically includes the five most commonly requested commodities (grapes, lettuces, potatoes, strawberries, and tomatoes) plus each course is customized with up to 10 additional commodities based on the attendees' most common preferences.

New 2009 Chairman’s Roundtable Supporters
United Fresh's Chairman's Roundtable provides extra support for programs in government relations, food safety, nutrition policy and other areas to help grow the produce industry. We are pleased to recognize the following companies who have committed to the Chairman’s Roundtable in 2009:

  • Boskovich Farms, Inc., Oxnard, Calif.
  • Capital City Fruit Company, Norwalk, Iowa.
  • D’Arrigo Brothers Company of New York, Bronx, N.Y.
  • Horton Fruit Company, Louisville, Ky.
  • Nonpariel Corporation, Blackfoot, Idaho.
  • Sensitech, Beverly, Mass.
  • Wayne E. Bailey Produce Co., Chadbourn, N.C.
Chairman's Roundtable
The Chairman's Roundtable is an opportunity for United Fresh member companies to contribute above and beyond their basic dues. Roundtable members are industry leaders who set the pace in building United’s strength in areas that do not generate their own revenue. Members of the Chairman's Roundtable enjoy special recognition throughout the year for their support. For more information on the Chairman’s Roundtable, please contact Director of Membership Miriam Miller at 202-303-3410.

New Member Welcome
Welcome New MembersEach week, United Fresh welcomes its newest partners in building a stronger produce industry:
  • Eubanks Produce Inc., Lucedale, Miss.
  • Hollandia Produce/Live Gourmet, Carpinteria, Calif.

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 or Miriam Miller.

Upcoming United Fresh Events
Upcoming Events
  • USDA Produce Inspection Course
    January 26-30 - USDA Fresh Products Branch National Inspectors’ Training and Development Center, Fredericksburg, Va.
  • Freshconex Congress
    February 3 – Messe Berlin, Berlin, Germany
  • Produce Executive Development Program
    March 8-13 – Cornell University, Ithaca, N.Y.

News & Views
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FDA may need a major overhaul

Immigration reform fight leads to award for San Diego farmer

Innovative farm program fights hunger in Maine

Johannesburg produce market owner wins South African Boss of the Year award

WTO rules against EU in bananas dispute

Minnesota Senator says any new stimulus plan must include rural America

EU fast tracks new research to treat food allergies

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