January 8, 2009

In Today's Issue:

Steve Forbes to Address Produce Industry at United Fresh 2009

2009 United FreshUnited Fresh is proud to announce the opening of registration for the United Fresh 2009, April 21-24 in Las Vegas, Nev.  One of the highlights of the 2009 show will be the keynote address delivered by Steve Forbes, president, CEO and editor-in-chief of Forbes. Persons interested in attending the show and Forbes' How Capitalism Will Save Us keynote address, may register online at www.unitedfresh.org or contact United Fresh at 202-303-3400.

Steve ForbesA two-time presidential candidate, Forbes oversees the magazine that bears his grandfather's name, and also chairs the company's American Heritage division, including American Heritage, American Legacy and American Heritage of Invention & Technology. A four-time Crystal Owl Award winner, Forbes has launched Forbes FYI, Forbes ASAP, Forbes Global, the Gilder Technology Report, and Forbes.com and served as Honorary Chairman of Americans for Hope, Growth and Opportunity and Chairman of the Board of Directors of Empower America, as well as numerous academic and philanthropic boards.

The 2009 United Fresh show will focus on a central theme of Produce Innovation, Fresh Meals and Technology Solutions and be held at the Sands MegaCenter with The Palazzo hotel serving as the headquarters hotel.

United Fresh 2009 will include two shows united under one roof. Fresh Marketplace will feature produce products and marketing concepts, while Fresh Tech will showcase the latest in manufacturing, food safety and processing technologies.   Attendees at the 2009 show will include representatives from retail, foodservice, c-stores, growers, shippers, wholesalers, distributors, fresh-cut processors, food safety systems providers, equipment manufacturers and more. Click here for a list of exhibitors.

United Fresh 2009 will also include numerous educational and networking opportunities, including an opening reception at popular nightspot Tao Beach along with a similar reception on the show's floor, a golf tournament to benefit the United Fresh Research & Education Foundation, the Reception Honoring the Women in Produce, as well as the Chairman's Reception & Awards Banquet, recognizing leadership in both foodservice and retail produce management.

NEW this year, The Global Conference on Food Safety Standards is a post-show conference examining produce food safety audits, auditing systems and methods for ensuring compliance with global safety standards. This two-day conference will look at how the industry can best provide assurance of good food safety practices, without duplication of standards and costs. A separate registration is required for this post-show event.

Learn more about United Fresh 2009 at www.unitedfresh.org, or contact United Fresh at 202-303-3400.

Global Conference on Produce Food Safety Standards Will Look at Harmonization

Food SafetyIn response to a heightened global awareness of food safety issues, the United Fresh Research & Education Foundation is hosting a new Global Conference on Produce Food Safety Standards to tackle the critical issues of produce industry audits and harmonization, immediately following the United Fresh 2009 show, April 21-24 in Las Vegas, Nev.

Dr. David Gombas, United Fresh senior vice president for food safety and technology, anticipates a wide range of major retail and restaurant chains, fresh-cut processors, and grower shippers to participate in the conference.  "We are extremely excited to host this crucial summit on what has become an extremely important issue," Gombas said. Government agencies and auditing bodies expected to participate include the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), Global Food Safety Initiative (GFSI), GlobalGAP, Safe Quality Food (SQF), British Retail Consortium (BRC) and others.

Conference registration is available online at www.unitedfresh.org and individuals who register for both the United Fresh 2009 show and the Global Conference on Produce Food Safety Standards will receive substantial discounts.

Inspired in Brussels: EU's School Fruit Scheme Will Benefit Both Children and the Produce Industry

Lorelei DiSograI wish all of the United Fresh members could have joined me in Brussels at the European Commission (EC) Conference last month. The conference, School Fruit: A Healthy Start for Our Children – Promoting School Fruit Schemes in the European Union, was kicked-off by the EC Commissioners of Agriculture, Health, and Education and positioned as a broad, European priority to fight child obesity and promote healthy lifestyles. The Conference brought together over 300 stakeholders from all 27 EU countries committed to making school fruit schemes work effectively. Fresh fruits and vegetables definitely took center stage, especially as Agriculture Commissioner Mariann Fischer Boel made a grand entrance with a wheelbarrow loaded with fresh fruits and vegetables.

Lorelei DiSogra European Commission Ag Commissioner Marion Fisher Boel with Neil Parish, Member of the European Parliament

A video of the opening session of the conference, available thanks to the EC, will only start to give you an idea of the support and commitment shown by European policy leaders, the produce sector, public health organizations and European Union (EU) member states.

Inspiration and a "yes we can" attitude surrounded the conference attendees all week long, and it was a great honor to give the key note address. Even more important for me, however, was to talk informally with representatives from so many countries to hear their plans, share their excitement, and encourage them to create guidelines that will ensure the program’s success – an increase in fruit and vegetable consumption across all 27 participating countries.

Lorelei DiSogra Lorelei addresses the European Commission conference

The EC's funding of €90 million annually over the next three years, expanding school fruit schemes to all 27 EU countries means millions of European school children will increase their fruit and vegetable consumption and begin to adopt a healthier lifestyle. Just as they do in the U.S., school fruit schemes will deliver both immediate and long-term benefits to the produce industry in Europe.  I encourage all United Fresh European members and members who do business in the EU to collaborate with member states and engage in this initiative.  Businesses that get involved now have the potential to reap tremendous benefits again in three years, as the EC will most likely dramatically expand funding as school fruit schemes demonstrate their effectiveness. For more information on United’s efforts in Europe, please contact me at 202-303-3400.

Learn About United FreshTech and Fresh Marketplace

United Fresh 2009 show will include two produce shows, United FreshTech and United Fresh Marketplace, covering the full produce supply chain from processor and supplier to consumer.

United Fresh MarketplaceUnited FreshTech will focus on fresh-cut processing, value added solutions, new technologies and technical innovations at all points in the supply chain. Exhibitors also include seed companies, HACCP service providers, packaging manufacturers and other companies offering equipment and technical products and services.  United FreshTech will also feature the popular Food Safety & Research Pavilion, providing insight and answers to attendees’ produce safety questions.

United Fresh MarketplaceUnited Fresh Marketplace will concentrate on produce marketing and merchandising. Attendees will be able to meet with entire produce and perishables management teams, as well as companies selling raw produce, display concepts, consumer packaging, salad ingredients and dressings, RFID technology and temperature recorders. United Fresh Marketplace will also feature the Fresh Marketplace Learning Center, where attendees can explore products, services and solutions designed to help their businesses grow.

Together, the two shows will offer attendees a 150,000 square-foot show floor with booths and exhibitors showcasing new products and services from throughout the fresh and fresh-cut produce supply chain. Fresh produce, innovative fresh-cut produce, prepared food items that incorporate fresh produce, food safety solutions, logistics and operations tools and the technologies needed to produce them are just some of the highlights of these two shows.

For more on United FreshTech and United Fresh Marketplace, or to register for United Fresh 2009, log on to www.unitedfresh.org.

Economy Front and Center as 111th Congress Sworn In

US CapitolThe members of the 111th Congress were sworn-in on Tuesday and immediately began work to address the nation's economic woes.  In addition, congressional committees are being finalized and leadership in those committees will be determined over the next couple of weeks.  For 57 House members and 13 Senators, this was their first official day of work representing their congressional districts and states as freshman members of the new Congress.

"The new freshman class of congressional officials represents a broad background from state and local government to business and academia," said Robert Guenther, senior vice president of public policy for United Fresh.  "Both United Fresh and the produce industry as a whole is well represented in these offices as over half of the new congressional representatives have members from our association in their districts."

Robert and the rest of the United Fresh public policy team will spend this week on the Hill welcoming the new members and visiting with congressional friends in order to highlight key policy priorities for United Fresh. For details, contact Robert at 202-303-3400.

New York and Delaware Flip the Switch on New WIC Program Offerings

NY State SealIn a resounding victory for the produce industry, the New York and Delaware state offices of the Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children (WIC) became among the first to incorporate the new federal Dietary Guidelines into their voucher offerings, and for the first time, the over 500,000 participants in the states will have access to fresh fruit and vegetables, along with other healthful items encouraged under the new guidelines.  "The inclusion of fresh produce in the WIC program is something that we at United Fresh have championed for a long time. This is definitely a big day for the produce industry," said United Fresh vice president of nutrition and health, Dr. Lorelei DiSogra. For more information on United's WIC efforts and other child nutrition areas, contact Lorelei at 202-303-3400, or log on to www.unitedfresh.org.

Dan Vache Joins United Fresh Staff as Vice President, Supply Chain Management

Dan VacheLate last week, United Fresh President Tom Stenzel announced the appointment of Dan Vache, former vice president of sales-food division at Sensitech Inc., as head of its new Supply Chain Logistics and Technology Program.  Dan will fill the newly established position of vice president of supply chain management, leading the association’s effort to deliver education, hands-on tools and direct services that will assist member companies meet business challenges in transportation, cold chain management, information technologies, traceability, facilities management, energy efficiency, packing and packaging needs and related areas.

"We are indeed fortunate to have someone of Dan's experience join the association to lead our supply chain efforts," said United Fresh Chairman Tom Lovelace, McEntire Produce.  “Dan has been a key player for more than 30 years in helping companies throughout the produce industry in managing cold chain issues to maximize product quality all the way to the consumer,” Lovelace said.

Dan will be responsible for leading United's new Supply Chain Logistics and Technology Program, which is funded in part by a generous grant from C.H. Robinson Worldwide Inc.  Dan will also serve as primary staff liaison to United’s new Supply Chain Logistics Council, chaired by Dave Dever, president and CEO, Pandol Brothers Inc.

Dan has served on numerous boards, committees, and task forces for the United Fresh Produce Association, Produce Marketing Association, International Fresh-Cut Produce Association, and the California Grape and Tree Fruit League.  He served for eight years as a member of the United Fresh Board of Directors, including four years as Secretary-Treasurer of the Board.  Dan will join United Fresh on January 19, and will be based in the Pacific Northwest.

United Fresh to Offer World-Class Networking at United Fresh 2009

In keeping with the tradition of equal parts work and play, United Fresh has announced an exciting slate of networking and entertainment options during United Fresh 2009, beginning with an opening reception at Tao Beach, one of the newest and most popular nightclubs in Las Vegas. 

The annual United Fresh Foundation Golf Tournament will take place Tuesday, April 21 at the Siena Golf Club, bringing together buyers, sellers, suppliers, friends from all points in the supply chain. All proceeds from the United Fresh Foundation Golf Tournament will go to the United Fresh Research & Education Foundation.

United FreshPAC will sponsor a bowling night at the popular Lucky Strike retro bowling alley on Tuesday night, followed by a happy hour on the trade show floor the following evening. Attendees can enjoy a drink and snacks with current and potential vendors as well as visit exhibit booths and business suites.

On Thursday night, United Fresh will recognize the winners of the annual Retail Produce Manager Awards Program and the Produce Excellence in Foodservice Award honoring the front lines of the produce industry at the 2009 Chairman's Reception and Awards Banquet.

In addition to the Retail Produce Manager Awards Program and the Produce Excellence in Foodservice Award, United Fresh will also honor many others in the industry throughout the four-day conference, including:

  • The Packer Person of the Year
  • Reception Honoring Women in Produce
  • United Fresh Technical Award Recipient
  • Winner of the Research Poster Session
  • Leadership Class 14 Graduation and the Presentation of Class 15
  • New Product Awards

For more information, or to register for United Fresh 2009, log on to www.unitedfresh.org

Meet Your United Fresh Staff: Julie Jacocks

Julie JacocksUnited Fresh is pleased to announce the hiring of Julie Jacocks as its new Education Coordinator.  Julie comes to United Fresh with a wide variety of nonprofit experience, working as an intern and research assistant for the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA) where she was responsible for creating a database, research, and updating marketing pieces for ASHA’s convention.  Most recently, Julie was an association coordinator at SmithBucklin Corporation, the world’s largest nonprofit management company, where she managed speaker logistics, meeting logistics, website creation, membership recruitment and retention, marketing, and grant writing for numerous associations. Julie is a graduate of Sweet Briar College in Sweet Briar, Va., and lives in Gaithersburg, Md. She and your entire United Fresh team can be reached at 202-303-3400.

Industry Leaders to Show Their Stuff

UFPA Executive Development ProgramWhat's it really like on the retail side of the produce business? How can produce suppliers apply lessons and strategies learned from the retail industry to improve their business? Find out the answers to these and more as industry leaders Bruce Peterson and Bruce Knobeloch share their thoughts and experiences from the retail and produce industries in the "Reflecting on Retail Strategies: Lessons for Suppliers" session taking place at the 2009 Produce Executive Development Program. Presented by United Fresh & Cornell University, March 8-13, 2009, this is a can't-miss event!

Peterson and Knobeloch are just two of the many powerful speakers you'll hear from at this year's Executive Development Program. The Program will also include in-depth discussions on topics such as changes in food retail and foodservice climate, competitive strategy development, negotiation & conflict resolution, new product development, global food industry trends and supply chain effectiveness, plus a survival guide to financial planning.

This Program is designed for mid- to senior-level executives who are interested in achieving a competitive edge and helping their companies address the key challenges and opportunities faced by today's produce industry. This course has sold out two years in a row, so be sure to register today! Class activities are interactive so enrollment is limited, and registration is on a first-come, first-served basis. Early registration discounts end January 5, 2009.  For more information or to register, contact Victoria Backer at 202-303-3400 ext. 408.

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:

Chairman's Roundtable
  • Andrew & Williamson Fresh Produce, San Diego, Calif.
  • B & W Quality Growers, Inc., Fellsmere, Fla.
  • River Ranch Fresh Foods, LLC, Salinas, Calif.

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

Each week, United Fresh welcomes its newest partners in building a stronger produce industry:

  • Cherry Marketing Institute, Lansing, Mich.
  • Great West Produce, Inc., Commerce, Calif.
  • Nathel and Nathel, Bronx, N.Y.
  • Nourse Farms, South Deerfield, Mass.
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 at 202-303-3400.

Upcoming United Fresh Events
Upcoming Events

News & Views


News and Views

Industry veteran William Consalo dies

Store brands thrive in economic downturn

New Mexico's chile yield down due to disease

Iowa officials consider junk food ban

Food aid programs must be refocused on nutrition


Hong Kong health official assures vegetable safety

EU pesticide regulations could 'wipe out' British carrot industry

St. Vincent and the Grenadines banana industry leaders meet to discuss legislation

Jamaica launches national food safety program

Australian corner stores to be exempted from mandatory unit pricing scheme

Tell a Friend About Inside United Fresh!