February 12, 2009

In Today's Issue:


DiSogra Takes School Snack Program to Latin America

DiSogra
Dr. Enrique R. Jacoby of PAHO with Dr. Lorelei DiSogra

Last week, at the invitation of the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) and World Health Organization (WHO), United Fresh Vice President of Nutrition & Health Dr. Lorelei DiSogra presented Global Strategy to Increase Children's Fruit and Vegetable Consumption: Recent Policy Developments in USA and EU.

DiSogra emphasized the public health benefits of school fresh fruit and vegetable snack programs, building political support in the U.S. and European Commission to secure funding and benefits to the produce industry. Discussion focused on a role for PAHO in promoting these types of nutrition policies to increase children's fruit and vegetable consumption in the 30+ countries that are part of PAHO. Although school fruit and vegetable snack programs are being implemented from New Zealand to Europe, there are no current model programs in Latin America.

For more information, please contact Lorelei at 202-303-3400.          


Virtual MarketplaceIn conjunction with United Fresh 2009, United Fresh has launched the United Fresh Virtual Marketplace, the first search engine for produce industry products and services associated with a North American produce event.

The Virtual Marketplace lists detailed product information in multiple categories from over 220 companies, each of which will be exhibiting at United Fresh 2009, April 21-24 in Las Vegas.  The new database is built on a state-of-the-art product search platform, allowing visitors to search for products of interest in a variety of ways. The site also provides for an interactive user experience, allowing visitors to send messages to companies requesting additional information or personal meetings, and to create personalized lists of products and companies of interest.

Virtual Marketplace

"The United Fresh Virtual Marketplace takes annual trade show experience to a new level of value," said United Fresh President and CEO Tom Stenzel.  "The physical walls of the old-school trade show are now expanded into a 24/7 business-to-business information platform.  Users can now do their research at any time day or night, comparing various products and companies and searching for new innovative technologies before setting foot on the show floor."

Visitors to the site can also register for product updates of particular interest, and keep up with the new products and services coming online everyday in the Virtual Marketplace. Individuals can set their personal preferences to receive automatic updates about new products and services in the specific categories they want. 

“The best way to understand all the capabilities of the United Fresh Virtual Marketplace is to experience it for yourself,” Stenzel said. 

Visitors can access the Virtual Marketplace by clicking here, or linking to the United Fresh Virtual Marketplace through the association’s home page at www.unitedfresh.org, and the United Fresh 2009 convention home page www.unitedfreshshows.com.


USDAAre you looking for a specialized training course that will help your employees sharpen their produce inspection skills?  United Fresh, in partnership with USDA-AMS, is offering two more Produce inspection Training Courses for 2009: June 1-5 and September 21-25.

This unique program provides hands-on instruction from USDA experts to anyone involved in the supply chain who handles fresh produce.  During the Introductory Course (a pre-requisite for all attendees), participants will become more proficient and knowledgeable about quality control standards, tolerances, inspection grading, USDA produce procedures, and much more.  In the Advanced Course, attendees will spend three days in the lab for real-time commodity inspection demonstrations.

"This is an opportunity for your employees to greatly expand their education and understanding of the inspection process and bring their knowledge directly back to benefit your company," said Julie Jacocks, United Fresh education coordinator.

Registration for the June and September courses is currently open.  All courses take place at the USDA Fresh Products Branch Training Center in Fredericksburg, Va.  For more information, click here or contact Julie at 202-303-3400 ext. 405.


United Fresh Foundation FreshPAC

This week, the charitable and political support arms of United Fresh announced their respective events for the United Fresh 2009 expo and convention, April 21-24 in Las Vegas, Nev. The United Fresh Research & Education Foundation will host the Foundation's yearly golf tournament on Tuesday, April 21 at the Siena Golf Club, and United FreshPAC will hold its annual bowling tournament later that night at Lucky Strike Lanes in the Rio All-Suites Hotel & Casino.

GolfSteffanie Smith of River Point Farms, LLC, and Geoff White of Safeway, Inc. will serve as co-chairs for this year's golf tournament, and prizes will be awarded to the teams with the lowest gross and net scores, as well as prizes for longest drive, longest putt and closest-to-the-pin.

Registration rate per player is $250 for members and $300 for non-members and include greens fees, cart, food and beverages, prizes and transportation. All proceeds from the tournament will go to the United Fresh Research & Education Foundation. Left- and right-handed rental clubs are available for an additional fee. Players can register online while registering for United Fresh 2009 by clicking here or downloading the registration form and faxing to the attention of Patrick Delaney at 202-303-3433.

BowlingLater that night, United FreshPAC and the United FreshPAC Advisory Committee will host the second annual Strike It Rich bowling night.

The event will feature a 20-team bowling tournament with prizes for the top team and top individual bowler.  Plenty of opportunities to relax and network; exclusive gaming tutorials on both craps and blackjack are limited to the evening’s guests.

Tickets for Striking It Rich are$100 per person and $500 per team and all contributions must be from a personal checking account. Registration is capped at 100 bowlers and all tickets include at least one tournament game and open bowling upon completion of the tournament, as well as complimentary access to all other Striking It Rich amenities.  For more information, contact Angela Bezon at 202-303-3400 ext. 416.

All contributions go to the United Fresh Political Action Committee to support Members of Congress who support the fresh fruit and vegetable industry on issues important to United Fresh members.


Freshconex Freshconex

Last week, United Fresh staff and volunteer leaders enjoyed a successful stint at the Freshconex Exhibition, Congress, and Business Forums in Berlin, Germany.  In partnership with Eurofruit Magazine, United Fresh helped to organize the Freshconex Congress, as well as the Business Forums which offered educational sessions in better technology, marketing and infrastructure management for fresh-cut produce.

Attendees gained information on the dynamic fresh-cut market in Southern Europe and heard from key international industry leaders such as Best NV (Belgium), BUNZL Distribution (U.S.), Fresh Factory in (Germany), FTNON (Netherlands), Key Technology (U.S.), Turatti Srl (Italy) and Urschel International (U.K.), on optical inspection, fresh-cut marketing, processing efficiencies and more.

On Thursday February 5, United Fresh hosted a global reception to toast global members from around for their commitment to the fresh produce and fresh-cut convenience sectors.  

For more information about the Freshconex Congress or Business Forums, please contact United Fresh international member services director Melissa Speed at 202-303-3400 ext. 404. 


FDAOn February 24 and 25, United Fresh will host a public forum for the analysis and critical review of the Food and Drug Administration's Guide to Minimize Microbial Food Safety Hazards for Fresh Fruits and Vegetables, also known as the GAPs Guide. Registration is now open for the meeting, which is in response to FDA’s plan to revise the decade-old Guide.

A focal point of the meeting will be the opportunity for those responsible for the safety of fruits and vegetables to talk about today's Good Agricultural Practices - what works for them, what doesn’t, what would make the GAPs better and what should not be changed.  Changes to the Guide will affect both growers and shippers of all fresh produce commodities, most of which have not been heard in comments to FDA. Comments from the meeting will be collected and submitted to FDA for their consideration.

"United Fresh has established this meeting in order to hear from all stakeholders within our diverse industry," said United Fresh Senior Vice President of Food Safety and Technology Dr. David Gombas. "To put it bluntly, guidelines and GAPs that govern an industry comprised of hundreds of unique commodities are being edited and updated based on the comments of only a small handful of individuals. This meeting is designed to collect detailed input from all areas of the fresh produce industry, no matter the commodity, and particularly from those responsible for food safety programs for production and harvest operations."

This is a public meeting and all stakeholders are welcome. The meeting will be held at the Hilton Washington Dulles Airport in Herndon, Va. The registration fee is $95 to cover costs. Registration and hotel information can be found here or by contacting Julie Jacocks at 202-303-3400 ext. 405.


United Fresh 2009These are just a select few of the items you’ll find in the United Fresh Virtual Marketplace and will be on display at United Fresh 2009, April 21-24 in Las Vegas, Nev.

For more information to see how your company and products can be listed in Virtual Marketplace, please click here or contact John Toner at 202-303-3400 ext. 424


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
  • Lakeside Produce Distribution, Inc., Rocky River, Ohio

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:

  • Fruvemex, Calexico, Calif..
  • Lakeside Produce Distribution, Inc., Rocky River, Ohio
  • MountainKing Potatoes, Houston, Tex.
  • Polymer Logistics, Riverside, Calif.
Welcome
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

U.S. NEWS:

News and Views

Right-to-work amendment passes Virginia House

University of Rhode Island professors develop smart bar code to alert consumers

Produce inspection funds for Arizona port of entry being swiped

Florida orange crop down, but not because of freeze

Tom Vilsack: The new face of agriculture

INTERNATIONAL NEWS:

IPM Middle East to add perishables show in Dubai

Cauliflower sales down in the U.K.

Dole Philippines cuts work week

Good news about fresh food in Hong Kong

Food safety project to be unveiled in Costa Rica


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