April 16, 2009

In Today's Issue:

United Fresh and Harris Interactive to Unveil Latest Issues Scan at United Fresh 2009

Issues ScanFollowing up on the success of its inaugural annual research report in 2008, United Fresh will unveil Issues Scan 2009 amid a packed schedule of events at United Fresh 2009 next week in Las Vegas.  Scheduled for debut at this year’s Luncheon General Session, Issues Scan 2009 will give attendees the opportunity to hear new research into how food safety, environmental and social issues are likely to affect purchasing decisions of the American produce shopper.

"Issues Scan 2009 presents the first trend data to begin tracking how consumers' attitudes on these key issues is changing over time," said United Fresh Senior Vice President Victoria Backer. "This will be important for retail, foodservice, and produce executives to understand how issues are shaping today's buying decisions, and forecast the road ahead to navigate our changing business future."

From top speakers and state-of-the-art technology to world-class educational workshops and red carpet special events, United Fresh 2009 offers the unique opportunity to gain critical industry knowledge while networking your customers and peers in the retail, foodservice, convenience, growing, shipping, wholesale, distribution, fresh-cut processing, and equipment sectors - all in one show!

To register or for more information, log on to www.unitedfresh.org today!

President Signals Support for Immigration Reform This Year

ImmigrationThe Obama Administration has announced its support for Congress to move forward with comprehensive immigration reform this year.  The announcement was seen as a key signal that legislation could move this year, prompting stakeholders on all sides of the issue to gear up their efforts.

"Immigration reform has been a top priority of United for many years, but it's kept being blocked by the political and emotional winds," said United Fresh Vice President of Government Relations and Legislative affairs Kam Quarles.  "As a steering committee member of the Agriculture Coalition for Immigration Reform, we're redoubling our efforts to advance the AgJobs legislative package, either as a stand-along bill or as the ag component of comprehensive legislation.  But it’s got to be clear - agriculture faces unique labor needs and we must have a unique solution," Quarles said.

For more on this and United's other work on immigration reform, please visit www.unitedfresh.org.

Product Recall Training Workshop Scheduled for Salinas

Press ConferenceA product recall can happen for reasons far beyond your control, but how you handle it will have a tremendous impact on your business.  Let United Fresh provide you and your company with the training needed to minimize the impact of a recall in the newest installment of our sold-out seminars -- Training for a Recall, Communicating Under Fire, May 27-29 at the Embassy Suites Monterey Bay-Seaside in Salinas, Calif.

SyngentaGenerously sponsored by Syngenta, the upcoming course offers a hands-on, real-world primer on the ins and outs of product recalls for your entire staff. Specifically designed for the produce industry, this training program helps companies prepare for and defend against the havoc that a recall can wreak on your business. "Every company needs to know how to handle a crisis, because recalls impact your business whether your products are actually involved or not. This course was well worth the time and financial investment," said past attendee Tony Freytag, marketing director, at Cashmere, Wash.-based Crunch Pak.

Training for a Recall, Communicating Under Fire include a two-day workshop on how to prevent a product recall from becoming a crisis followed by an optional half day of media training. The first part of the course emphasizes the legal liability and implications of a recall, the role of testing in the decision making process, the importance of traceability, and how to apply a crisis plan to product recall situations. The second part includes training by communications and public affairs specialists on how to deliver messages under the pressure of a real-life interview. To ensure each attendee has an opportunity to experience on-camera mock media interviews, the class size for the media training is limited and requires a separate registration.

Administration Attempts Fix on Mexican Tariff Crisis

ObamaThe Obama Administration sought to find a compromise this week to reduce tensions in a trade war with Mexico having a direct and tangible effect on the fresh produce industry.  This effort comes in the same week that President Obama is due to meet with Mexican President Felipe Calderon.

Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood released a set of principles aimed at satisfying both the Mexican government and Congress in a dispute over trucking access to the U.S.  This access, agreed to by the U.S. under NAFTA in 1995, was never provided in full to Mexico.  Now, after Congress eliminated funding for a pilot program that provided limited truck access, the Mexican government has retaliated with tariffs on billions of dollars in American goods including many fresh produce items.

United Fresh is working with numerous business allies to press Congress and the Administration to adhere to U.S commitments on NAFTA and resolve this dispute immediately.

Tomato Metrics Standardization Continues to Make Progress

TomatoesDr. David Gombas, United Fresh senior vice president of food safety and technology, continued to lead an ongoing dialogue among more than 30 stakeholders from the fresh tomato supply chain last week as they work to draft standardized food safety audits for this commodity.

"We have a critical mass of the North American tomato supply chain at the table, working together on specific food safety requirements for all commercial fresh tomato growing and handling operations," he said.  "It's impressive how the entire supply chain is coming together to assure that the standard procedures and controls important for safe tomato handling are agreed upon throughout the chain, and then can be audited with transparency."

The group has now drafted modules for open field production and harvesting as well as greenhouse, packinghouse and repacking operations.  They will next meet in May to consider metrics for field packing, fresh-cut processing and retail/foodservice handling of tomatoes.

Please contact David at 202-303-3411 for more information.

USDA-FAS Enhances Website with Country Specific Ag, Trade Data

USDA FASEarlier this week, the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Foreign Agricultural Service (USDA-FAS) enhanced its website with the addition of country-specific agriculture and trade information.  The web pages were created to assist the U.S. agricultural industry in expanding their economic opportunities in the international marketplace.

"This information offers a useful summary for businesses in the global supply chain who want to better understand foreign markets," said Melissa Speed, director of international member services at United Fresh.

The country pages are grouped into four regions -- Western Hemisphere, Europe, Africa and the Middle East – and provide information on agricultural products, the economy, and the political situation in each region.  In addition, the pages offer comprehensive links on import requirements, travel and market information, the status of trade negotiations, trade development and key contacts.

Get Ready for the "Salute to Leadership" Raffle

FoundationTickets are now available for the 2009 "Salute to Leadership" Raffle, which means someone is going to be taking home $25,000 from Las Vegas! Tickets are just $100 and the grand prize drawing for $25,000 will take place at the Annual Awards Banquet, April 23 at the 2009 United Fresh 2009 convention in Las Vegas.

Proceeds from the "Salute to Leadership" Raffle support activities of the United Fresh Research & Education Foundation which offers research and education programs to enhance the produce industry's effectiveness, develop leadership skills at all levels of the industry, advance produce safety and quality, and increase children's consumption of fresh fruits and vegetables.

Buy your raffle ticket with our online form, or contact United Fresh Vice President of Business Development Claudia Wenzing at 202-303-3400 ext. 415 for tickets. 

Fresh-Cut HACCP Short Course Comes to Georgia

UGAThe University of Georgia will host a training course for Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Point (HACCP) May 19-21 in Athens, Ga.  The short course, co-sponsored by United Fresh, is tailored to the fresh-cut industry and is accredited by the International HACCP Alliance. The program aims to provide attendees with the skills and knowledge to design, implement, document and maintain HACCP within the fresh-cut business model. The program will provide a unique program of lectures and work group discussions from a broad-based faculty of food microbiologists, HACCP experts and authorities from academia, industry and government. Breakout work group sessions will provide interaction with HACCP authorities who have developed and implemented successful HACCP programs in fresh-cut processing plants.

Registration is $550 before April 27 and $600 before the May 8 registration deadline. United Fresh members receive discounted registration. Lodging and meals are not included. A registration brochure can be downloaded here. For more information, call 706-542-2574 or email efs@uga.edu.

Last Chance for Golf, Bowling in Las Vegas!

With less than one week to go, there's still time to sign up today to join customers and colleagues at the United Fresh Foundation Golf Tournament on Tuesday morning at the beautiful Siena Golf Club, or later that night at the Striking it Rich in Vegas bowling event to benefit United FreshPAC.  Both events were highlights at last year's show so be sure to contact either Angela Bezon or Patrick Delaney at 202-303-3400 to sign up now.

United Fresh Virtual MarketplaceVirtual Marketplace

United Fresh Virtual Marketplace gives you access to today’s leading suppliers and products like never before - visit today to see featured products.

United Fresh 2009 Feijoas | Melissa's | United Fresh Marketplace: Booth:2800
Uses: (pronounced fay-JO-a) The New Zealand Feijoa, sometimes known as the Pineapple Guava, is a lime-green, egg-shaped fru...
United Fresh 2009 Comitrol® Processor Model 1700 | Urschel Laboratories, Inc. | United Fresh Tech: Booth:1000
The Comitrol® Processor Model 1700, manufactured by Urschel Laboratories, Inc., offers overall cost-savings by delivering in...
United Fresh 2009 Mueller® 3 x 5 Falling Film Chiller | Paul Mueller Company | United Fresh Tech: Booth:713
Mueller's 3 x 5 falling film chiller reduces chilling time, increases production, and brings a faster return on your investment....
United Fresh 2009 Chinese Okra | Val Verde Vegetable Co., Inc. | United Fresh Marketplace: Booth:2406
No distinction is made between Asian and Indian varieties. Needs to be straight, firm and free of discoloration and bruising. Br...
United Fresh 2009 FAS SPrint ™ SidePouch™ Bagger | Automated Packaging Systems | United Fresh Tech: Booth:1332
FAS SPrint ™ SidePouch™ Bagger - High speed food packaging system with easy washdown The FAS SPrint brings new leve...
United Fresh 2009 Klondike Petite™ Idaho® Potatoes | Potandon Produce LLC | United Fresh Marketplace: Booth:1902
Our new 1.5 lb. mesh convenience bags with baby potatoes....
United Fresh 2009 Dolly 05 | Polymer Logistics  | United Fresh Marketplace: Booth:2403
At Polymer Logistics we focus not only on top-quality products and innovative solutions, but the environment as well.
United Fresh 2009 Food Security Freeze-Dried Reagents & Test Kits | Idaho Technology, Inc.  | United Fresh Tech: Booth:832
Idaho Technology's Food Security System test kits are specially formulated for fast detection of Food borne pathogens usin...

Find out more about these and other great products at virtualmarketplace.unitedfresh.org

New Member Welcome

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

  • Akers Freight Forwarding, Gig Harbor, Wash.
  • bioMérieux, Inc., Hazelwood, Mo.
  • FoodMinds, LLC, Oakbrook Terrace, Ill.
  • Gale Prince Consulting, Cincinnati, Ohio
  • Hurst’s Berry Farm, Inc., Sheridan, Ore.
  • Kings Processing, Middleton, N.S.
  • Windset Farms, Delta, B.C.
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.

United Fresh 2009
Upcoming United Fresh Events
Upcoming Events

News & Views


News and Views

With vegetables growing at the White House, will others follow?

Illinois farmers fear more regulation

Farmworkers part of four-day march in California demanding water

Unions agree on path for immigration reform

WIC covers more families under revised income rules


Study contends smokers boost cancer chances by eating fruit

Organic farmers feeling the squeeze in the UK

USDA adopts Chilean citrus fruit entry

New Zealand destroys 1 million kiwifruit trays

British workers compete for seasonal jobs as recession bites

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