September 18, 2009

In Today's Issue:

Four New York Times Bestsellers Highlight United's New Livecast Series
Joseph Grenny Jason Jennings
Marshall Goldsmith Vijay Govindarajan

The United Fresh Research & Education Foundation's Center for Business Management has pulled back the curtain on its new Executive Education Livecast Series in partnership with Leading Authorities.

This first in the series of livecasts delivers insights from four of America's top business thought leaders. Four New York Times bestselling authors - Jason Jennings, Vijay Govindarajan, Joseph Grenny, and Marshall Goldsmith - will share key insights into leadership strategies, spearheading change, igniting innovation, and achieving greater influence in attendees' personal and professional life.

The livecasts begin on October 13 and will feature streaming video, PowerPoint, and audience polling. Each 45-minute presentation will be followed by a 30-minute question and answer session.

These events are complimentary for United Fresh Members.  To read more about the four presenters or to register, click here.

USDA-AMS Touts Success of Sliced Apple Pilot Program

USDA AMSThe USDA's Agricultural Marketing Service today hailed the department's sliced apple pilot program as a success.

"From the feedback we've received, the fresh-cut pilot program is a tremendous achievement and extraordinarily popular with the schools," said Robert C. Keeney, deputy administrator for AMS's Fruit and Vegetable Programs.

Pavel Matustik, chief administrative officer of the Santa Clara Valley School Food Services Agency near Los Angeles, added, "It's one of the best things that USDA has done. It's wonderful because the kids love it, it’s well-spent money, it's healthy and it helps our program. There is no negative."

"This is certainly exciting news, as we've been hearing of the same success from California school officials," said Dr. Lorelei DiSogra, United Fresh vice president of nutrition and health. "We have collaborated closely with AMS and the fresh-cut apple industry for several years on this pilot program and our goal is to have fresh-cut apples and baby carrots available to all schools through the AMS program by the end of this school year, and to see AMS expand the program to include other fresh-cut fruits and vegetables that are popular with kids."

In March 2009, USDA introduced a pilot program to school districts in five states - California, Michigan, North Carolina, New York and Pennsylvania - that provided students with fresh-cut apple slices. Apples were processed and packaged into single-serve, 2-ounce bags, similar to those found in children's meals at major fast-food restaurants.

"Because of that success, we're planning to expand the program to more states this school year," Keeney said. "Additionally, we've been involved in discussions with the Food and Nutrition Service and industry experts to introduce baby carrots during the 2009-2010 school year."

United Members to Receive Discounted Rate on Cold Chain Webinar


On Wednesday, October 7, the Canadian Produce Marketing Association (CPMA) will host the Technologies for the Fresh Produce Cold Chain webinar. Through a partnership with United Fresh and CPMA, all United Fresh Members will receive the discounted member rate for this event. The 1-hour webinar will highlight the importance of preserving the cold chain for fresh produce and the different types of technologies currently used by the industry, and future innovations.

Participants in the webinar will learn how to decrease load rejections; how to minimize product loss through effective management of the cold chain; how to increase product quality and promote food safety; and more on the impact of current and future technologies. Speakers for the webinar include Sensitech's Elizabeth Darragh, Dispute Resolution Corporation's Fred Webber and Eric Biddiscombe of Loblaw Companies.

Leadership Class 15 Descends on East Coast

Leadership Class 15

The 12 fellows in this year's Produce Industry Leadership Program arrived in Washington, D.C. last week to engage in the Washington Public Policy Conference and better understand the political system that shapes our industry.  Members of Leadership Class 15 took part in all aspects of the conference - from networking in the Management Resource Center and marching on Capitol Hill, to engaging in educational sessions and attending the United FreshPAC baseball game.

After a full dose of political advocacy and grassroots involvement at the WPPC, and an intense media training session by United's own Ray Gilmer, vice president of communications, the class traveled to Wilmington, Del., the national headquarters for DuPont Crop Protection.  During their visit, the class had an opportunity to learn about newest initiatives and investments DuPont is making in the global specialty crop market, as well as a half-day of crisis communication training with DuPont's veteran crisis communications and issues management expert, Gil Meyer.

The visit to Wilmington was capped by dinner with members of the DuPont Crop Protection Executive Leadership Team, including Jim Collins, President; John Chrosniak, Director, North America Crop Protection; Scotty Crowder, Account Manager; Rik Miller, Global Marketing Director and Amy Smith, Qualicon. Finally, bright and early on Tuesday morning, the class headed out to tour the Philadelphia Regional Produce Market and see the site of the new market, scheduled to open in September 2010.  Special thanks to class member Tracie Levin, M. Levin & Co. and Leadership class 14 alumnus Todd Penza, Pinto Brothers, for hosting the group on the visit.

The Leadership Program is presented through the United Fresh Research & Education Foundation's Center for Leadership Development and is made possible through a generous grant from DuPont Crop Protection, sponsor of the program since its inception in 1995. For more information, contact Julie Jacocks, United Fresh education coordinator, at 202-303-3405.

Over a Dozen Commodities to Be Covered at September Inspection Course

USDANext week, United Fresh and USDA will host the final Produce Inspection Training Course for 2009.  Don't miss this last chance to sign up your employees for the September 21-25 program that will give them a comprehensive overview of USDA inspection procedures and standards through lab training, classroom lectures and discussion with USDA trainers.

The September course is divided into two segments: A two-day Introductory course on inspection fundamentals that prepares attendees for the three-day Advanced course in the lab that will cover inspection of the following commodities:

  • Bananas
  • Cauliflower
  • Cantaloupe/Honeydew
  • Cucumbers*  
  • Grapes
  • Lettuce
  • Potatoes
  • Tomatoes
  • Pineapple
  • Onions
  • Oranges/Grapefruit*
  • Strawberries

*Included in the Intro

This program takes place at the USDA Fresh Products Branch National Inspectors' Training and Development Center in Fredericksburg, Va.  Attendees may register for the September course here, or contact Julie Jacocks at (202) 303-3405 for more information.  The United Fresh member registration fee for the introductory course is $875 and the advanced course is $1195 (the introductory course is a pre-requisite of the advanced course). Register for both courses at the discounted rate of $1875. Registration fees include training seminars and all course materials.

United Fresh Encourages Members to Participate in USDA Hearings on National Leafy Greens Marketing Agreement

Leafy GreensNext week, the USDA launches a series of public hearings to consider a proposed national leafy greens marketing agreement (NLGMA). Such an agreement would help provide a strong science-based framework to improve the quality of U.S. and imported leafy green products.

The hearing schedule includes:

  • September 22 - 24 in Monterey, CA
    Hyatt Regency Monterey
    1 Old Golf Course Road
    Monterey, California
  • September 30 – October 1 in Jacksonville, FL
    Wyndham Jacksonville Riverwalk
    1515 Prudential Drive
    Jacksonville, Florida
  • October 6 in Columbus, OH
    Greater Columbus Convention Center
    Room D130
    400 North High Street
    Columbus, Ohio
  • October 8 in Denver, CO
    Denver Airport Marriott at Gateway Park
    16455 East 40th Circle
    Aurora, Colorado
  • October 14 in Yuma, AZ
    Yuma Civic Center
    Yuma Room
    1440 Desert Hills Drive
    Yuma, Arizona
  • October 20 in Syracuse, NY
    Renaissance Syracuse Hotel
    701 East Genesee Street
    Syracuse, New York
  • October 22 in Charlotte, NC
    Charlotte Marriott Executive Park
    5700 Westpark Drive
    Charlotte, North Carolina

The complete Federal Register notice about the hearings can be read here.

At the hearings, USDA officials will hear testimony and collect data from growers, handlers and other stakeholders regarding the NLGMA, including potential benefits, costs and administration. United Fresh is encouraging interested members to participate in these hearings.  If you are interested in testifying please contact Robert Guenther or Ray Gilmer at United to learn more about the information being requested by USDA.

The NLGMA proponent groups include: Georgia Fresh Vegetable Association, Georgia Farm Bureau, Produce Marketing Association, Texas Vegetable Association, Arizona Farm Bureau, Leafy Greens Council, California Farm Bureau, California Leafy Greens Marketing Agreement, Grower-Shipper Association of Central California, Western Growers and United Fresh. To learn more about the proponent groups and the proposed marketing agreement, please visit the National Leafy Green Marketing Agreement website at

New Member Welcome

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

  • Houston Airports, Houston, Texas
  • Paper Pak Industries, La Verne, 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 at 831-422-0940 or Miriam Miller at 202-303-3410.

Upcoming United Fresh Events
Upcoming Events

News & Views


News and Views

California law enforcement puts roadside vendors under scrutiny

Bringing fresh produce to food banks in Kansas City

Healthy food a priority at Colorado middle school

Fighting hunger in schools

FDA requires faster food safety alerts


Agribiz highway seen to enhance Filipino fruit industry

Ban on Vietnamese streetside markets hits home

Emirates food authority pleased with fewer violations

$75 million for food safety in Canada

Australian farmers lobby to retain piece-rate system

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