May 12, 2011

In Today's Issue:

United Fresh 2011 Exhibitors Donate 25,000 Pounds of Produce to New Orleans Food Bank

The hungry and less fortunate in New Orleans benefitted from nearly 25,000 pounds of fresh fruits and vegetables this month as companies exhibiting at United Fresh 2011 donated their product to the Second Harvest Food Bank of Greater New Orleans and Acadiana. The convention, which took place at the Morial Convention Center and Hilton New Orleans Riverside May 2-5, brought together 250 exhibiting companies and more than 4000 attendees from all points in the fresh produce supply chain.

"While New Orleans is unquestionably one of the world's great food cities, there are still too many that don't have enough healthy options to eat. We are excited to provide some of these options to the area organizations that serve New Orleans and we are so happy to give back to a city that has been such a gracious and welcoming host for our industry," said John Toner, vice president of convention and industry relations for United Fresh.

"Feeding America extends a big thank you to the United Fresh Produce Association and its 2011 exhibitor donors for their nearly 25,000 pounds of donations to the Second Harvest Food Bank of Greater New Orleans and Acadiana," said James Borys, director of fresh produce for Chicago-based Feeding America, the organization under which the Second Harvest Food Bank of Greater New Orleans and Acadiana operates. "Donated product will be distributed through multiple agency partners such as food pantries, soup kitchens, and other emergency feeding centers that serve America's millions who live at risk of hunger. We would also like to thank Champion Exposition Services for their generous support and assistance."

For more information on the Second Harvest Food Bank of Greater New Orleans and Acadiana, please visit www.No-Hunger.org, and for more on Feeding America's efforts nationwide, visit www.FeedingAmerica.org.

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Chiquita's Kocher to Keynote Fresh Convenience Next Month in London

Those members of the industry looking to capitalize on the growing fresh-cut and convenience market in Western Europe and examine new innovations to maximize profitability are encouraged to register today for the second annual Fresh Convenience Congress, June 14-16 in London. Organized by United Fresh and Fresh Convenience Magazine, and supported by FRESHCONEX, the Fresh Convenience Congress is quickly becoming one of the top destinations for the fresh-cut and convenience sector in Europe.

In addition to networking with fresh-cut and fresh convenience leaders, this year's program offers an exciting line-up, including a keynote address from United Board Member Brian Kocher, president, Europe and the Middle East, Chiquita Brands International. In addition to Kocher's address, session topics include:

  • A review of major fresh-cut and fresh convenience trends in the foodservice and retail sector
  • Brand value and marketing strategies
  • New product development
  • Technological innovations in packaging and machinery
  • The impact of sustainability on fresh-cut processing and packaging

To review the full education program schedule, please click here. United Fresh members receive an additional 10 percent discount on delegate fees. Attendees are urged to register and book housing soon, as the deadline for hotel accommodations is this Friday, May 13, and the early registration deadline is Monday, May 16.

For more information about Fresh Convenience Congress, please contact Jeff Oberman at 831-422-0940 or joberman@unitedfresh.org .

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Eat'N Park Exec Takes Home Giant Check as Winner of the Salute to Leadership Raffle

Congratulations to J. Brooks Broadhurst, senior vice president of food and beverage for Homestead, PA-based Eat'N Park Hospitality Group, who took home the $25,000 grand prize in United's Salute to Leadership Raffle last week in New Orleans. Broadhurst was among hundreds of industry members who purchased raffle tickets to support the myriad programs produced by the United Fresh Foundation's Center for Leadership Excellence. In addition to his support shown by purchasing a $100 raffle ticket, Broadhurst was generous enough to donate 10 percent of his winnings, $2500, back to the United Fresh Foundation.

For more information on the United Fresh Foundation, its programs, and how you can get involved, please visit www.unitedfresh.org.

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USDA Launches Grassroots Website to Combat Hunger

Recently, the U.S. Department of Agriculture launched www.endhunger.usda.gov, an online forum where stakeholders in the fight against child hunger can join the agency in making a commitment to end childhood hunger in the United States.

"Despite the success of the nation's nutrition assistance programs and the hard work of state and local governments and countless organizations, food insecurity persists.  In 2009, nearly one million children lived in households with very-low food security and simply did not get enough to eat.  We can do better. By making a commitment today, you will be joining a network of people all over the country who have become champions to end hunger," said Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack.

The website includes several tools to help stakeholders engage in their communities, including:

  • Stakeholder Guide to Ending Childhood Hunger, a guide to assist individuals and organizations in choosing value-added activities and finding resources to help end childhood hunger
  • Become a Champion to End Hunger, an online commitment drive that encourages organizations and the public to select actions they will take to reduce childhood hunger
  • End Hunger Volunteerism Portal (www.serve.gov/endhunger), a website developed by the Corporation for National and Community Service where organizations can post volunteer opportunities and individuals can search for volunteer opportunities in their communities.

For more information on the campaign, please visit www.endhunger.usda.gov.

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The Fun Doesn't Have to Stop! Check Out UnitedFresh.TV and the United Fresh 2011 Photo Gallery for Your Favorite Memories from New Orleans

Can you still smell the etoufee? Are the horns of the brass band still ringing in your ears? Relive all your favorite United Fresh 2011 moments (and some you may have missed) at UnitedFresh.TV and the United Fresh 2011 Photo Gallery.

From the Opening Party to the closing of the Annual Awards Banquet, UnitedFresh.TV and the United Fresh 2011 Photo Gallery have highlighted the best moments from New Orleans and brought them right to your desktop.

Check out UnitedFresh.TV for inside looks at the show floor, the RiverJazz Opening Party, United's donation of salad bars to 33 New Orleans schools, show floor education including Cathy Green Burns' address on the Produce Traceability Initiative, and lessons from United's Retail Produce Manager Award and Produce Excellence in Foodservice Award winners. Also, take a peek behind the curtain at some United Fresh 2011 exhibitors, including Accu-Label, Bosch, Colorful Harvest, Crunch Pak, Diagraph, DNE, FoodLink, iGPS, Jem D, NSF, PRO*ACT and Sunkist.

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Thank You United Fresh 2011 Sponsors and Exhibitors!

United Fresh would like to extend a special thank you to the sponsors and the exhibitors for United Fresh 2011 last week in New Orleans. For a list of exhibitors, please click here, and be sure to check out www.UnitedFresh.tv, as well as the United Fresh 2011 photo gallery for your favorite moments from New Orleans!

     

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United's Eisenberg to Present at UGA Fresh-Cut HACCP Course

On Tuesday, United's Dr. Barry Eisenberg, vice president of food safety services, will join colleagues from the University of Georgia's College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences' Department of Food Science and Technology in presenting "Hands on HACCP for the Fresh-Cut Industry."

Designed specifically for the fresh-cut industry and accredited by the International HACCP Alliance, the program will run through Thursday, May 19 and provide attendees with the skills and knowledge to design, implement, document and maintain HACCP within a fresh-cut business. The three-day course provides a unique program of lectures and work group discussions from a broad-based faculty of food microbiologists and HACCP experts, as well as authorities from academia, industry and government. The program also includes work group sessions that provide interaction with HACCP authorities who have developed and implemented successful HACCP programs in fresh-cut processing plants.

For more information on the HACCP education offered by United Fresh and the University of Georgia, please call 706-542-2574 or email efs@uga.edu.

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Do You Know an Outstanding Grower?

Nominations are now being accepted for the 2011 Grower Achievement Award.

Given by the editors of American Vegetable Grower and sponsored by United Fresh and Syngenta, the annual award will be presented at United's Washington Public Policy Conference, October 3-5 at the Hyatt Regency Washington on Capitol Hill.

The Grower Achievement Award honors leading fruit and vegetable growers based on marketing, innovation, food quality and safety, and industry leadership, recognizing the honorees in a way that creates good news for the entire industry.

For more information on the award and to nominate an outstanding grower, click here, and for more on this fall's Washington Public Policy Conference, click here.

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Have You Taken the United Fresh Compensation Survey?

There's still time to weigh in with your company's information on the United Fresh Produce Industry Compensation Survey, available at www.unitedfreshsurvey.com.  U.S.-based produce industry employers including grower-shippers, brokers, wholesaler-distributors, importers, exporters and fresh-cut processors are encouraged to participate until the May 31 deadline.  Companies that participate in submitting data for the survey are eligible to receive a fully-customized report for their company at a discounted rate of $195.  

Prepared by expert research firm Industry Insights, the survey confidentially collects data from U.S.-based produce companies.  It measures compensation and benefits levels for 30 positions including Sales & Marketing, Production & Operations, Quality Control & Assurance, Administration, Finance & Accounting and Executives. 

"We've had a wide range of companies already participate in the survey and have made the decision to keep the survey open until May 15, allowing further industry participation - thus developing an even more robust final instrument," said Victoria Backer, senior vice president, member services.  

For additional information about the survey, contact Backer at 202-303-3400, ext. 408.

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New Member Welcome

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

Welcome
  • Clarkston Consulting, Durham, NC
  • Door to Door Organics, Lafayette, CO
  • Foley Consultancy LLC, Alpharetta, GA
  • Houweling's, Camarillo, CA
  • PacTec, Inc., Clinton, LA

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.

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Upcoming United Fresh Events
Upcoming Events

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Upcoming United Fresh Events

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