|September 15, 2011
|Registration Now Open for United Fresh 2012, May 1-3 in Dallas
With the launch of UnitedFresh2012.org, registration is now open for United Fresh 2012, May 1-3, at the Dallas Convention Center. United Fresh 2012 is co-located with the conventions of the American Meat Institute (AMI), the Food Marketing Institute (FMI) and the National Association of State Departments of Agriculture (NASDA).
“As part of an industry-leading partnership with more than 25,000 expected attendees, 1,200 exhibitors and a million square feet of show floor, United Fresh 2012 delivers an unparalleled opportunity for those in the fresh produce industry,” said United Fresh President Tom Stenzel. “This event blends the unique tastes and colors of our industry with the strengths of the retail and meat industries, as well as the American export marketplace, to create a one-of-a-kind food industry experience.”
The 2012 show is the first time that United Fresh has partnered with another organization since 2008, when it partnered with FMI in Las Vegas.
“From the USDA’s unveiling of MyPlate to our discussions on the Farm Bill, we have heard so much about synergy within the food industry and the need for our industries to work together collaboratively,” said Stenzel. “This show puts that synergy into practice in the form of sales, logistics, innovation and new business opportunities. Attendees to United Fresh 2012 will see how the produce industry can create value through many different parts of the food industry.”
With the return of top-flight education on the show floor and cutting-edge technology in the food safety and traceability and logistics pavilions, as well as private Business Suites where exhibitors and prospects can get down to business without ever leaving the expo, United’s 2012 show features the industry-leading education, networking and resources the industry has come to expect from United Fresh.
Early registration packages are available through March 30. The All-Access Pass to United Fresh 2012 includes access to all of the United Fresh education sessions and networking events, as well as entry to allfour trade show floors and the Joint General Session with AMI, FMI and NASDA on Thursday, May 3. The Hyatt Regency Dallas at Reunion serves as the headquarters hotel for United Fresh 2012, and reservations may be made through the online registration system at UnitedFresh2012.org.
“We’ve got a great location this year, right in the heart of Dallas. It’s a vibrant, cosmopolitan city and one that is second-to-none for networking,” added Stenzel. “Our attendees rely on the United show each year to produce excitement, growth and results, and this year is no exception.”
|Sen. Pat Roberts to Discuss 2012 Farm Bill at Washington Public Policy Conference
Sen. Pat Roberts (R-KS), ranking member of the Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition and Forestry, lends his seasoned perspective to a discussion of the 2012 Farm Bill at the upcoming Washington Public Policy Conference. Roberts will speak before the Luncheon General Session on Tuesday, October 4.
“This is a great chance for leaders in the produce industry to gain insight on the pending Farm Bill and U.S. agricultural policy from one of the highest congressional authorities,” said United Fresh President & CEO Tom Stenzel. “Sen. Roberts has been a leading advocate for agriculture throughout his 30 years in the House and Senate, including two years as chairman of the House Agriculture Committee. Now, as the lead Republican member of the Senate Agriculture Committee, he brings both passion and deep expertise to issues critical to our industry.”
“Farming is one of the most unpredictable occupations in the world,” said Sen. Roberts. “The health of our rural communities and our national economy depend on the viability of our agricultural sector. The Farm Bill must provide a safety net for farmers that is adequate, equitable and dependable.”
Sen. Pat Roberts shows agility in handling fruit and vegetable issues as part of overall agricultural policy.
Sen. Roberts adds to a robust schedule at this year’s Washington Public Policy Conference that includes a Wednesday morning address from House Agriculture Committee Chairman Frank Lucas (R-Okla.), discussions with federal regulators at the U.S. Department of Agriculture, Environmental Protection Agency and Food and Drug Administration, market segment-specific education sessions and the popular Fresh Festival on Capitol Hill. Additionally, this year’s schedule includes the most visits to congressional offices by conference attendees in the event’s history. More information on the Washington Public Policy Conference is available at www.unitedfresh.org/programs/wppc.
|House Judiciary Committee Begins Formal Consideration of Mandatory E-Verify Bill
Today, Chairman Lamar Smith (R-TX) and the rest of the House Judiciary Committee kick off their formal consideration of H.R. 2164, the Legal Workforce Act. This legislation would require employers to submit names and Social Security numbers of new employees through the federal E-Verify database. Currently, employers can use E-Verify voluntarily in the absence of a federal mandate. In the past two years, however, 17 states have passed state laws that mandate some variation of the E-Verify program for their businesses. United Fresh has advocated over the last year for a comprehensive approach to E-Verify legislation that will incorporate provisions for a workable, efficient worker program encompassing all of U.S. agriculture. Although both Chairman Smith and Rep. Dan Lungren (R-CA) have offered legislation that would create a new agriculture guest worker programs, neither are being considered at this time as part of the Legal Workforce Act discussed today.
“This is unacceptable,” said United Fresh Senior Vice President of Public Policy Robert Guenther. “Any E-Verify legislation that moves through Congress without these accommodations will only threaten the viability of fruit and vegetable growers across the country. This must stop now.
For production agriculture, and especially fruit and vegetable producers across the country, this should be a clarion call to action, said Guenther, that this legislation will significantly impact the ability to secure a workforce once a mandatory E-Verify system goes into place nationally.
“No one has to look any further than our friends and industry colleagues in Georgia this summer to understand the impact this new mandate will have on our business sectors,” said Guenther. “Crops rotting in the fields, domestic laborers quitting after only a few hours of work, growers scrambling to find anyone who would help them harvest their bountiful crops. When you look at the fact that for every farmer worker job, two to three upstream and downstream American jobs are put to at risk, you can see immediately this legislation is not a job creator but a job killer.”
GFVGA’s Charles Hall addresses congressional staffers on the current farm labor landscape in Georgia.
In Washington yesterday, a panel of growers from across the country, including United Fresh Board member Charles Hall of the Georgia Fruit and Vegetable Growers Association and Grimmway Farms’ Sean McNally, spoke to House and Senate staffers on Capitol Hill about the impact this type of legislation could have on fruits and vegetable producers. Additionally, in the past six months, a number of groups including United Fresh have brought in constituents to Washington to testify before Congress, outlining their concerns about an enforcement-only legislative strategy. Locally, town halls and webinars have been held across the country to engage the industry and spread the message about the impact this legislation, if passed, will have on our members.
“There is one more thing that the industry can do,” said Guenther.
In 19 days, United Fresh presents its annual Washington Public Policy Conference
. During the conference, more than 500 industry leaders converge on Capitol Hill to lead the charge on produce policy issues like E-Verify.
“This is our forum to tell Congress how this legislation will impact our businesses,” said Guenther. “This is the time to stand up to Congress—the men and women we elected to represent us—and tell them enough is enough. We need a workable program that will provide a legal and viable workforce for fruit and vegetable producers across the country. If you could not figure out a reason to be here in a couple weeks, this legislation should help motivate you and your industry colleagues to get involved, get to Washington, and have a FRESH Impact
on our elected leaders in Congress.”
Registration for the Washington Public Policy Conference is available at www.unitedfresh.org/programs/wppc.
|Young Policy Leaders Provide Strategies for Communicating with Congress at Fresh Impact Panel
Four of the leading young minds in federal agriculture policy will provide an inside look at how produce industry members can communicate more effectively with their elected officials at the upcoming Washington Public Policy Conference, October 3-5 in Washington, D.C.
On Monday afternoon, October 3, the Fresh Impact Panel at United’s Advocacy & Grassroots seminar features four leaders—all under the age of 35—at the forefront of agricultural policy in Washington. USDA’s Anne Cannon MacMillan, Matt Perin of the House Agriculture Committee’s Subcommittee on Nutrition and Horticulture, Russell & Barron’s Tyson Redpath, and Jacqlyn Schneider of the Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition and Forestry will join United Fresh members for a fresh and unconventional look at the process of connecting with members of Congress and conveying produce industry priorities.
“These four leaders represent the new guard and next generation of policy rainmakers in Washington and, even with their youth, they have a seasoned ability to artfully communicate complex agricultural policy issues up the chain to the highest levels of government,” said United Fresh Senior Vice President of Public Policy Robert Guenther. “Our members will benefit tremendously as Anne, Matt, Tyson and Jacqlyn sit down to share their fresh take on how best to approach and work with lawmakers with the goal of getting real results and building industry success.”
MacMillan serves as a senior advisor to Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack, assisting the secretary in developing and implementing policy priorities in the areas of nutrition, specialty crops, food safety, livestock markets and animal health. Prior to joining USDA, MacMillan was the senior policy advisor to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA), and legislative director for Rep. Dennis Cardoza (D-CA)
Before joining the House Agriculture Committee’s Subcommittee on Nutrition and Horticulture as staff director, Perin served on the personal office staff of Rep. Jean Schmidt (R-OH), and managed the successful reelection campaign of Rep. Steve Chabot (R-OH) in 2004.
Now senior vice president, Redpath joined Russell & Barron after twice serving on the legislative staff of Speaker of the House John Boehner (R-OH). Prior to joining Speaker Boehner’s office, Redpath directed state delegation outreach operations at the 2004 Republican National Convention, and specialized in issues concerning food safety, child nutrition and generic drug applications for the law firm of Olsson, Frank and Weeda.
Schneider serves as senior professional staff on the Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition and Forestry, where she manages specialty crops, organics, FDA food safety and nutrition issues for Chairwoman Debbie Stabenow (D-MI). Prior to joining the committee, Schneider was legislative director for Rep. Jim Costa (D-CA) handling legislative issues including healthcare, trade, education and immigration. Before serving in Rep. Costa’s office, she worked in government relations for a biotech trade association.
“With the fresh, youthful insight of these four policy pros, our members will come away from this year’s Advocacy & Grassroots Seminar with real, tangible strategies and tools for connecting with their elected officials,” added Guenther.
For more information on the Washington Public Policy Conference, please click here.
|Pennsylvania Produce Industry Gathers for Two United Fresh Town Hall Meetings
United’s Robert Guenther, far right, addresses attendees at a United Fresh Town Hall luncheon in Philadelphia this week.
This week, United Fresh held two town hall meetings in Pennsylvania to discuss key industry policy issues including E-Verify, food safety, GAP Harmonization and federal nutrition programs.
On Tuesday, September 13, Ron Carkoski, president & CEO of Four Seasons Produce and vice-chair of United’s Wholesaler-Distributor board, hosted 30 area industry representatives for a discussion at his company’s facility in Ephrata. On Wednesday, September 14, the Philadelphia Wholesale Produce Market welcomed 45 Philadelphia area attendees for a tour of the new market facility and a town hall meeting.
“Town hall meetings are an important part of our membership and policy efforts,” said Robert Guenther, United’s senior vice president of public policy. “These open and candid discussions provide us with important feedback that we can bring back to Washington and share with the legislators and regulators responsible for the policies that impact the produce industry. “
“A number of the town hall attendees we met with this week are planning to attend United’s Washington Public Policy Conference this October,” Guenther added. “The more members who come to DC and meet with government officials, the stronger our association’s voice will be on the issues that dramatically impact the produce industry. We encourage all of our members to come to Washington and join us to make a fresh impact for the produce industry.”
For more information on this week’s meetings, please contact Miriam Miller Wolk at 202-303-3400, ext. 410.
|USDA Rolls Out First MyPlate Message: Make Half Your Plate Fruits and Vegetables
In support of USDA’s new MyPlate food icon last week, Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack unveiled the first themed message, Make Half Your Plate Fruits and Vegetables. The messaging also supports First Lady Michelle Obama’s Let’s Move! initiative through a new partnership program with private-sector companies and organizations, including United Fresh.
“We know that consumers are inundated with multiple nutrition messages that it make it difficult to focus on changes that are necessary to improve their diet,” said Secretary Vilsack. “USDA is committed to helping Americans make healthier food choices and our MyPlate symbol is a great reminder to think before we eat. By working with our national partners we can coordinate and amplify efforts to promote healthy eating tips like ‘Make Half Your Plate Fruits and Vegetables’ that serve as easy to understand reminders that we can all incorporate into our daily lives.”
USDA’s Center for Nutrition Policy and Promotion (CNPP) has called upon United Fresh and the other 43 National Strategic Partners, as well as over 3,500 Community Partners, to amplify this message nationwide.
“Make half your plate fruits and vegetables’ is such a simple, straightforward way to help Americans eat better,” said United Fresh Vice President of Nutrition and Health Dr. Lorelei DiSogra. “When combined with the powerfully simple MyPlate graphic, it’s easy to understand just how much healthy, fresh fruit and vegetables need to be included in each meal.”
To extend this healthy eating message to the general public, each of the 44 National Strategic Partners has adopted a day between August 29 and September 30 to promote Make Half Your Plate Fruits and Vegetables. United Fresh adopted August 30, on which it hosted USDA Under Secretary Kevin Concannon for “Back to School with Fresh Fruits and Vegetables” at Sherwood Elementary School in Salinas, CA.
Messages in the months to come include Enjoy Your Food, But Eat Less; Drink Water Instead of Sugary Drinks; Make at Least Half Your Grains Whole Grains; and Avoid Oversized Portions. USDA and its partners will find innovative ways to deliver the easy-to-adopt how-tos for these messages to empower consumers to make healthier food choices.
For more information, visit www.ChooseMyPlate.gov
|United Fresh Foundation, Produce for Kids, Publix Partner to Support Salad Bars and Fight Childhood Obesity
The United Fresh Foundation is pleased to announce a collaboration with Produce for Kids® and Publix Super Markets to increase awareness about healthy eating and raise funds to donate salad bars to schools in five Southeast states – Florida, Georgia, South Carolina, Alabama, and Tennessee -- through Let’s Move Salad Bars to Schools. This fall, all 1,039 Publix stores, in partnership with Produce for Kids, will sponsor a sales promotion in their produce departments to benefit Lets Move Salad Bars to Schools.
“Childhood obesity is a problem nationwide, but the Southeast has higher rates than the national average. Additionally, children’s fruit and vegetable consumption is lower in the Southeast. We are proud to have Produce for Kids in partnership with Publix, join us to specifically help schools in the Southeast. The salad bars will increase student’s fruit and vegetable consumption and provide healthier options at lunch,” said Tom Stenzel, United Fresh Produce Association President. “Together with our Let’s Move Salad Bars to Schools partners, we’ve donated more than 800 salad bars nationwide, and this new collaboration is a great step toward providing salad bars and healthy school meals throughout the Southeast region.”
Over the past year, the United Fresh Foundation, a founding partner of Let’s Move Salad Bars to Schools, has worked to garner produce industry support for school salad bars. Produce for Kids has embraced this goal as the focus of its “Healthy Schools, Healthy Minds” campaign with Publix.
“School salad bars are an effective way to increase children’s access to and consumption of a wide variety of fresh fruits and vegetables every day,” said Produce for Kids Marketing Director Kim Avola. “This strategy helps children meet the new MyPlate recommendations to ‘make half your plate fruits and vegetables at every meal’.”
In all 1,039 Publix stores, point-of-sale materials will be on display in the produce department with a list of sponsoring products from September 29 through October 26. Shoppers can help raise funds to donate salad bars for schools by purchasing sponsored produce products, including: Pero Family Farms® Stoplight Peppers, Mini Sweet Peppers, Mini Seedless Cucumbers & Organic Green Beans; Sunset® Tomatoes on the Vine; Crunch Pak® Sliced Apples; Del Monte Gold® Extra Sweet Pineapple; Select One® Tomatoes on the Vine; Del Monte® Fruit Naturals® Cups; Wonderful® Pistachios; RealSweet® Sweet Onions; Buddy Fruits® The Healthy Fruit Snack; and Marie’s® Dressings.
“Foods that are colorful and fresh are tempting to the eyes and the taste buds,” said Maria Brous, Publix director of media and community relations. “When families shop at Publix, we want the produce department to be appealing to children and a destination. Our goal is to help develop a love for these foods at school that can then be shared with families at home.”
Earlier this month, United Fresh launched a media campaign throughout the region to raise awareness of the Let’s Move Salad Bars to Schools
initiative and to increase the number of school applications submitted from Alabama, Florida, Georgia, South Carolina and Tennessee through the www.saladbars2schools.org
website. At the conclusion of the Publix sales promotion, Produce for Kids will make a donation to United Fresh Foundation to support Let’s Move Salad Bars to Schools.
Produce for Kids, Publix and United Fresh will jointly select the schools in the five states to receive salad bars, which will be delivered by February 2012.
|Produce Inspection Program Wraps Up With a Full House
United’s popular Produce Inspection Training Program, offered in partnership with the USDA-AMS, closed out another successful year of training, wrapping up the final course of the year with a sold-out program this week. Held at the USDA Fresh Products Branch National Inspectors' Training Center in Fredericksburg, VA, this hands-on training helps members of the produce industry supply chain understands the fundamentals of the produce inspection process.
Attendees at this week’s course included representatives from Albert's Organics; Andrew & Williamson Fresh Produce; Backyard Farms; Church Brothers; The Class Produce Group; Dole Fresh Vegetables; Door to Door Organics; Earthbound Farm; FoodSource; Fry's Food Markets; Greenery Produce USA; The Kroger Company; Kroger-Wesco; Malena Produce; Muir Copper Canyon Farms; OK Grocery Company; Progressive Produce; Ralphs; Save-A-Lot; SUPERVALU and Topco Associates.
The attendees took part in two specialized courses during the week: “Fundamentals of Produce Inspection” and the “Commodity Labs” course. The two-day Fundamentals course, set in the classroom, focuses on inspection essentials, PACA, terminology, sampling procedures, and general market principles. The three-day Commodity Labs program then applies the principles learned to hands-on inspection work in the labs. This week’s course covered a range of commodities including apples, strawberries/berries, oranges, grapefruit, tomatoes, tree fruit, peppers, lettuce, grapes, onions, squash, potatoes and melons.
United Fresh and USDA-AMS are making plans for three more courses in 2012 in January, May and September. To receive information about the upcoming courses, please contact Shannon Young
, education manager, at 202-303-3400 ext. 405.
|Upcoming FDA Traceability Pilots Echo Industry’s Longstanding Commitment to Traceability
United Fresh voiced its support last week for two new pilot programs designed to enhance the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s ability to trace products responsible for foodborne illness outbreaks.
FDA announced September 8 that the pilots, required under the Food Safety Modernization Act, will be carried out by the nonprofit Institute for Food Technologists and will explore and demonstrate methods for rapid and effective tracking and tracing of food, including types of data that are useful for tracing, ways to connect the various points in the supply chain and how quickly data can be made available to FDA.
“Our industry has been devoted, since the genesis of the Produce Traceability Initiative in 2008, to achieving reliable whole-chain traceability for fresh fruits and vegetables,” said United Fresh Vice President of Supply Chain Management Dan Vaché. “FDA’s announcement of these pilot programs is an encouraging validation of the hard work we’ve invested to date on this effort, and we enthusiastically support both FDA and IFT in this effort.”
Vaché, who along with United Fresh Senior Vice President of Food Safety and Technology Dr. David Gombas has been involved in presenting traceability topics to IFT, emphasized that the public sector has long sought the involvement of industry in the regulatory process.
“We have heard repeatedly from leaders at FDA, including Deputy Commissioner for Foods Mike Taylor, that the produce industry knows best how to move the needle on traceability, and we are committed to making that insight available to IFT,” said Vaché. “We look forward to providing the resources and assistance of the entire industry as the pilots move forward, and given the groundbreaking progress the industry has made thus far through the Produce Traceability Initiative, we hope that we can share what we’ve accomplished and learned, cut down on any potential duplication of efforts, and help the pilots be as successful as possible.”
More information on the pilots can be found by clicking here
|Fourth and Final Webinar on Policy Issues September 20
The United Fresh Summer Policy Webinar Series comes to a close next Tuesday, September 20, with both an overview and an in-depth discussion of the issues affecting the produce industry today in preparation for the upcoming Washington Public Policy Conference.
The webinar, presented by 3M Food Safety, will cover a range of issues including immigration, farm labor and E-Verify, food safety and the implementation of the Food Safety Modernization Act, and multiple other issues to be addressed at the Washington Public Policy Conference in October.
“These webinars have been a fantastic success, exploring the factors surrounding issues that affect the produce industry every day like labor, food safety and child nutrition,” said United Fresh Senior Vice President of Public Policy Robert Guenther. “This fourth and final webinar takes a bird’s-eye view of key issues and prepares participants for what they’ll encounter when they come to Washington and sit down with lawmakers next month.”
The webinar will begin at 2:00 p.m. Eastern, and those interested may register by clicking here
|United Fresh, Frug I Com Lead IFPS Outreach at Asia Fruit Logistica
United Fresh CEO Tom Stenzel and Board Chairman Tom den Hertog of the Dutch association Frug I Com met with Asian produce industry leaders to promote the benefit of global produce standards during Asia Fruit Logistica in Hong Kong last week. Stenzel serves as chairman of the International Federation for Produce Standards (IFPS), and Frug I Com representative Harrij Schmeitz is vice chairman.
“Asia Fruit Logistica has grown to over 5,000 attendees from 63 countries, making this an important venue for our efforts,” Stenzel said. “The Asia Fruit Congress also provided a great platform to discuss challenges facing our industry with business colleagues from around the world.”
During the event, den Hertog and Stenzel presented an overview of IFPS activities and discussed the importance of global standards in a small forum for invited guests, including representatives from Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, and the U.S. In addition, they met with fruit and vegetable organization leaders from Hong Kong, Singapore and Thailand to promote future cooperative efforts.
For more on the conference, please click here
. The next meeting of the IFPS Board will be at the PMA Fresh Summit in Atlanta in October.
|Meet Your United Fresh Board of Directors: For Giumarra’s Walter Ram, It’s About Work Ethic
Vice President, Food Safety
The Giumarra Companies
Los Angeles, California
You work for Los Angeles-based Giumarra, but you live in Tubac, Arizona, near Nogales. How did you end up in Arizona, and are you from there originally?
I was born in Tucson, so that makes me a native. Tubac is a small town of less than 1200 people, but interestingly, I’m the second United board member from Tubac. Chuck Ciruli of Ciruli Brothers lives right down the street. The Spanish expeditions of Juan Bautista de Anza that forged routes to present day San Diego, Los Angeles and San Francisco, founded Tubac as their first settlement in the present day United States, so there is a lot of history here. Today, Tubac is known primarily as an artist community, with about 60 shops and galleries in the village. The quality of life is great, and I’m lucky to be able to live here because Giumarra has a facility right down the road in Rio Rico. The company is headquartered in L.A., but we have 15 operating divisions so I travel quite a lot.
That seems like a large operation with a lot of travel. What’s it like to work in a setting like that, and then come back to a community of 1200 people?
It’s comfortable, like an old friend. It’s also home. I enjoy traveling but it can get to be a bit much at times and this is a wonderful place to come home to. The tranquility and charm can really offset a lot of the hustle and bustle from work.
As you were going through school, was there one factor that guided you toward food safety?
It was a matter of opportunity, really. My father and grandfather were in the produce industry and my brother was in the transportation industry, so I knew a lot of people. When the need arose, I was in the right place at the right time, with the right skills and I was also familiar with how the industry works. This has led to opportunities to work with congressional staff on food safety bills, with industry on food safety and commodity specific guidelines, and directly with our customers. I also get to work with farmers, getting mud on my boots and talking to them in plain English. Well, sometimes it’s Spanish. I get to work on farms, in our offices, with the industry, and even in Washington. I love the diversity.
Can you tell us about being a large company with the reach that you have, yet being rooted in that hard-work frame of mind that comes with farming?
When it comes down to it, it’s about work ethic. There’s no such thing as a real farmer who doesn’t work hard. At Giumarra, we don’t have traditional middle management. Everybody is in the trenches. Sal Giumarra is in his 80’s and he is still one of the first people in the vineyards every morning and he stays until the work is done. He’s a World War II veteran, he’s smart, and his work ethic sets the bar pretty high for the rest of us. I remember that a few years ago, we were having harvest crew audits done at Giumarra Vineyards. I was in my car waiting for one of the supervisors to show us where we were picking that day when Sal drove up in his pickup to lead us to the crews. When we started to follow him, the auditor, a native of Latin America, shook his head in near disbelief and said that only in America would you find someone as successful as Sal working so hard, driving a pickup, and with no bodyguard.
We have 15 operating divisions and product from a dozen countries, so it would be very easy for us to get scattered but we have great communication which keeps us pretty tight knit. The work ethic of the company’s management team is strong, so it sets the pace for our people. We also put together sales team meetings where the sales people from all of our divisions get together and keep us all moving in the same direction. It would be easy for a company like ours to fragment and operate as separate entities but good management, good communication and events like this bind us together and keep us operating as one company instead of little fiefdoms. It’s not all work though. A real strength is our company culture and it’s one where our people really get along. Yes, we work hard but it’s a lot more fun when you like the people that you work with.
You describe moving past the “fiefdoms,” so to speak. As one of United’s most vocal and involved members, how does that approach shape your involvement with the association?
It has a tremendous effect. Just like at Giumarra, the better we communicate as an industry, the easier it is to come together on critical issues. Through United we’ve come together on many issues from COOL, to food safety, to the immigration issue. We need to communicate well if we are going to be an effective representative of the industry. Not to do so would result in the industry acting as individual fiefdoms instead of the big business that it really is.
If you had free time, how would you spend it?
I love playing golf and tennis and would certainly do more of both. I would also like to get back into bicycling which is something that I have missed for a long time. I also used to compete seriously in target pistols and it would be nice to coach young shooters and pass along the things that I learned from my coaches.
Each week, United Fresh welcomes its newest partners in building a stronger produce industry:
- Philadelphia Wholesale Produce Market, Philadelphia, PA
- Salinas Valley Truck Stop, Salinas, CA
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