November 3, 2011
In Today's Issue:
Sun World International Partners with Bakersfield-Area Schools, Champions Salad Bars in Schools
Students at Bakersfield’s Tevis Junior High enjoy their new salad bar courtesy of Sun World and Let’s Move Salad Bars to Schools.

Students at Bakersfield’s Tevis Junior High enjoy their new salad bar courtesy of Sun World and Let’s Move Salad Bars to Schools.

Students at Tevis Junior High School in Bakersfield, CA, will now be able to select a wide variety of healthy fresh fruits and vegetables each day at lunch thanks to the donation of two salad bars by local grower and United Fresh member Sun World International. Sun World made the donation of the salad bars to support the Let’s Move Salad Bars to Schools initiative, of which the United Fresh Foundation is a founding partner.

In a special inaugural salad bar luncheon and ribbon cutting ceremony commemorating the donation at the school on Tuesday, Sun World International CEO and President and former United Fresh Board Member Al Vangelos and members of the Sun World team joined staff from the office of House Majority Whip Kevin McCarthy, staff from State Senator Michael Rubio’s office and Councilmember Harold Hanson, as well as United Fresh President and CEO Tom Stenzel, Tevis Principal Robert Machado, local school officials, parents and students from the school’s eighth grade class.

With these donations in place, Sun World announced its plans to formalize a program to donate one salad bar each year to schools in the Kern County area.

“We believe it takes local action to spur national movements like the national Let’s Move Salad Bars to Schools initiative,” said Vangelos. “That’s why we’re doing what we can to bring more fresh fruits and vegetables to our local kids and help them develop good eating habits that lead to long, healthy lives.”

Sun World’s Al Vangelos, center, joins United’s Tom Stenzel, fifth from left, and local officials for the ribbon cutting of a new salad bar at Bakersfield’s Tevis Junior High.

Sun World’s Al Vangelos, center, joins United’s Tom Stenzel, fifth from left, and local officials for the ribbon cutting of a new salad bar at Bakersfield’s Tevis Junior High.

Stenzel commended Sun World for its leadership, emphasizing the importance of public-private partnerships. “United Fresh is very pleased Sun World has adopted their local schools, and is an advocate for including more fresh produce in their school’s lunch menu,” he said.

Sun World’s donation to Tevis Junior High follows the company’s 2010 donation of two salad bars to Stonecreek Junior High School in the Panama Buena Vista Union School District, a donation made jointly with Pandol Brothers, Inc. Those salad bars, according to district Foodservice Director Marilou Oneida, drove an increase of 25 percent more students at participating in the National School Lunch Program at the school, and almost half of all lunches served were through the salad bar. As a result, the Panama Buena Vista Union School district is now requesting salad bars for more of its schools.

“The results from last year’s pilot prove that with the right tools we can ensure our students get the healthy balanced meal they need to be healthy, happy kids and successful students,” said Oneida.

Let’s Move Salad Bars to Schools is a comprehensive public health initiative to provide salad bars to schools across the country to increase children’s consumption of fresh fruits and vegetables. And Let’s Move Salad Bars to Schools supports First Lady Michelle Obama’s Let’s Move! initiative to end childhood obesity in a generation.

For more information on supporting Let’s Move Salad Bars to Schools, visit www.SaladBars2Schools.org or contact United’s Andrew Marshall at 202-303-3400, ext. 407.

Dole Donates Salad Bars to Oxnard Schools, Celebrating with Kids and Local Officials
Dole’s Marty Ordman, center, and Bobby Banana, right, address students at Oxnard’s Fred Williams Elementary during the dedication of the school’s new salad bar.

Dole’s Marty Ordman, center, and Bobby Banana, right, address students at Oxnard’s Fred Williams Elementary during the dedication of the school’s new salad bar.

All 11 schools in the Port Hueneme Elementary School District will have salad bars within the next few months thanks to Dole Food Company, announced Dole Vice President of Marketing and Communications Marty Ordman at a Tuesday media event at Fred Williams Elementary School celebrating the company’s commitment to the school district. At the beginning of this school year, Dole two salad bars to Fred Williams Elementary in Oxnard, and Richard Bard Elementary School in Port Hueneme. Both salad bars have been extremely well received by students and school officials.

“It’s only right that the students who live here have access to fresh salad on a daily basis. Overall increasing our consumption of fruits and vegetables will go a long way toward reversing the obesity epidemic,” said Port Hueneme Mayor Sylvia Schnopp.

“Salad bar donations are a natural extension of Dole’s ongoing commitment to childhood nutrition,” added Ordman. “By targeting school settings, we can help young people make healthier choices and get more fruits and vegetables on their plates.”

Dole’s donation was made as part of the company’s support for the United Fresh Foundation and Let’s Move Salad Bars to Schools. Over the last two years, Dole has donated salad bars to over 20 schools nationwide.

In addition to Schnopp and Ordman, Oxnard Mayor Pro Tem Dr. Irene Pinkard and Ventura County Agriculture Commissioner Henry Gonzales attended the event, as well as staff from the office of Rep. Lois Capps (D-CA), and local school and public health officials. Vice President of Membership Jeff Oberman represented United Fresh.

Both Richard Bard and Fred Williams Elementary Schools have nutrition and wellness programs in place that encourage students to eat more fruits and vegetables, and both schools are engaged with the Network for a Healthy California, Gold Coast Region’s Children's Power Play! campaign.

For more information on supporting Let’s Move Salad Bars to Schools, visit www.SaladBars2Schools.org or contact United’s Andrew Marshall at 202-303-3400, ext. 407.

Atlanta Falcons Youth Foundation Donates $42,500 to Support Let’s Move Salad Bars to Schools

The Atlanta Falcons Youth Foundation (AFYF) announced a donation yesterday of $42,500 to the Let’s Move Salad Bars to Schools campaign, which will provide salad bars to 15 Georgia schools in Hall County and Atlanta, and will support training for school foodservice staff on salad bar operations and how to increase fresh fruits and vegetables in school meals.

“The innovative work of our partners will connect more Georgia children and families to the fruits and vegetables grown by Georgia farmers,” said Penelope McPhee, president of The Arthur M. Blank Family Foundation, the philanthropic arm of the NFL’s Atlanta Falcons. “We get a win-win, with more support for local agriculture and better health for children and families.”

AFYF funded xix grants totaling $243,840, including one to Let’s Move Salad Bars to Schools, as part of the foundation’s ongoing work to reduce childhood obesity and improve youth fitness in Georgia. A new AFYF-funded study reveals 2 million Georgia residents, including 500,000 children, live in low-income neighborhoods with high rates of diet-related illnesses and insufficient access to grocery stores with fresh food.

“We are thrilled that this donation will help us expand salad bars to Georgia schools and want to formally acknowledge the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, a Let’s Move Salad Bars to Schools partner, for connecting the AFYF with Let’s Move Salad Bars to Schools,” said United Fresh Vice President of Nutrition and Health Dr. Lorelei DiSogra.

For more information on supporting Let’s Move Salad Bars to Schools, visit www.SaladBars2Schools.org or contact United’s Andrew Marshall at 202-303-3400, ext. 407.

Freshfel Europe’s Philippe Binard Meets with Leaders on Capitol Hill and at USDA

United Fresh welcomed Philippe Binard, general delegate for Freshfel Europe, to Washington this week for two days of meetings to discuss fruit and vegetable agricultural policy issues, including the 2012 Farm Bill and the EU’s Common Agriculture Policy 2013 (CAP). United Fresh hosted Binard for meetings with USDA Deputy Secretary Kathleen Merrigan, Senate Agriculture Committee Chief of Staff Chris Adamo, and Derek Miller, legislative director for Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pension Committee Chair Tom Harkin (D-IA). Issues impacting the fruit and vegetable industry on both sides of the Atlantic were common themes in the meetings and included food safety, child nutrition and budgetary concerns.

Binard highlighted that early discussion drafts of the EU’s CAP 2013 include expanded funding of EUR150 million per year for the EU’s School Fruit Scheme, which is similar to the U.S.’s Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Program (FFVP). He also noted that the recent independent evaluation of FFVP that shows the program increases fruit and vegetable consumption by 15 percent will be very helpful to policy decision makers at the European Commission and European Parliament.

United Fresh Vice President for Nutrition and Health Dr. Lorelei DiSogra has collaborated for several years with Freshfel Europe and European Public Health Organizations to build political support and funding for the EU’s School Fruit Scheme, and United Fresh will collaborate with Freshfel as details for the 2012 Farm Bill move forward.

Department of Labor Extends Comment Period on Child Labor Rule

United Fresh is preparing comments this month on the U.S. Department of Labor’s proposed rule to amend the regulations on child labor under the Fair Labor Standards Act. In early September, DOL issued a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking that would prohibit farm workers under 16 years of age from working in cultivation and harvesting certain commodities, and restricts young workers’ ability to operate power equipment. Included in the proposed rule are exceptions for youth working on their parents’ farm.

United Fresh urges DOL to ensure that abusive situations are addressed, while at the same time understanding that those under 16 working on family farms is often a key part of a farm operation can be done safely.

The deadline for comments is Dec 1. Those interested in submitting comments should go to the Federal eRulemaking Portal at www.regulations.gov.

American Public Health Association Conference Highlights Impact of Let’s Move Salad Bars to Schools
CDC's Dr. Diane Harris at this week’s meeting of the American Public Health Association

CDC's Dr. Diane Harris at this week’s meeting of the American Public Health Association

Dr. Diane Harris of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention joined United Fresh Vice President of Nutrition and Health Dr. Lorelei DiSogra this week for the American Public Health Association’s annual conference, where Harris and DiSogra had the opportunity to put a national spotlight on the impact of Let’s Move Salad Bars to Schools for public health leaders from around the country.

At two different sessions during the conference, Harris and DiSogra educated attendees on the public/private partnership that supports Let’s Move Salad Bars to Schools, and how school salad bars effectively increase student fruit and vegetable consumption.

CDC highlighted the approximately 1,000 salad bars that have been donated to schools nationwide through contributions to Let’s Move Salad Bars to Schools, and shared new research from high schools that suggests that high school students who use a school salad bar are significantly more likely to eat more than five servings of fruits and vegetables a day. The research illustrates that public health initiatives such as Let's Move Salad Bars to Schools can result in important health outcomes and improve child nutrition.

For more information on supporting Let’s Move Salad Bars to Schools, visit www.SaladBars2Schools.org or contact United’s Andrew Marshall at 202-303-3400, ext. 407.

Danish Embassy Hosts Reception to Raise Money for Salad Bars in D.C. Schools
United's Dr. Lorelei DiSogra, left, highlights Let's Move Salad Bars to Schools. Looking on is Danish Ambassador Peter Taksøe-Jensen, center, DCPS' Jeff Mills, right center, and Danish celebrity chef and food writer Trina Hahnemann, far right.

United's Dr. Lorelei DiSogra, left, highlights Let's Move Salad Bars to Schools. Looking on is Danish Ambassador Peter Taksøe-Jensen, center, DCPS' Jeff Mills, right center, and Danish celebrity chef and food writer Trina Hahnemann, far right.

Danish Ambassador Peter Taksøe-Jensen hosted a reception last week to raise money for salad bars for D.C. Public Schools. The reception drew more than 300 people to the beautiful Danish Embassy in Washington to support salad bars.

Ambassador Taksøe-Jensen spoke about the global childhood obesity epidemic and the Nordic Embassies’ commitment to supporting Let’s Move Salad Bars to Schools for D.C.’s public schools. United Fresh Vice President of Nutrition and Health Dr. Lorelei DiSogra and D.C. Public Schools Foodservice Director Jeff Mills joined the ambassador in welcoming guests and highlighted the popularity of salad bars and the wide variety of fresh fruits and vegetables D.C. students now enjoy every day.

“Having the five Nordic Embassies come together to support school salad bars was truly a unique experience and we were honored to collaborate with the Danish Embassy,” said DiSogra.

The reception was part of Nordic Food Day, a celebration of international food and culture supported by the embassies of Denmark, Iceland, Norway, Sweden and Finland, including famous Nordic chefs serving Nordic food to 45,000 D.C. public school students.

To date, Let’s Move Salad Bars to Schools has donated 27 salad bars to D.C. schools and the school district has recently purchased another 10 salad bars for high schools. The District’s goal is to have a salad bar in every school and many D.C. schools are on the waiting list.

For more information or to contribute funding to help D.C. reach its goal of a salad bar in every school, please contact United’s Andrew Marshall at 202-303-3400, ext. 407.

Groups from Throughout Food Industry Converge on Chicago for IFT Traceability Summit

At the PepsiCo Sustainability Center in Chicago this week, 30 individuals representing food companies, trade associations, local, state and federal governments, third-party traceability solution providers, associations, consultants, and consumer groups, discussed and deliberated the objectives and approaches to product tracing in the food supply chain at the Traceability Summit of the Institute of Food Technologists.

This was the third time the group has convened to discuss debate and formulate concepts related to product tracing and further refine the concepts and reach consensus on general principles.

“The fact the produce industry has been working to achieve whole chain traceability for the past four years really brings the Produce Traceability Initiative to the front of the group,” said United’s Dan Vaché, vice president of supply chain management. “The various industries and stakeholders are always interested to know the status of the PTI and progress to date.”

The ultimate objective of the group is to align various product tracing initiatives within the food industry and inform the FDA during the product rulemaking process. With FDA just beginning to conduct product tracing pilots, the group hopes that its efforts will help to broaden the range of learning from those pilots.

New Exhibitor Forum Showcases Ways to Make United Fresh 2012 a Success

In an effort to help current and prospective exhibitors maximize their benefits, ROI and participation in the upcoming United Fresh 2012 convention and expo in Dallas, United Fresh joins with show co-location partners Food Marketing Institute (FMI), the American Meat Institute (AMI) and the National Association of State Departments of Agriculture (NASDA) to launch the Exhibitor Forum, December 13-14 at the Dallas Convention Center.

Participants in the forum will gain insight from industry experts on ways to make the most of the United Fresh 2012 experience. Forum attendees will meet with fellow exhibitors from the AMI, FMI and NASDA expos, vendors who will be providing services at the show, and convention center and visitor bureau staff.

Wednesday at the Forum includes an address from Skip Cox, CEO and president of Exhibit Surveys, Inc., a leader in the intelligence and measurement resource segment of the events marketing industry. During his address, Cox will detail simple strategies for exhibitors to make the most of the opportunities at United Fresh 2012.

“This is a wonderful chance for AMI, FMI, NASDA and United Fresh to come together with our exhibitors to talk about ways to make the 2012 show in Dallas a smashing success,” said John Toner, United Fresh vice president of convention and industry relations. “With Skip Cox addressing trends in the marketplace and how to achieve ROI through their booths, attendees to the Exhibitor Forum will learn how to better position their companies in today's exhibition space.”

In addition to Cox’s address, participants will interact with United Fresh staff and industry colleagues at the following special events:

  • Idea Exchange – Attendees can network with peers from the FMI, AMI and NASDA shows at a Tuesday Evening Reception as well as Wednesday’s Continental Breakfast and Group Lunch.
  • Research Presentation – Research will focus on the current state of tradeshows and specific business trends within the produce, meat and overall food industry to maximize marketing investment.
  • Vendor Forum – Participants will discover cost-saving discounts and the most efficient approach to handling booth logistics at this mini tradeshow featuring many of the convention center’s vendors.
  • United Fresh Promotion Clinic – After meeting with the show partners, United Fresh exhibitors will break out into individual sessions to talk specifically about pre-show promotion strategies to drive the attendees exhibitors want to see.
  • Tour of the Dallas Convention Center – Attendees will experience first-hand where exhibit space will be located, shuttle bus drop off points, entrances, and proximity to education session rooms, allowing exhibitors to gain a sense of potential attendee traffic patterns.

Registration for the Exhibitor Forum is complementary, and information and registration options are available by clicking here or contacting United’s Jamie Woodside at 202-303-3400, ext. 420. Additionally, a discount hotel room rate of $99 has been arranged at the adjoining Omni Dallas Hotel, however the rate is only available to exhibitors who register by November 17, 2011. Hotel reservations may be made by clicking here.

Meet Your United Fresh Board of Directors: Dave Russell

Dave Russell
Vice President of Sales-National Accounts
Del Monte Fresh Produce, NA
Dallas, Texas

Where are you from originally? What is your favorite part about that area?

I am originally from Waukegan, Illinois, which is a suburb of Chicago. My favorite part of the areas was sense of neighborhood and community, which is a characteristic of many neighborhoods in the Chicago area. I am part of a very close group of friends that I grew up with in Waukegan. There are about eight of us, and we have known each other since grade school and/or middle school. Despite all of us going to different colleges as a group we always made a commitment to maintain close contact and communication throughout our lives. We are a very close group even though we are now scattered throughout the country. Despite the distance we still meet every year for a golf outing in Dallas or sometimes Chicago to get caught up. Actually, four people out of this group now live close to me in the Dallas area. When we are together we tell the same old stories growing up together, but they are still funny and seem to take on a life of their own over the years.

You were recently at the Washington Public Policy Conference and in the lead-up, took part in the Summer Public Policy Webinar Series. What is one thing that Washington doesn’t understand about the produce industry? Conversely, what is one misconception those in the industry may have about Washington?

I have noticed during the WPPC and my trips to Capitol Hill that some congressional leaders don’t really comprehend the impact that E-Verify and immigration reform has on agriculture. There seems to be a parochial approach to this issue by some members of Congress who do not truly recognize the significant impact their position will have on their own constituents, whether they are urban or rural. One misconception I see and I bet many don’t realize it, is how many very smart, underpaid, less-than-30-somethings are the ones really driving many of the research and policy positions of our elected officials. Every time I participate in the March on Capitol Hill I am truly amazed at the level of influence and responsibility these young aides have on major policy.

You are among the members of the board most recently installed, how do you see yourself bringing a new perspective to the board?

I believe I have a unique perspective within our industry. Spending most of my career with a large grower-shipper and wholesale distributor I should have a very good understanding and comprehension of the issues and concerns impacting those sectors of the produce business. I can represent with confidence those interests within the board. In addition, being in sales management for most of my career I have been fortunate to have developed many professional and personal relationships across North America with just about every major end user handling produce. I believe I can not only represent, but clearly articulate their views relative to the many challenges facing our industry today.

What are some of your personal experiences that you feel help you to think bigger-picture and better develop solutions for the issues facing the produce industry?

I live it every day; I also work for a company that has a significant footprint on our industry as well as the consumer. We have seen the impact of the immigration and E-Verify debate within the grower shipper and processor community. Working for a large, publicly-held produce company food safety and traceability isn’t only a priority for us, but an expectation. With Washington more involved in food safety, what is the regulatory impact going to have on our business? Again, as a company with a global vision and infrastructure what is going to be the final outcome on audit harmonization and standardization domestically and globally? Not only for Del Monte, but for many of others shippers in the industry as the proliferation and ambiguity of audits are a major issue and expense.

What is one thing that you’d like to accomplish in the coming year?

Over the years I have always looked at my job and role in the produce business to not be ordinary or accept conventional wisdom and thought. I am constantly looking for new and innovative projects or processes to bring additional value to our trade and my company. I am working on a number of such initiatives in the coming year and if they prove successful, they could move the bar.

New Member Welcome

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

Heather Golden Consulting/ASCO, 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 Wolk at 202-303-3410.

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