January 5, 2012
In Today's Issue:
Final Rule on Hours of Service Released by Federal Motor Carriers Safety Administration

On December 22, 2011 the Federal Motor Carriers Safety Administration (FMCSA) released its final rule on updating the proposed Hours of Service (HOS). Highlights of the final rule include:

  • Retention of the 11-hours daily driving time provision
  • Inclusion of two breaks in the 34 hour restart period between 1:00 a.m. and 5:00 a.m.
  • A mandatory 30 minutes break within the first 8 hours of driving

The rule does not take effect until July of 2013. “Retaining the 11-hours of daily driving time is helpful for the produce industry, given the very time-sensitive nature of the commodities we transport and given that FMCSA had expressed a preference for lowering the daily driving limit to 10 hours. It’s also helpful that the industry has more than a year to comply with the new rules,” said Julie Manes, director of government relations for United Fresh. “Because the rule came out just before the holiday break, we’ll be reaching out to our membership to get their perspectives on the new rule and how it will affect their businesses. It’s also very possible that there may be legal challenges to the new rules which we will monitor closely,” added Manes.

To review the final rule, click here. For more information or questions, contact Julie Manes at jmanes@unitedfresh.org or call (202) 303-3404.

Call for Applications for 18th Annual Produce Industry Leadership Program

The application period is now open for the 18th annual class of the Produce Industry Leadership Program, presented by the United Fresh Foundation’s Center for Leadership Excellence. The program, made possible through a generous grant from DuPont Crop Protection, is a special opportunity for United Fresh members to advance their leadership skills and knowledge.

“This program is the perfect fusion of professional skills building, industry education and networking,” said United Fresh Board member and program alumnus Emily Fragoso of Status Gro. “This is a life-changing experience and I strongly recommend this opportunity to anyone who is looking for the tools they need to help them grow.”

Launched in 1995, the Produce Industry Leadership Program is the only ongoing, fully paid national leadership program for the produce industry. This year's schedule will feature visits to Central California, Washington, D.C., Wilmington, Delaware, and Southern Florida with face-to-face meetings with leading industry players, hands-on training with top industry experts and educators and interactive experiences with influential leaders. The class will graduate at the 2013 United Fresh Convention.

Participation in the program is limited to 12 fellows who are selected by an Advisory Committee and are chosen from a broad cross-section of the industry to represent the breadth of the United Fresh membership. Candidates interested in applying for the program can download information and an application at www.unitedfresh.org/programs. The deadline for applications is Friday, March 2, 2012. The Leadership Program is an exclusive program for United Fresh members only. There is no cost to participate in the program and all regular expenses are covered by the program. For more information, contact Shannon Young, United Fresh education manager, at syoung@unitedfresh.org or 202-303-3405.

Charles T. Hall Receives Highest Honor for Association Executives

Charles T. Hall
Executive Director, Georgia Fruit & Vegetable Growers Association

Charles T. Hall, United Fresh member and executive director of the Georgia Fruit & Vegetable Growers Association, has been honored with the Clifford Clark Award by the Georgia Society of Association Executives (GSAE). The award, GSAE’s highest level of recognition, highlights Hall’s service as President and CEO of the Association Services Group (ASG) based in LaGrange, GA. ASG is a multi-association management firm providing administrative coordination, meeting planning, trade show management, financial accounting, communication services and legislative monitoring. The award was presented by Wendy Kavanagh, CAE, GSAE President at the annual award luncheon held recently in Atlanta. She praised Hall, noting “Charles Hall shares his knowledge, his hard won wisdom and his good advice with humor and grace. He is a walking, talking example of an executive who is a giver, and believes in helping other association professionals and association management companies.”

United Fresh is proud to have such a dedicated and involved member providing leadership for the produce industry. Congratulations Charles!

Salute to Reggie Griffin Golf Tournament and Dinner Registration

It’s not too late to register for United’s “Salute to Reggie Griffin Golf Tournament and Dinner,” Monday, January 23 in San Diego. With his retirement as Corporate Vice President, Produce and Floral Merchandising Procurement, Reggie concludes a 42-year career with The Kroger Company in which he touched the lives of thousands of us in the produce industry, and helped make fresh produce a cornerstone of the retail supermarket business across the country. Festivities will be held at the Rancho Bernardo Inn in San Diego, California, beginning with the “Salute to Reggie Griffin” golf tournament, followed by dinner.

United Fresh is honored that Reggie has agreed that net proceeds from the “Salute to Reggie Griffin” will help support the United Fresh Foundation Center for Leadership Excellence. The Foundation is a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit organization committed to developing leadership skills at all levels of the industry, advancing produce safety and quality, promoting global produce industry sustainability, and increasing children's consumption of fresh fruits and vegetables for better health.

To register for what promises to be a fun event honoring our longtime friend and 2011-2012 Chairman, please click here or contact United’s Angela Tiwari at 202-303-3400, ext. 416 or atiwari@unitedfresh.org.

Learn Online Retailing Insights from Peapod Executive

Tony Stallone
Vice President of Merchandising, Peapod

Tony Stallone, Vice President of Merchandising for Peapod, has been added to the list of experts set to speak at the 2012 Produce Executive Development Program. The program, to be held March 11-16, is offered by United Fresh and Cornell University as a premier forum for produce industry leaders to sharpen their executive business expertise, master the skills to navigate economic challenges and learn effective tools to advance their companies.

Stallone spent 20 years in the family business before beginning his own food consulting operation. In 2000, Stallone joined Peapod, a wholly owned subsidiary of Ahold, and is in charge of the fresh markets categories across all the Peapod markets. Stallone has a standing monthly segment on the ABC TV station in Chicago to give viewers information on the best seasonal produce, and he is a regular contributor on Washington’s NBC TV station. He will discuss how the online retail model works, who the online customer is, and what the implications of the online model are for produce suppliers.

For more information on the Produce Executive Development Program, click here or contact Shannon Young at 202-303-3405 or syoung@unitedfresh.org.

United Fresh Welcomes New Communications Manager

The United Fresh Produce Association welcomes Shelby Rajkovich as United’s new communications manager. Rajkovich will support United’s communications goal to keep members updated with the latest industry news, further the association’s news media outreach and assist in the development and implementation of strategic communications programs to support the industry’s policy objectives.

“We’re excited to have Shelby join United’s communications team,” said Ray Gilmer, vice president of communications. “I know she will make a solid contribution to keeping members, stakeholders and policymakers informed about United’s priorities for the industry.”

Rajkovich joins United Fresh after completing her service as a sustainable agriculture volunteer with the Peace Corps in Senegal, West Africa. While in the field, she distributed improved seed varieties to farmers and motivated a women’s group to start a vegetable garden. She has had previous internship experiences with various Washington, D.C. policy makers involved in agricultural issues, providing research assistance at the USDA during the 2008 Farm Bill and more recently with the office of Senator Richard G. Lugar. A native of Linden, California, Rajkovich was raised on a family farm of cherries, apples and walnuts. She holds a degree in International Agriculture and Rural Development from Cornell University in Ithaca, New York.

Shelby Rajkovich can be reached at 202-303-3417 or at srajkovich@unitedfresh.org.

Chairman’s Roundtable Thanks 2012 Supporters

United Fresh’s Chairman's Roundtable provides extra support for programs in government relations, food safety, nutrition policy and other areas to help grow the produce industry. We are pleased to recognize the following companies who have committed to the 2012 Chairman’s Roundtable:

  • Fox Packaging
  • Melissa’s/World Variety Produce, Inc.
  • Nature Fresh Farms, Inc.
  • River Ranch Fresh Foods, LLC
  • San Miguel Produce, Inc.

The Chairman's Roundtable is an opportunity for United Fresh member companies to contribute above and beyond their basic dues. Roundtable members are industry leaders who set the pace in building United Fresh's strength in areas that do not generate their own revenue. Members of Chairman's Roundtable enjoy special recognition throughout the year for their support. For more information on the Chairman’s Roundtable, please contact Senior Director of Membership Miriam Miller Wolk at 202-303-3410.

New Member Welcome

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

  • Food Safety Now LLC, Salinas, CA
  • Hussman Corporation, Bridgeton, MO
  • IPR Fresh, Nogales, AZ

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.

Upcoming United Fresh Events

Events in your area, designed to grow your business.