February 23, 2012
In Today's Issue:
Fresh Impact Tour Visits Southeast, Northwest

Sonny Scott and Stephanie Williams of Scott Farms give United President Tom Stenzel a tour of their sweet potato packing facility.

United’s Robert Guenther learns about the sorting process from Cliff Corwin of Skagit Valley’s Best Potatoes.

United Fresh began its 2012 annual Fresh Impact Tour this week with town hall events and member visits in North Carolina, South Carolina and Washington State.

President and CEO Tom Stenzel and Senior Director of Membership Miriam Wolk began the Southeastern Fresh Impact Tour Tuesday with a visit to L&M Produce in Raleigh, NC, where they met with LeAnn Oxford, along with a number of L&M staff and growers, to discuss issues facing the North Carolina produce industry.  Tom and Miriam also visited the North Carolina Department of Agriculture and sweet potato growers Scott Farms and Wayne E. Bailey Company.

On Wednesday morning, Tom and Miriam stopped for a visit with peach grower Titan Farms, followed by a town hall lunch meeting at the South Carolina Farmers Market, hosted by McEntire Produce and Walter P. Rawl.  Hugh Weathers, the State Agriculture Commissioner and 40 representatives of the South Carolina produce industry attended and discussed current issues including food safety, nutrition and opportunities to increase consumption. 

Tom and Miriam will be spending Thursday in the Charlotte area, meeting with Mark Hilton of Harris Teeter and then participating in a breakfast town hall in Salisbury, NC at Delhaize America hosted by United Fresh Retail-Foodservice Board Vice Chairman Randy Scott.  The team will head to Georgia on Friday, where they will participate in another town hall breakfast at the Atlanta State Farmers Market, and visit members in Georgia en route to the National Watermelon Association annual convention in Amelia Island, FL.

Senior Vice President of Public Policy Robert Guenther and Vice President of Supply Chain Management Dan Vaché are also out on the road, taking the Fresh Impact Tour through the Pacific Northwest.  Dan and Robert began the tour Tuesday with a town hall luncheon at the Washington State University extension office in Mount Vernon, hosted by Skagit Valley’s Best Produce, with 20 attendees. Lunch was followed by a tour of Skagit Valley’s Best potato packing facilities led by Cliff Corwin. On Wednesday, the team visited CrunchPak and Chelan Fresh Marketing before another town hall lunch meeting in Wenatchee. Dan and Robert will round out the Pacific Northwest Tour with town hall meetings in Yakima and Issaquah.

The Fresh Impact Tour will continue the week of March 5 in California and Texas.  Visit the Fresh Impact Tour homepage and follow United Fresh on Facebook to learn more about the tour.

United Attends Global Summit on Pesticide Use in Specialty Crops

Representatives of the Minor Crop Farmer Alliance Delegation, U.S. EPA and USDA attended the Second Global Minor Use Summit in Rome, Italy.

United Fresh attended the Global Minor Use Summit (GMUS) in Rome this week for meetings that addressed barriers to trade for specialty crops that stem from challenges in achieving pesticide maximum residue limit approvals. The Minor Crop Farmer Alliance (MCFA), of which United is a member, represents various specialty crops that are considered to be minor users of pesticides compared to field crops. The first Global Minor Use Summit was held four years ago and today the summit continues to work towards global agreements for pesticide policy, procedure and methodology to help deal with minor use issues while providing growers with access to safe tools to grow their crops and to promote free and fair trade between nations. This year, summit attendees will design a work plan to facilitate global trade of these minor use crops through pesticide use registrations and maximum residue level approvals.

Burleson Smith, United’s vice president of environmental affairs & sustainability was present for the meetings. “This is a tremendous opportunity to provide tools for growers and producers that will improve their access to global markets. Pesticide selection has broad implications for specialty crops and the environment,” said Smith. “Through the strengthening of technical cooperation we’re hoping to address grower and environmental concerns.”

Jim Cranney, California Citrus Council and Dan Botts, Florida Fruit & Vegetable Association, made presentations to the group on minor use grower perspectives and on policy considerations. Jim Cranney’s presentation, “Grower Perspectives on Maximum Residue Limits,” is available here. markets. Other MCFA participants included Lori Berger of the California Specialty Crops Council, Phil Korson of the Cherry Marketing Institute and Gabriele Ludwig of the California Almond Board. The summit was sponsored by FAO, the USDA Foreign Agricultural Service, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the USDA / IR-4 Project (IR-4). More than 225 participants from 50 countries attended the summit, including government pesticide regulators, Codex and FAO/WTO committee members, agricultural producers and pesticide industry representatives.

For more information, please contact Burleson Smith at 202-303-3427.

Let’s Move Salad Bars and Let’s Move in Indian Country Team Up

Last week, Let’s Move Salad Bars to Schools (LMSB2S) teamed up with Let’s Move in Indian Country to host a Let’s Move Salad Bars to Schools webinar for about 70 school food service directors from Bureau of Indian Education (BIE) schools from all over the western U.S. With the goal of expanding salad bars to BIE schools, LMSB2S partners highlighted how salad bars increase students’ fruit and vegetable consumption and are an easy way to double the amount of fruits and vegetables at school lunch as required by the new school lunch standards.

“Fruit and vegetable consumption is very low among Native American children and school salad bars can make a big difference. Our collaboration with BIE is very significant because it will increase access to fresh fruits and vegetables in BIE schools and benefit tens of thousands of Native American children,” said Dr. Lorelei DiSogra, United’s vice president of nutrition.

Angela Dowty, School Food Service Director at Sequoyah Schools in Tahlequah, OK, spoke about the success of her salad bars which serve 500 Cherokee Native American students each day noting, “My students definitely eat more fruits and vegetables and are much more willing to try new fruits and vegetables when they are offered on the salad bar.”

Billi Grossman who works for Sysco in New Mexico and serves as a consultant to many BIE schools in the southwest noted that produce distributors such as Sysco can assist BIE schools in finding a wide variety of fresh fruits and vegetables, including local, at the right price to keep their salad bars well stocked. A Let’s Move Salad Bars to Indian Country Schools toolkit was recently developed to assist BIE schools. The webinar was sponsored by the BIE in collaboration with CDC, USDA and United Fresh.

For more information, please visit saladbars2schools.org or contact Lorelei DiSogra at 202-303-3400.

Let United Fresh Treat You to Exceptional Dining at Dallas’ Finest Restaurants

Register today for United Fresh 2012 and you’ll be automatically entered for United’s Taste of Dallas giveaway! You could win a gift certificate to one of the 50 best restaurants in Dallas!

Every Thursday through April 26, 2012, United Fresh will draw three lucky winners from the United Fresh 2012 registered attendee list. Each winner will receive a $100 gift certificate to one of Dallas’ finest restaurants, courtesy of our promotional sponsor, FreshPoint Dallas. Watch for next week’s Inside United Fresh to see if you’re a winner.

Congratulations to this week’s winners! They’ll be enjoying honest, fresh flavors at Bolsa, Mexican culinary traditions at Maximo, or soufflés, the masterpiece of French cuisine, at Rise #1.

  • Bolsa – Mario Estrada, Markon Inc.
  • Maximo – Bryan Tate, Associated Wholesale Grocers
  • Rise #1 – Peter Martin, Jon B. Martin and Sons Farms, Inc.

Register now to be eligible to win a gift certificate to next week’s featured restaurants: Campisi’s and Del Frisco’s.

Campisi’s opened its doors in 1946, one of the first restaurants to serve pizza in Dallas. The restaurants are still in the family, run by the 3rd and 4th generation. This classic Italian eatery offers marinated crab claws and phenomenal thin crust pizza. The original restaurant is rumored to be where Jack Ruby ate on the eve of the Kennedy assassination, before he shot Lee Harvey Oswald.

Del Frisco’s Double Eagle Steak House planted its roots in Dallas more than 20 years ago. The restaurant embodies the rich tradition of fine American steak houses, amazing guests through impeccable chef-driven cuisine and unparalleled hospitality. The 24 oz aged USDA Prime Porterhouse is sure to delight, or try the Australian lobster tail, carved tableside.

New Member Welcome

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

  • Fresh Commodities, Inc., Miami, FL
  • Greenscans, Inc., Boone, NC
  • OHL, Philadelphia, PA
  • Professional Food Safety, Chicago, IL

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

Join us for events designed to grow your business.

Fresh Impact Tour
February 21-25, Pacific Northwest, Southeast
March 5-9, California, Texas

Produce Executive Development Program
March 11-16, Cornell University, Ithaca, NY

United Fresh 2012
May 1-3, Dallas Convention Center, Dallas, TX

Produce Inspection Training Program
May 21-23, USDA Training Center, Fredericksburg, VA

UGA Hands-On HACCP for the Fresh-Cut Industry
May 22-24, University of Georgia, Athens, GA