March 1, 2012
In Today's Issue:
United Wraps Up Fresh Impact Tour in Southeast and Pacific Northwest, Heads to California and Texas

Bill Brim (L) of Lewis Taylor Farms in Georgia shows Tom Stenzel a cantaloupe transplant being grown for a farm in Mississippi.

Frank Padilla, Costco Vice President - GMM Produce & Meat, welcomes the Fresh Impact Tour to the Costco Headquarters in Issaquah, Washington.

United continued the 2012 Fresh Impact Tour through the Southeast and Pacific Northwest with meetings with growers, distributors and retailers last Thursday and Friday. On Thursday in Western North Carolina, Delhaize America, including United Retail-Foodservice Board Vice-Chairman Randy Scott, hosted a town hall breakfast with representatives of the local industry. On Friday, Tom and Miriam met with Atlanta-area wholesalers and distributors before driving south to visit growing operations in Georgia, including Lane Southern Orchards, Minor Produce and Lewis Taylor Farms. The tour finished on Saturday with Tom’s participation on a public policy discussion panel at the National Watermelon Association annual convention in Amelia Island, FL.

Meanwhile, in Washington State, Dan Vaché and Robert Guenther held an industry town hall meeting in Yakima, WA. They toured apple and pear shipping and packing operations, including First Fruits Marketing of Washington, Congdon Orchards and Domex Superfresh Growers. On Friday, Robert and Dan finished out their week-long, 700-mile adventure in Washington with a tour of Charlie’s Produce, a PRO*ACT distributor, followed by a well attended town hall luncheon at Costco.

Next week, the Fresh Impact Tour continues with town hall meetings in California in Yorba Linda, Oxnard, Santa Maria, Salinas and Sacramento, and in Texas with stops in McAllen, San Antonio, Houston and Dallas. Registration for the town hall meetings is open to the entire industry and is complimentary.

To register for California and Texas Town Hall events, visit the United Fresh website or contact Miriam Wolk at 202-303-3410. To see a recap of the events in the Southeast and Washington, visit the United Fresh Facebook page.

Leadership Class 17 Crosses the Equator to Learn About the Industry

Produce Industry Leadership Class 17 visits Teno SAG/APHIS Inspection Facility.

Class 17 of the United Fresh Produce Industry Leadership Program continued their journey together last week with a trip to the bountiful country of Chile, the third of four trips together this year. Starting in Santiago, the class enjoyed visits with United Fresh member companies throughout the Central Valley, providing the fellows with a wealth of learning opportunities.

The class gained a better understanding of how global businesses operate and the current challenges affecting produce industry operations in the Southern Hemisphere through eye-opening tours of growing operations, packing houses, processing facilities and inspection sites.

United Fresh would like to express sincere thanks to the following companies for opening their facilities and sharing their knowledge with the leadership class: Atlas Produce, GreenVic, Dole Chile, Fresh Del Monte, Johnson Fruit and Unifrutti. A special thanks also goes out to the Chilean Fresh Fruit Association (ASOEX) for their tremendous support and generosity in hosting the group.

The leadership class will close out their program year in Dallas at United’s annual convention, May 1-3. Applications are being accepted now through March 2 for the 18th annual leadership class. Thanks to the generous support of DuPont Crop Protection, the Produce Industry Leadership Program is the only ongoing, fully paid leadership program for the produce industry.

Click here for more information or contact Shannon Young, United Fresh education manager, at 202-303-3405.

Member Visits Switch From Field Tours to HQ in DC

After a week of Fresh Impact Town Halls and member visits from Chile, to the Pacific Northwest, to the Southeastern U.S., United Fresh staff met with a number of members this week back at our Washington, DC headquarters. Visitors included members of the National Potato Council, National Onion Association, North Carolina Sweet Potato Association, US Apple Export Council and Crop Life America.

“It’s important that all of us serving the fresh produce industry work together to present the strongest possible voice to government,” said United Fresh President and CEO Tom Stenzel. “We really appreciate when members come to town to make their voices heard, and also team up with United Fresh to ensure we’re tackling the big issues together. Our headquarters office in DC is always open for members and allies working together for our industry,” he said.

United Fresh to Honor Women in the Produce Industry

Past Honorees: (L-R) Lorri Koster, Mann Packing; Mayda Sotomayor-Kirk, Seald-Sweet, LLC; and Steffanie Smith, River Point Farms, LLC.

United Fresh Produce Association is now accepting nominations for an honoree to speak at the 15th annual Reception Honoring Women in Produce, Wednesday, May 2 at United Fresh 2012 in Dallas, Texas. Each year, United Fresh recognizes the contributions of all women working in the produce industry and honors one outstanding female industry leader at this reception.

“This year’s event is especially meaningful as we celebrate our 15th anniversary of this program,” said United Fresh President and CEO Tom Stenzel. “The annual reception is an opportunity to showcase the contributions of women who guide the produce industry, who are thought-leaders, role models, and opinion-drivers. We’re looking forward to welcoming back our past honorees and also celebrating the career of another outstanding leader at this year’s convention in Dallas.”

Nomination forms may be downloaded online and must be received by Wednesday, March 14.

Past honorees at the Reception Honoring Women in Produce include:

  • Tonya Antle, Tanimura & Antle
  • Frieda Caplan, Frieda’s, Inc.
  • Margaret D’Arrigo-Martin, D’Arrigo Brothers of California
  • Jan DeLyser, California Avocado Commission
  • Jan Fleming, Strube Celery & Vegetable Company
  • Janice Honigberg, Sun Belle, Inc.
  • Lorri Koster, Mann Packing Co.
  • Kathleen Nave, California Table Grape Commission
  • Dr. Martha Rhodes-Roberts, University of Florida, Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences
  • Steffanie Smith, River Point Farms, LLC
  • Heather Shavey, Costco Wholesale
  • Mayda Sotomayor-Kirk, Seald-Sweet LLC
  • Rosemary Talley, Talley Farms
  • Jenney Tenney, The Kroger Company

For more information on the Reception Honoring Women in Produce, please contact Angela Tiwari, United Fresh political affairs manager, at 202-303-3416.

Making Connections That Count

This week’s Washington, DC visit by the North Carolina Sweet Potato Association provided another important opportunity to help members of Congress appreciate the connections in our produce industry. Two weeks ago, United Fresh President and CEO Tom Stenzel participated in a roundtable discussion of agriculture policy with members of the House of Representatives Small Business Committee, including North Carolina Representative Renee Ellmers. Last week, during our Fresh Impact member tours through North Carolina, Stenzel was able to meet with several of our sweet potato grower-shippers at their facilities.

And Tuesday night, those two connections came together at a reception on Capitol Hill hosted by the NC Sweet Potato Commission. “It was great to join both our North Carolina sweet potato members and Rep. Ellmers, right after touring their operations in her home district,” Stenzel said. “I knew more about the needs of North Carolina sweet potato growers, and she saw the connection first-hand between her local constituents and national fruit and vegetable policy goals. Those are connections that count,” he said.

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! Two of our winners will experience Campisi’s, one of the oldest classic Italian eateries in Dallas while the other winner will enjoy the rich traditions of a fine American steakhouse at Del Frisco’s Double Eagle Steak House.

  • Campisi’s – Steve Robinson, Dole Fresh Vegetables, Inc.
  • Campisi’s – Dan Symms, Symms Fruit Ranch, Inc.
  • Del Frisco’s – Tom Brugato, Pacific Coast Fruit Co.

Register now to be eligible to win a gift certificate to next week’s featured restaurants: Chamberlain’s, Nicola’s and Sevy’s Grill.

Chamberlain’s Steak and Chop House
was named one of the country's top new restaurants in 1993 by Bon Appetit magazine and is still wowing guests with the finest seafood, steaks and prime rib served in a true fine dining atmosphere.

offers fresh, handmade pasta and sauces, signature Focaccia bread baked in a wood-burning oven, and an antipasto display case heaped with Italian cheeses, salami, marinated vegetables and sweet fruits. An extensive array of appetizers, savory salads, beef, poultry, fish and vegetarian entrees are available along with an international wine list leaning heavily towards interesting Italian vintages.

Sevy’s Grill
offers dishes with a creative American flair. Try the grilled wild game mix with cumin scented venison medallion, smoked bacon wrapped quail, creamy jalapeno grits and chipotle raspberry sauce or the marinated lamb chops rubbed with fresh herbs, grilled to order and served with creamy roasted garlic polenta, minted zinfandel sauce and a corn, tomato and green onion relish.

USDA AMS to Host Produce Retail Report Webinar

The USDA Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) invites growers, packers, processors, wholesalers and distributors to a free, interactive webinar on USDA’s Fruit and Vegetable Market News to be held Wednesday, March 28 from 2-3 pm, EST. Market News is a web-based resource that provides price and movement data reports for hundreds of agricultural commodities, for domestic and international wholesale markets, production areas and ports of entry.

Audrina Lange, Assistant to the Director of AMS Fruit and Vegetable Market News, will discuss the advantages to be gained by accessing the wealth of timely, valuable data available from the free, web-based National Fruit and Vegetable Retail Report, including:

  • Fresh produce prices at the retail level on a national and regional basis,
  • Graphs and overviews of price and market activity data, and
  • Analyses of fresh produce inclusion in weekly retail advertised specials at thousands of stores across the country.

The webinar will also demonstrate how to use the Market News Portal and benefit from the wide array of retail data, customized reports and other market news that is free and always available.

The webinar is free, but you must register to participate. Space is limited. Register today!

For additional information about Market News contact Audrina Lange at (202) 720-3344.

If you have any questions about USDA’s Agricultural Marketing Service, please contact Christopher Purdy at (202) 720-3209.

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:

  • B & W Quality Growers, Inc., Fellsmere, FL

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.

  • CSI Insurance Group, Fresno, CA
  • Mucci Farms, Kingsville, Ontario, Canada

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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