April 5, 2012
In Today's Issue:
Dan’l Mackey Almy to Be Honored at 2012 Reception Honoring Women in Produce

Women in Produce honoree and guest speaker Dan’l Mackey Almy.

Dan’l Mackey Almy, president of Irving, Texas-based DMA Solutions Inc., will be the guest speaker at the United Fresh Produce Association’s 15th annual Reception Honoring Women in Produce, Wednesday, May 2, at United Fresh 2012 in Dallas.

Held each year in conjunction with the United Fresh convention and expo, the Reception Honoring Women in Produce recognizes the contributions of all women working in the produce industry, and selects one individual to share their personal experience of service. The featured speaker is selected from nominations submitted by United Fresh members across the industry and reviewed by a committee of her peers, including honorees from the past 15 years.

“Dan’l’s passion has influenced everyone around her from the first day she entered the produce industry,” said United Fresh President and CEO Tom Stenzel. “Today, she continues to inspire through her creative vision and innovative strategies that guide successful marketing initiatives for many companies, and also drive industry success whether promoting produce to celebrities like Ellen DeGeneres or raising funds for salad bars in schools. Dan’l is a shining example that there are no limits to what one can achieve with passion.”

Mackey Almy was raised in a small Texas town, where early involvement in the local 4-H club developed her leadership skills and dedication to the agriculture industry. While working towards her degree in agricultural business from Texas A&M University, Mackey Almy became intrigued with the intricacies of marketing agricultural products, specifically fresh produce. Armed with passion and persistence, she accepted a job in 1995 at Standard Fruit & Vegetable in Dallas. She quickly climbed the ranks to director of marketing, accepting responsibility for all marketing initiatives, including the development and execution of a corporate marketing plan. Mackey Almy then advanced to the position of vice president at Fresh Del Monte Produce, overseeing the Wal-Mart & Sam's accounts for North America. In 2004, she founded DMA Solutions, Inc., a creative marketing group that has helped to bolster the image of fresh produce by connecting producers and consumers, and helping to differentiate fresh produce in an increasingly competitive marketplace.

“I am honored to speak at the 15th annual Reception Honoring Women in Produce,” said Mackey Almy. “I have such respect for the people who grow our nation’s food and I am constantly seeking new ways to promote their hard work – fresh fruits and vegetables – in the most honest, exciting way possible. The industry has given me remarkable opportunities, and I feel so blessed to be able to share my journey and aspirations with others.”

Mackey Almy’s experience in the fresh fruit and vegetable industry has given her the foundation to contribute to the produce industry in a variety of impactful ways. She serves as Chairman of the United Fresh Produce Association Nutrition & Health Council, as member of the Board of Directors and as co-chair of the United Fresh 2012 Host Committee. Additionally, she serves on the Produce Marketing Association’s Foundation for Industry Talent Campaign Committee and the YottaMark, Inc. Advisory Board. Her previous honors include the 2009 Outstanding Alumni Award presented by the United Fresh Leadership Alumni Organization and recognition on the Produce Business "40 Under Forty" list in 2004.

The annual Reception Honoring Women in Produce has established itself as one of the most popular networking events at the association’s annual convention. This year’s special 15th annual event will be held Wednesday, May 2 at the Dallas Convention Center. Tickets are required for the event, as either part of a Convention package registration, or can be purchased onsite for $50.

Past honorees include:

  • Tonya Antle, Tanimura & Antle
  • Frieda Rapoport Caplan, Frieda’s, Inc.
  • Margaret D’Arrigo, 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 Company
  • Kathleen Nave, California Table Grape Commission
  • Dr. Martha Rhodes-Roberts, University of Florida, Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences
  • Heather Shavey, Costco Wholesale
  • Steffanie Smith, River Point Farms, LLC
  • Mayda Sotomayor-Kirk, Seald-Sweet LLC
  • Rosemary Talley, Talley Farms
  • Jenney Tenney, The Kroger Company
United Fresh 2012 New Product Award Finalists Announced

Over 25 fresh fruit and vegetable innovations are up for United Fresh Produce Association’s 2012 New Product Awards. This year’s finalists will compete in five categories for the title of Best New Products at United Fresh 2012, May 1-3 in Dallas.

“These 27 products are forerunners in the effort to bring new approaches, ideas and processes to the fresh fruit and vegetable industry,” said John Toner, United’s vice president of convention & industry relations. “From its very beginnings, the United show has been the undisputed home of innovation for the produce industry, and these awards continue to showcase the best and brightest minds in the produce business.”

“The development and display of the latest in innovation from our industry is a vital part of the mission of every United trade show,” said United Fresh President and CEO Tom Stenzel. “Our industry’s success is built upon the foresight and creativity of its member companies in bringing new products to market. This serves to boost value to the consumer and profitability to the industry.”

Products will be on display in the Dallas Convention in the lobby of Hall A adjacent to the United Fresh Show Floor, where they will be judged by all attendees from United, FMI and AMI throughout the show. Winners will be determined by total votes received as of 5:00 pm on Wednesday May 2nd, and will be announced at the opening of the show floor on Thursday, May 3, at 10:00 am.

The 2012 New Product Award finalists are:

Best New Packaging

  • Fruit Pop Pouches, Maxwell Chase Technologies, LLC
  • Garden Highway Salad Essentials Salad Toppers, Renaissance Food Group
  • Live Gourmet Squircle Clamshell and Harness Style Shipping Carton, Hollandia Produce LLC/Live Gourmet
  • Naturipe EarthCycle Packaging for Organic Berries, Naturipe Farms, LLC
  • Rock Garden Breathable Herb Bag, Rock Garden
  • Safe-T-Fresh® Grab and Go Cups, Inline Plastics Corp
  • SUNSET® Fresh Tomato Soup Kit, Mastronardi Produce

Best New Food Safety Solution

  • FlashCheck® Real-time Bacterial Enzyme Detection Kit, DeltaTRAK®, Inc.
  • Freshness Management™ with the Intelleflex CMR-6100 Cellular Reader and Intelleflex ZEST™ Data Services, Intelleflex®
  • PTI Lite™, RedLine Solutions, Inc.
  • The HydroDose-High Dilution Dosing System, BioSafe Systems

Best New Packing/Processing Equipment

  • Bosch Pack 301 IN Inverted Horizontal Flow Wrapper, Bosch Packaging Technology, Inc
  • ECM-200 Slicer with exit Conveyor, Nichimo
  • High speed counting and packing device, Abracad Technoworks BV
  • MCT 25 OS "Onion Slicer", Maxwell Chase Technologies, LLC
  • NicePack, BrimaPack

Best New Fruit Product

  • Crunch Pak Dipperz®, Crunch Pak®
  • Fresh Fruit Parfaits, Ready Pac Foods
  • Naturipe Cold Processed Dried Blueberries, Strawberries and Cherries, Naturipe Farms, LLC
  • Welch's New Grape Bag - Picnic Pack, C.H. Robinson
  • Yonanas®, Dole Food Co.

Best New Vegetable Product

  • Aurora Bites mini peppers, Pure Hot House Foods, Inc.
  • Delano™, Mastronardi Produce
  • Farmhouse Heritage Beefsteak Tomato, JemD Farms
  • Fresh Express Organic Baby Sweet Lettuce and Organic 50/50 Mix, Chiquita
  • Gourmet In-Store Salad Kits, Tiffany Gate Fine Foods
  • The Culinary Garden Unique Salads & Coleslaws, Freshway Foods

The 2011 New Product Award winners were:

  • Best New Packaging: MIXIM Classic 5x5 6oz. Bushberry Packaging System, Sambrailo Packaging
  • Best New Food Safety Solution: SmartWashTM, New Leaf Food Safety Solutions
  • Best New Processing Equipment: Primus Gemini – New and Improved Fresh Berry Sorter, Best Sorting
  • Best New Fruit Product: Sun DropsTM Grape Tomatoes, Mucci Farms AND Naturipe® Berry Quick Blueberry Snacks, Naturipe Farms, LLC
  • Best New Packing/Packaging Equipment: Volmpack Ultrek 320 Vertical-Form-Fill-Seal Bagger, Volm Companies, Inc.
  • Best New Vegetable Product: Pure Flavor Grill Ready Vegetable Mix, Pure Hot House Foods Inc.

For more information on the 2012 New Product Awards or on United Fresh 2012, contact United’s Exposition Manager Jamie Woodside at 202-303-3420.

Goal of 100 Salad Bars for Texas Schools Is Within Reach!

We’re three-quarters of the way toward our goal of 100 salad bars for Texas schools. We need your help to make this goal a reality! With less than one month until the United Fresh 2012 Convention, the United Fresh Foundation is asking all produce industry leaders to make a contribution to salad bars for Texas schools. The cost of one salad bar is $2,500. To make your contribution please contact Andrew Marshall.

Every salad bar donated goes a long way in teaching kids about healthy choices and encourages the next generation of produce shoppers to support our industry. The donation of 100 salad bars to Texas schools will highlight our industry’s commitment to increasing children’s consumption of fresh fruits and vegetables and combating childhood obesity.

Many Texas schools have requested salad bars so they can serve more fruits and vegetables to their students. “While this particular effort is focused on Texas, I honestly believe this significant ‘splash’ in Texas will be the positive awareness boost we need to ignite and further the nation-wide effort for salad bars in schools,” said Dan’l Almy Mackey, United’s Nutrition & Health Council Chairwoman and President of the Irving, Texas-based produce industry marketing firm DMA Solutions. Mackey Almy is so passionate about salad bars for Texas schools that for her recent birthday, her friends contributed to the Texas salad bar campaign in lieu of gifts.

According to Lorelei DiSogra, United Fresh vice president of nutrition & health, “Research and school experience shows that students eat more fresh produce when they have a salad bar that provides a variety of colorful choices of fruits and vegetables every school day. School salad bars are one of the easiest ways for schools to meet the new national school lunch standards, which call for doubling the amount of fruits and vegetables served everyday at lunch. Schools that have salad bars also make it easy for students to ‘Make Half Their Plate Fruits and Vegetables,’ as recommended by the 2010 Dietary Guidelines for Americans.”

On May 1, United Fresh will host a press event to announce the donation of salad bars for Dallas-area schools. United will recognize sponsors at the event and at the United Fresh 2012 Opening General Session. Sponsoring companies will be featured prominently in signage and printed materials at the convention, as well as on the United Fresh and Let’s Move Salad Bars to Schools websites. School administrators, government officials, community advocates, salad bar sponsors and students who will benefit from the salad bars will be invited to attend the event.

Join these produce industry leaders who have already committed to helping us donate 100 salad bars to Texas schools:

  • BC Hot House Foods
  • Booth Ranches LLC
  • Borton & Sons
  • Bunzl
  • C.H. Robinson Worldwide
  • Calavo Growers
  • California Giant Berry Farms
  • Chiquita Brands International
  • Combs Produce
  • Continental Sales Co.
  • Crunch Pak Sliced Apples
  • Del Monte Fresh Produce, N.A.
  • Diamond Onions
  • DMA Solutions
  • Dole Food Company
  • DuPont Crop Protection
  • Fidelity Investments
  • First Fruits Marketing of Washington
  • Freshway Foods
  • Frontera Produce
  • Growers Express
  • Hardie's Fruit & Vegetable Company
  • Horton Fruit Company
  • Houston Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Association
  • J & J Produce
  • JAB Produce
  • Locus Traxx
  • Mackey-Almy Family Fund
  • Mann Packing Company
  • Marie's
  • Murphy Tomatoes DFW
  • National Watermelon Association
  • NatureSweet
  • Paramount Citrus
  • ProHealth LLC
  • Rio Queen Citrus
  • Southern Specialties
  • Tanimura & Antle
  • Taylor Farms
  • True Organic Products
  • United Supermarkets
  • Village Farms

United is a founding partner of Let’s Move Salad Bars to Schools, a national initiative that has donated salad bars to more than 1,400 schools nationwide, increasing children’s access and consumption of fresh fruits and vegetables in school lunch every day. Last spring at United Fresh 2011, salad bars were donated to 33 New Orleans schools.

For more information, please contact Andrew Marshall, policy & grassroots manager, at 202-303-3407.

United Fresh Joins Duda for Dedication of Florida Salad Bars

Salad bar inauguration at Oviedo High School. (L-R):  Ray Gilmer, United Fresh; Oviedo Mayor Dominic Persampiere; Principal Robert Lundquist, Oviedo High School; David Duda, CEO of A. Duda and Sons; Florida Agriculture Commissioner Adam Putnam.

Duda Farm Fresh Foods this week donated eight salad bars to Seminole County Public Schools (near Orlando) as part of the Let’s Move Salad Bars to Schools initiative. At a ceremony Tuesday at Oviedo High School, officials from Duda, the Florida Department of Agriculture & Consumer Services and United Fresh announced the salad bar donation.

“By supporting United’s ‘Let’s Move Salad Bars to Schools’ initiative, we are extending our commitment to help reduce childhood obesity,” said David Duda, President and CEO of Oviedo-based A. Duda and Sons. “The salad bars will give the children in our own community additional healthy choices every day at lunchtime.”

Duda continues to spearhead a campaign to raise additional funds to provide a salad bar to every school in Seminole County. Florida Fruit & Vegetable Association, also based in Central Florida, contributed a salad bar as part of the campaign.

“The leadership shown by Duda and United Fresh in putting salad bars like this one in our schools offers tremendous benefits for the produce industry and for the health of students here in Florida,” said Adam Putnam, commissioner of the Florida Department of Agriculture & Consumer Services. A new Florida law moves control of the school lunch and food program from the Department of Education to Agriculture.

“We will work to make sure that there is Florida produce in these salad bars and in school lunchrooms across the state,” added Putnam.

“Salad bars are the easiest way for schools to meet the new USDA nutrition standards for school lunches, which call for double the amount of fruits and vegetables served at lunch,” said Ray Gilmer, United’s vice president of communications. “School nutrition authorities repeatedly tell us that giving kids a choice to build their own salads has a dramatic impact on increasing their fruit and vegetable consumption. It’s a winning strategy for healthier lifestyles.”

To date, the initiative has donated 1,400 salad bars to schools nationwide, with 52 in Florida. United Fresh thanks Duda and the more than 75 produce industry companies that have supported Let’s Move Salad Bars to Schools by purchasing school salad bars.

To learn how schools in your area can receive a salad bar, visit saladbars2schools.org. To donate salad bars to the initiative, please contact United’s Andrew Marshall, at 202-303-3400.

Roy Spence, Branding Authority, Announced as Joint Session Speaker

Roy Spence, co-founder and CEO of The Purpose Institute

United Fresh and the Food Marketing Institute are proud to announce Roy Spence, co-founder & chairman of GSD&M and co-founder & CEO of The Purpose Institute, as the inspiring speaker at the joint general session of United Fresh 2012 and the FMI 2012 Food Retail Show. On Thursday, May 3, United and FMI will welcome Spence to the stage to share insights for driving business growth for the produce and retail industries by communicating core values to consumers. Spence will describe the power of purpose as a primary business strategy to engage employees, create innovative customer experiences and sustain exceptional performance.

Spence is the co-founder and chairman of GSD&M, a national and leading marketing communications and advertising company. Under Roy’s leadership, the agency has helped grow some of the world’s most successful brands like “Don’t Mess with Texas,” Southwest Airlines, Wal-Mart, DreamWorks, the PGA TOUR, BMW, the U.S. Air Force, L.L. Bean and the Clinton Global Initiative. Roy has been a trusted advisor to legendary leaders including Sam Walton and Southwest Airlines founder, Herb Kelleher. He has been named Ad Man of the Year and Idea Man of the Century. He is a member of the board of directors of the Conscious Capitalism Institute, the Lyndon Baines Johnson Foundation and is a Distinguished Alumnus of the University of Texas.

The fruition of his zeal for entrepreneurship is The Purpose Institute. Roy serves as co-founder and CEO of the consulting firm whose purpose is to help people and organizations discover and live their purpose. Along with Haley Rushing, Roy co-authored the Wall Street Journal bestselling book, It’s Not What You Sell, It’s What You Stand For: Why Every Extraordinary Business is Driven by Purpose.

“It’s clear that all of us in the produce industry are passionate about what we do. Roy Spence’s enthusiasm for imparting that passion to consumers, and thereby building enthusiasm for our products, is a superb culmination to the show,” said Tom Stenzel, United Fresh president and CEO. “The food industry decision makers who will join us in Dallas are looking to improve their businesses and to connect to consumers, and we’re excited to welcome such a distinguished and rousing speaker to inspire produce companies to meet those goals.”

Specialty Crop Producers Applaud Senators’ Support of Farm Bill Priorities

The Specialty Crop Farm Bill Alliance (SCFBA) applauded a letter signed by 32 senators calling for a 2012 Farm Bill that will build on previous specialty crop investments. In the April 2 letter to Senate Agriculture Committee Chairwoman Debbie Stabenow (D-Mich.) and Ranking Member Pat Roberts (R-Kan.), the senators said the specialty crop programs established in the 2008 Farm Bill generated significant benefits for consumers, producers and farm communities.

“This letter shows that there is broad, bi-partisan support for moving a new Farm Bill through the Senate,” said Robert Guenther, United’s senior vice president of public policy. “Lawmakers realize that Farm Bill programs supporting specialty crops are critically important.”

The letter notes that investments in the 2008 Farm Bill included “research, invasive pest and disease mitigation, foreign market development, nutrition and targeted state-level funding for local initiatives. This translated into job creation, trade expansion, infrastructure investment for capacity building, targeted research for new innovations and technology, and increased access for fruits and vegetables in federal nutrition programs.” 

Specialty crops are a critical component of the agriculture economy and represent nearly half of all farmgate crop value in America.

John Keeling, National Potato Council Executive VP and CEO, and SCFBA co-chair, welcomed the support from the bipartisan group. “As Congress sets the nation’s agriculture policy for the next four years, the health of our citizens and the health of our economy are at stake. We need sustained programs that put more fruits and vegetables on Americans' plates, enhance our industry’s efforts to fight invasive pests and diseases, and help us to market our crops domestically and globally.”

The SCFBA submitted a comprehensive package of policy and program proposals to the U.S. Senate and House agriculture committees. Given the budget constraints facing Congress, no new programs were suggested; however, the alliance recommended refining and enhancing some existing programs that were established in the 2008 Farm Bill.

The specialty crop industry is also urging Congress to pass the 2012 Farm Bill before the current law expires in September. If the current Farm Bill is temporarily extended, several important specialty crop programs, including the Specialty Crop Research Initiative and the Clean Plant Network will lose funding.

The SCFBA appreciates the leadership of Senator Michael Crapo (R-Idaho) and Senator Patty Murray (D-Wash.) in building support for the letter, which can be found here.

For more information, please visit strongeragriculture.org or contact Robert Guenther, United’s senior vice president of public policy, at 202-303-3400.

Produce Traceability Initiative Issues Update

The Produce Traceability Initiative (PTI) has released an FYI Update that includes links to the PTI Implementation Survey, new webinars for brokers and repackers and several new resources. PTI is a voluntary, industry-wide effort designed to help the industry maximize the effectiveness of current track and trace procedures, while developing a standardized industry approach to enhance the speed and efficiency of traceability systems for the future. Industry participants cover every segment of the produce supply chain. The PTI is an industry-led, supply chain-wide initiative governed by a 34-member Leadership Council.

To update you on what’s new with the Produce Traceability Initiative, the March/April edition of PTI FYI includes:

  • The PTI Implementation Survey is now available online or on paper, and industry responses are vital to evaluating PTI success! Last chance to share feedback is April 12.
  • New webinars for brokers and repackers
  • Guidance on choosing a technology provider
  • New resources, including updated best practices for direct print and working with brokers and repackers
  • CPMA update on government relations and advocacy
  • The difference between GS1-128 and Code 128 barcodes
  • Upcoming conferences with PTI educational and networking opportunities: Preview of United Fresh 2012 and GS1 Connect
  • And more!

You can access this and past editions of PTI FYI on the PTI website in English, Spanish and French. For further assistance, contact PMA’s Ed Treacy, United’s Dan Vaché, CPMA’s Jane Proctor or Angela Fernandez at GS1 US.

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! Our winners will experience cuisine from a medley of cultures at Oak, Dallas’ original wine bistro at The Grape or the ultimate in Texas French cuisine at III Forks.

  • Oak – Anthony Solomon, BJ’s Wholesale Club, Inc.
  • The Grape – Robby Barkley, Greengate Fresh, LLP
  • III Forks – Kate Siegele, Starbucks Coffee Company

Register now to be eligible to win a gift certificate to next week’s featured restaurants: Stephan Pyles, Kenichi and Nonna.

Stephan Pyles serves what Chef Pyles calls “New Millennium Southwestern Cuisine.” The new millennium menu weaves a global food tapestry of tastes, flavors, and textures from Texas, South America, Spain, the Mediterranean and the Middle East. It was named “Texas’ Best New Restaurant of 2006” by Texas Monthly, and is popular for the central, glass-enclosed display kitchen that allows guests to view the chefs at work. The menu features highly innovative, big flavors - smoky, spicy, aggressive and bold – with plates such as bacon wrapped Texas wild boar loin with cippolini onion gajeta, green chile hominy and 5-spice compressed apple.

Kenichi is a modern restaurant and lounge that features contemporary Asian cuisine and world-class sushi voted “Best Sushi in Dallas” 3 years in a row. Kenichi is known for the exciting sushi bar, bustling dining room, hip bar scene, Asian Martinis and the largest sake list in Texas. Locals’ favorites include dynamite shrimp, blackened tuna, broiled marinated black cod and wild salmon sashimi with goat cheese and red onion vinaigrette.

Nonna executive chef and owner Julian Barsotti has Dallas palates wrapped around his finger like spaghetti around a meatball, according to D Magazine. His tiny Italian-American restaurant serves innovative, seasonal takes on classic dishes. Everything from pasta to pizza dough to pancetta, ciccioli, and mortadella is made in his kitchen, complete with a wood-burning oven. Don’t miss the wood oven roasted veal chop with creamed rapini and roasted radishes or the white pizza of cherrystone clams, sweet onion and fresh herbs.

New Member Welcome

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

  • AgroThermal Systems, Moraga, CA
  • FruitSymbiose, Quebec, Canada
  • Harvest Blade and Supply Inc., Gilroy, CA
  • O’Connell Consultancy, Anaheim, CA
  • Sexy Fruta LLC, Puerto Escondido, Mexico
  • Winfosoft Inc. York, PA

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.

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

Washington Public Policy Conference
October 1-3, Washington, DC