April 19, 2012
In Today's Issue:
Produce Industry Leaders to Share Valuable Lessons at United Fresh 2012

United’s Jeff Oberman (far left) gets a preview of stellar produce retail secrets from the Raley’s team (L-R): Troy Schweitz, RMA Honoree Brian Corbitt, Greg Corrigan, RMA Honoree Ron Danielson, Kip Martin, and Jon Holder at the Fresh Produce & Floral Council Northern California Expo.

With less than two weeks to the kick-off of United Fresh 2012, it’s time to start considering your company’s goals for the show. Regardless of your aim, United Fresh 2012 lets you customize the trade show experience to maximize value to your company. With more than 30 hours of educational sessions tailored to the grower-shipper, wholesaler-distributor, fresh-cut processor and retail-foodservice market segments, there is sure to be a lively discussion on the issues most important to you. In fact, Supermarket News has already heralded our session on connecting with consumers through social media, check it out here!

It’s not too late to register for your all-access pass to United Fresh 2012. Register today to join the 25,000 food industry decision makers at the largest food industry event of its kind!

United Fresh 2012 is your chance to connect with industry insiders, to catch up with old friends and create new relationships. This year, several learning sessions highlight the movers and shakers in the produce industry, recognizing their contributions to promoting fresh fruits and vegetables and sharing valuable lessons learned.

Secrets of the Best: Retail Produce Manager Award Winners
Wednesday, May 2, 1:00-1:45 PM, Fresh Marketplace Learning Center

Join us as a panel of the 2012 Retail Produce Manager Award Winners share insiders’ tips on what products consumers are really putting in their grocery carts.  Hear about the latest trends in the produce department and ideas for creative merchandising that will WOW customers.

Top Chefs!  Produce Excellence in Foodservice Award Winners 
Wednesday, May 2, 3:00-3:45 PM, Fresh Marketplace Learning Center

From counter service to white tablecloth restaurants, today’s chefs have tremendous insight into what consumers are looking for when they dine away from home.  Join us for an open roundtable discussion with our Produce Excellence in Foodservice Award-winning chefs about creative new uses for fresh fruits and vegetables and the challenges and opportunities that are impacting the foodservice business.

Women in Produce Inspiring the Next Generation
Thursday, May 3, 11:00-11:45 AM, Fresh Marketplace Learning Center

Women in Produce honorees from the past 15 years will gather to share lessons learned from their experiences in the industry and the challenges they overcame on the path to their greatest accomplishments. Join us for an honest dialogue on the important role of women in the industry and how their example attracts and inspires the next generation of women leaders.

Click here to see all the education sessions available at United Fresh 2012! If you haven’t registered yet, there are still all-access passes and housing available, but reserve your space today!

United Fresh Announces Nominations for New Board Officers and Directors for 2012-2013

(L-R) Incoming Chairman of the Board, David Krause, Paramount Citrus; Chairman-Elect, Ron Midyett, Apio, Inc.

Chairman of the Board Development Committee Steffanie Smith, River Point Farms, has announced the slate of new officers and directors nominated to serve on the United Fresh Produce Association Board of Directors, effective at its April 30, 2012 meeting in Dallas.

Ascending to Chairman of the Board is David W. Krause, President, Paramount Citrus, Delano, CA. David has lived in the Central Valley of California and worked in agriculture his whole life. He joined Paramount Citrus in 1999 as COO, and was named President in 2001. Paramount Citrus is the largest integrated grower and packer of citrus in California. Paramount owns and farms approximately 30,000 acres in various locations throughout California and Mexico. David is also a third generation farmer. He and his wife Lisa currently live on their ranch in the Orange Cove area, and they farm in both Fresno and Tulare counties. David has served in numerous industry roles, including the California Citrus Growers Association, California Citrus Mutual and the California Agricultural Leadership Foundation. He has an A.S. degree in plant science from Reedley College in California.

Nominated as Chairman-Elect is Ron Midyett, CEO of Apio Inc. Ron currently serves as Secretary-Treasurer of the Board. Prior to joining Apio in 2005, Ron held the position of Senior Vice President of Operations at Dole Fresh Vegetables. Ron received a degree in Food Biochemistry from the University of California at Davis and is an alumnus of Class 6 of the United Fresh Produce Industry Leadership Program.

Current Chairman, Reggie Griffin, retired Corporate Vice President, Produce & Floral Merchandising & Procurement, The Kroger Company, will move to the position of Immediate Past Chairman and remain on the Board and the Executive Committee.

The following industry leaders have been nominated to serve as new members of the United Fresh Board for a two-year term beginning April 2012:

Bill Brooks, Owner/Partner, Westlake Produce Company, Los Angeles, CA is a third generation potato salesman from Idaho. His grandfather and father were both cash track potato buyers for distributors in the East during the 1940s and ‘50s. Bill’s father moved his family to Southern California in the late 1950s and started Brooks & Sims Produce in 1962 with Joe Sims. Brooks & Sims specialized in potatoes and onions, which has been Bill’s specialty throughout his 40-year produce career.

Jim Catchot, President and CEO, Renaissance Food Group, LLC, Rancho Cordova, CA, has more than 30 years of leadership experience in the produce and fresh food industry. Jim’s first entrepreneurial venture, JC Produce, was founded in 1980. The company distributed fresh produce to food service customers in Northern California. In 1990, JC Produce became a founding member in Pro*Act. Jim was the founding chairman and went on to serve as president/CEO. Launched in 2003, Renaissance Food Group is a national fresh food company that markets, produces and distributes its Garden Highway brand of fresh consumer food products into multiple retail channels. In 2011, Calavo Growers, Inc. acquired Renaissance Food Group which is now a wholly owned subsidiary of Calavo.

Greg Corrigan, Senior Director of Produce and Floral for Raley’s Family of Fine Stores, Sacramento, CA, began his career in the grocery industry in 1984 working for Bel Air Markets as he attended Sacramento State University where he achieved his Bachelor of Science Degree in Business Administration. Greg served as a produce manager at store level for 9 years, and in 1998 was promoted to District Produce and Floral Supervisor overseeing the store level operations for produce and floral in the South Division for Raley’s. In 2000, Greg was promoted to Director of Produce and Floral where his responsibilities included overseeing all procurement and merchandising for the four banner companies including Raley’s, Bel Air, Nob Hill and Food Source. Greg has served on many boards and committees for the produce and floral industry including the PMA Retail Board, the Fresh Produce and Floral Council Board and the United Fresh Retail-Foodservice Board. Today Greg continues to oversee all the procurement and merchandising for the 128 store chain operating in Northern California and Northern Nevada.

Tom Deardorff II, President and Co-Owner, Deardorff Family Farms, Oxnard, CA, is nominated to serve as Vice Chairman of the Grower-Shipper Board. Deardorff Family Farms was launched by Tom’s great grandfather W.H. Deardorff in 1937 and today is a fully integrated farming, packing, re-packing, shipping and marketing operation owned and operated by the family’s fourth generation. Tom graduated from the University of Southern California with a business degree and then from Southwestern Law School with a Juris Doctor. After practicing law for several years, he joined the family business fulltime in 1999. Tom has served on many industry boards, including the Ventura County Agricultural Association (past chairman); the California Tomato Commission (past Treasurer); and, the California State Board of Food and Agriculture. He is currently serving on the Western Growers Association Board of Directors and was Chairman in 2011.

Aaron Fox, Vice President – Sales and Administrative Issues, Fox Packaging, McAllen, TX joined the family business in 1994 after graduating from Washington University School of Law in St. Louis. He received his undergraduate degree from Texas Christian University in Fort Worth. He is currently a member of the Board of Directors of the Texas Produce Association, has served on the United Fresh Grower-Shipper Board, and is a graduate of Class 3 of the United Fresh Produce Industry Leadership Program.

Cindy Jewell, Director of Marketing, California Giant Berry Farms, Watsonville, CA is responsible for developing and executing all marketing and communications programs for California Giant, including its social media platform to engage co-partners in delivering health and fitness messaging and increasing visibility for the brand with consumers. Prior to joining California Giant, Cindy served as Executive Vice President of the California Strawberry Commission, where she worked for 19 years. She has served two terms on the United Fresh Grower-Shipper Board and previously held leadership positions at the Produce for Better Health Foundation. She is a graduate of Class 3 of the California Agricultural Leadership Program.

Kenny Lund, Vice President – Support Operations, Allen Lund Company, La Cañada, CA is nominated to serve as Chairman of the Supply Chain Logistics Council. Kenny is a graduate of Loyola Marymount with a degree in Business Administration. He joined the company in 1989 after three years of teaching and coaching at St. Francis High School in La Cañada. Kenny managed the Refrigerated Transportation Division in Los Angeles for eight years, handling loads mostly to the southeastern United States before shifting full time into being the newly formed Information and Technology Department in 1997. In November 2002 Kenny became Vice President of Information and Technology. In 2011 Kenny became a Certified Transportation Broker. He currently serves on the Board of Directors of the Transportation Intermediaries Association, as well as the United Fresh Supply Chain Logistics Council.

Lisa McNeece, Vice President of Foodservice and Industrial Sales, Grimmway Enterprises Inc., Bakersfield, CA joined Grimmway in 1991 to coordinate sales and promotion of a “new” product – peeled baby carrots. She was promoted to her current position in 2001, where she responsible for business development and implementation of the carrot category for bulk and value added items. She has served on the PMA Board of Directors, the PMA Foodservice Board, the PMA Foundation for Industry Talent, the PBH Executive Board, and as a member of the USDA Fruit & Vegetable Industry Advisory Committee. She received the Packer’s Foodservice Achievement Award in 2008 and was also recognized as an industry leader in The Packer 25.

Kevin Moffitt, President/CEO, Pear Bureau Northwest, Portland, OR, is responsible for strategic direction, advertising and market promotion, reporting and regulatory functions for this non-profit trade association representing 1,500 growers. He is also Managing Director of the federal marketing order for fresh pears in Oregon and Washington. He previously served as Executive Vice President, and Vice President, International Marketing before his appointment as President in 2001. He was previously employed in marketing by Sun Diamond Growers of California, and began his career at Dole Food Company in 1981. He received his Bachelor of Science in Business Administration in 1980 from the University of Oregon, in Eugene.

Bob Morrissey, Executive Director, National Watermelon Association, Lakeland, FL is a 1980 graduate of Johnson & Wales University in Providence, RI. He has well-rounded career in produce, serving 16 years in the retail industry including a regional Massachusetts chain Fernandez, Albertsons and The Kroger Company; 15 years in marketing at the PIA Merchandising Company and the Florida Department of Citrus, and 8 years in the trade association sector. As the Executive Director of one of the country’s oldest commodity associations, one of his primary responsibilities is to handle all federal lobbying activities on behalf of the industry. Bob serves on the National Watermelon Promotion Board, and from 2007-2008 served as the Vice Chairman of the USDA Fruit & Vegetable Industry Advisory Committee.

Sean Picquelle, Produce Manager, Taco Bell, Irvine, CA, is nominated to serve as Vice Chairman of the Retail-Foodservice Board. Sean received his Bachelor of Science Degree in Food Science & Nutrition from Chapman University in Orange, CA, and has 15 years experience in the food industry, including juice processing, spices, fresh cut vegetable processing, commissary, and fresh food manufacturing. For the past six years at Taco Bell, he has been a strong voice on the United Fresh Food Safety & Technology Council, addressing supply chain food safety practices.

Rob Schrick, Strategic Business Management Lead for Horticulture, Bayer CropScience, Research Triangle Park, NC, graduated from Kansas State University with a degree in Business Management, during which time he worked for the USDA Grain Marketing and Research Center.  He was born and raised in Kansas, working for the family owned crop protection, fertilizer and custom application business.   Schrick began his professional career in 1992 as a sales representative with Rhone-Poulenc Agro, based in Willmar, MN.  In 1997 he moved into marketing for Aventis CropScience and in 2004 took an international assignment with Bayer CropScience, in Monheim Germany. Returning to the US in the fall of 2009, he took the position of Strategic Business Entity Lead for Bayer’s US Herbicides and Traits.

Lisa Strube, Director of Finance and Administration, Strube Celery & Vegetable Co., Chicago, IL, is nominated to serve as Vice Chair of the Wholesaler-Distributor Board. Lisa began her produce career at Strube in 1989, working in almost all aspects of the business until being appointed to her present position in 2005. She was chosen as one of the Produce Business Forty Under 40, served on the USDA Fruit and Vegetable Industry Advisory Committee for four years, is a graduate of Class 12 of the United Fresh Produce Industry Leadership program, and has served on its Alumni Board.

Mike Wootton, Senior Vice President, Corporate Relations & Administration, Sunkist Growers, Sherman Oaks, CA, leads Sunkist relations with federal and state governments, oversight of state and federal political action committees, participation in trade policy development, and manages all public and media relations, relations between Sunkist and its grower members and affiliated packinghouses, corporate communications with growers and shippers, management of member agreements. Mike oversees Sunkist departments including Human Resources, Food Safety, Research and Technical Services (Engineering and Manufacturing), Fruit Sciences, Corporate Communications and Grower/Shipper Relations. Prior to joining Sunkist, Mike served on the congressional staffs in California and Washington for four Republican Members of Congress and two Republican U.S. Senators, all from California, over a period of 24 years.

Current Board members nominated to new positions of service on Market Segment Boards and Councils include:

  • Chairman, Grower Shipper Board – Will Steele, Frontera Produce
  • Chairman, Wholesaler Distributor Board – Ron Carkoski, Four Seasons Produce, Inc.
  • Chairman, Retail-Foodservice Board – Randy Scott, Delhaize America

The following officers of Market Segment Boards and Councils will continue service on the Board: 

  • Chairman, Fresh-Cut Processor Board – Jan Berk, San Miguel Produce, Inc.
  • Vice Chairman, Fresh-Cut Processor Board – Tony Freytag, Crunch Pak Sliced Apples
  • Chairman, Global Advisory Council – Paddy Callaghan, Nature’s Best Ltd.
  • Chairman, Nutrition & Health Council – Dan’l Mackey Almy, DMA Solutions, Inc.
  • Chairman, Food Safety & Technology Council – Walter Ram, The Giumarra Companies
  • Chairman, Government Relations Council – Barry Bedwell, California Grape & Tree Fruit League

The following current At-Large Board Members will continue service on the Board:

  • Steve Burnham, Safeway, Inc
  • John Chrosniak, DuPont Crop Protection
  • Scott Danner, Liberty Fruit Co., Inc.
  • Emily Fragoso, Status Gro
  • David Hille, Cabbage Inc.
  • Ana Hooper, Darden Restaurants
  • Joe Huston, Chiquita Brands International, Inc.
  • John Keeling, National Potato Council
  • Lorri Koster, Mann Packing Company
  • Angela Nardone, N2N Global
  • Roger Pepperl, Stemilt Growers, LLC
  • Dave Russell, Del Monte Fresh Produce N.A.
  • Ivan Tarriba, Farmers Best International, LLC
  • Greg Wohlleb, Bunzl Distribution, Inc.
  • Jackson Woodward, Horton Fruit Company.

“In total, the slate of nominees for our consolidated Board of Directors, together with our returning Board members and new officers, makes this a tremendously diverse and skilled set of leaders to represent our entire industry and guide our association in the year ahead,” said Board Development Committee Chairman Steffanie Smith.

Board members concluding service at the April 30 meeting include:

  • Steffanie Smith, River Point Farms LLC, who served as Chairman of the Board in 2010-2011, and this past year as Immediate Past Chairman
  • Brendan Comito, Capital City Fruit Company, who served as Chairman of the Wholesaler-Distributor Board
  • Mitch Smith, McDonald’s, who served as Chairman of the Retail-Foodservice Board
  • Fred Williamson, Andrew & Williamson Fresh Produce, who served as Chairman of the Grower-Shipper Board
  • Dave Dever, Sun World International, who served as Chairman of the Supply Chain Logistics Council
  • Mike Celani, Ready Pac Foods, Inc.
  • Tony DiMare, DiMare Company
  • Roger Harkrider, H-E-B
  • Brent Harrison, Al Harrison Co. Distributors
  • Mike Martin, Rio Queen, Inc.
  • Phil Muir, Muir Copper Canyon Farms
  • Mark Murai, California Strawberry Commission
  • Bruce Peterson, Peterson Insights, Inc.
  • John Smith, Bayer Crop Science

“I’d like to personally thank those leaders who are concluding their service at this meeting,” said United Fresh President Tom Stenzel. “They have contributed greatly to our industry’s success in so many ways, and we appreciate the time and resources they have given to serve our industry. I’d also like to thank Steffanie Smith and Board Development Committee members Will Steele, Ron Carkoski, Tony Freytag, Randy Scott, Reggie Griffin, David Krause and Ron Midyett for their work this year in nominating an outstanding slate of officers and Board members. We recognize that the strength of our association comes from strong representation of our membership across the total supply chain, bringing together an exceptional group of leaders to serve our industry.”

United Fresh 2012 Opens Dialogue on Cantaloupe Safety Progress

The produce industry is engaged in a series of webinars to collectively develop the most current, science-based cantaloupe food safety guidance. Discussions regarding the possible preventative measures to be taken are continuing as the organizing alliance works towards the August 1, 2012 goal of completing a draft of cantaloupe food safety guidance for public review.

At United Fresh 2012 in Dallas, industry members will engage in dialogue about cantaloupe food safety, with an educational session and the presentation of new research.

In the FreshTech Learning Center, United’s David E. Gombas, Ph.D., senior vice president, food safety &technology, will moderate the session “ Cantaloupe Safety Update: Preventive Controls and Post-Harvest Handling.” The discussion will take place Wednesday, May 2, 12:30 – 1:45 PM and review industry efforts to share best practices among all cantaloupe growers, while also reviewing current laboratory and on-farm studies to assist in the design and implementation of preventive controls and postharvest interventions.

The annual fresh produce research poster session, with cutting-edge research on food safety and quality aspects of fresh and fresh-cut produce, will feature two cantaloupe related posters: Development of the Low Temperature Thermal Treatment (LT3) Process to Sanitize Fresh-Cut Cantaloupe and Surface Decontamination Technologies for Enhancing Safety and Shelf life of Cantaloupes. Posters will be available for viewing at all times that the show floor is open. Researchers will be available at their posters to discuss their research at 3:00 p.m. - 4:30 p.m. on Tuesday, May 1, and Wednesday, May 2.

For more information on the development of the cantaloupe food safety guidelines, please contact Dr. David Gombas, United’s senior vice president for food safety & technology, or Ray Gilmer, vice president of communications, at 202-303-3400. To participate in the cantaloupe food safety guideline dialogue in Dallas, register now for United Fresh 2012!

Take Action to Support Specialty Crops in the 2012 Farm Bill

The Senate Agriculture Committee is finalizing its negotiations on the Farm Bill, the single most important and comprehensive piece of agriculture policy legislation enacted by the federal government. This measure affects every aspect of agriculture production and secures access for under-served populations to fresh fruits and vegetables. The 2008 Farm Bill enacted landmark policy legislation pertaining to specialty crop production and represents an unprecedented commitment by the federal government to enhance the competitiveness of specialty crop producers.

The Committee is expected to take the first votes on this critical measure shortly after it completes its negotiations, so it is essential to let them know that Congress must maintain, and if possible, build on the 2008 investments in essential programs to the fresh fruit and vegetable industry. While key agriculture policymakers are facing tremendous pressure to look for ways to further cut these programs, we know that significant investment in specialty crops made in 2008 is reaping benefits not only for farmers, shippers and retailers, but for the overall health and well-being of Americans.

The Senate Agriculture Committee will soon vote on their version of the bill as the next step in the Farm Bill process. If you live or have operations in Arkansas, Colorado, Georgia, Iowa, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Montana, North Dakota, Nebraska, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, South Dakota or Vermont, click here to take action and send a letter to your senator(s) who serve on the Agriculture Committee.

“Constituent voices are very powerful. A letter to your senator today about the critical need to protect the federal investment in these programs will have a big impact. On behalf of the entire fresh produce industry, we appreciate anyone who reaches out and makes their concerns known,” said Julie Manes, United’s director of government relations. “The momentum the specialty crop industry has gained since the 2008 Farm Bill must be continued.”

Take action here!

For more information on how to get involved, please contact Erin Grether at 202-303-3402.

United Fresh Encourages Members of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics to Engage in Let’s Move Salad Bars to Schools

On Monday, Dr. Lorelei DiSogra, United’s vice president of nutrition & health, presented Let’s Move Salad Bars to Schools (LMSB2S) at the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics (AND) 2012 Public Policy Workshop. DiSogra applauded the many AND members around the country who have raised the visibility of LMSB2S, developed training materials for schools and partnered with donors to bring more salad bars to their state’s schools. She highlighted United’s goal to donate salad bars to 100 Texas schools on May 1 during the United Fresh 2012 Convention in Dallas and the thousands of students who will benefit from increased access to fresh fruits and vegetables next school year. Leaders from Texas, including Karen Beathard, President of the Texas Dietetic Association, and Jessica Coffee, Coordinator, Let’s Move Dallas, offered to participate in United’s Let’s Move Salad Bars to Texas Schools press conference on May 1 noting the importance of the donation to Let’s Move Dallas!

Marissa Duswalt, the new White House associate director for policy & events for Let’s Move!, also spoke on the Let’s Move! panel. She highlighted the First Lady’s leadership and commitment, and how all of the various Let’s Move! initiatives are changing our country’s norms about child nutrition and creating healthier food environments. “It was an honor to share the excitement of LMSB2S with Marissa and 400 AND members. Marissa is from Austin, Texas; so our donation to 100 Texas schools was especially meaningful to her,” said DiSogra.

For more information on how you can support Let’s Move Salad Bars to Schools and to help United Fresh reach the goal of 100 salad bars for Texas schools, please contact Andrew Marshall at 202-303-3407 or visit saladbars2schools.org.

United Fresh Participates in 87th CPMA Convention in Calgary, Alberta

United’s Dan Vache, vice president of supply chain management, speaks with a member at CPMA.

Dan Vaché, vice president of supply chain management, and Jeff Oberman, vice president of membership & trade relations, represented United Fresh during this past week’s Canadian Produce Marketing Association (CPMA) Exposition in Calgary, Alberta.

“This year’s CPMA was an excellent platform to meet with current United Fresh members and industry colleagues from both sides of the border to discuss key issues, and ultimately to help increase consumption and expand trade opportunities,” said Oberman.

The convention featured a number of networking events and meetings such as the CITAC (CPMA Industry Technology Advisory Committee) on which Dan Vaché serves. The committee tackled issues such as supply chain technology, data synchronization and traceability. Oberman summed up the event with hopes for the future: “We look forward to welcoming our colleagues from CPMA and a great number of attendees we met in Calgary to the upcoming 2012 United Fresh Show in Dallas later this month.”

For more information, please contact Jeff Oberman at 831-422-0940.

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!

Next Thursday, April 26, 2012 is the final Taste of Dallas giveaway! It’s not too late to register for United Fresh 2012 for a chance to have your name drawn for 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 taste the rambunctious American cuisine at Charlie Palmer’s, bold, southern-inspired dishes at Fearing’s and the finest gastro-pub offerings at Meddlesome Moth.

  • Charlie Palmer’s – Alan Siger, Consumers Produce Company, Inc.
  • Fearing’s – Raul Gallegos, Bristol Farms
  • Meddlesome Moth – Erin Lorance, Avendra

Register now to be eligible to win a gift certificate to next week’s featured restaurants: Del Frisco's Grille, Nick & Sam's and Five Sixty.

Del Frisco’s Grille is located in the heart of Dallas’ dining and social scene. The restaurant blends industrial and lush elements to create an atmosphere that is simultaneously stylish, social and relaxed. The menu features tempting flatbreads with garlic shrimp, chorizo, mozzarella, cilantro pesto and pickled red chili as well as hearty prime sliced New York strip steak with fresh tomato-basil salsa and aged balsamic reduction.

Nick & Sam’s is an uptown steakhouse that prides itself on creating a phenomenal dining experience. The menu is a mix of classic American fare, with prime steak, fresh lobster and the famous complimentary caviar. The entrée should be supplemented with a sumptuous side of lobster macaroni and cheese or Portobello gnocchi with ricotta, pine nuts and tomato confit, and paired with a fine line from the impressively extensive list.

Five Sixty sits atop Reunion Tower, bringing diners 50 stories to Wolfgang Puck’s modern interpretations of Asian dishes. With floor-to-ceiling windows that line the restaurant, guests enjoy 360-degree views of Dallas as the room revolves. The menu features signature dishes such as crispy Maine lobster & shrimp spring rolls, steamed wild king salmon “Hong Kong style,” and grilled double cut bone-in prime beef rib chop with wasabi-Armagnac peppercorn sauce.

Hurry--Only a Few Spots Left! Register for May 21-25 Produce Inspection Training Program

Students examine produce in the hands-on Commodity Labs course.

USDA instructor explains the complex produce inspection process.

United Fresh is pleased to deliver its extremely popular Produce Inspection Training Program, the produce industry’s only USDA instructed inspection training program, on May 21-25 at the USDA Fresh Products Branch National Inspectors’ Training Center in Fredericksburg, Virginia. This hands-on training is designed to help produce industry receivers, handlers, buyers, shippers and sellers understand the complexities of the produce inspection process.

The program is offered in two specialized courses: Fundamentals of Produce Inspection and the Commodity Labs course. The two-day Fundamentals course is a prerequisite to the Labs course and focuses on inspection essentials, PACA, sampling procedures and general market principles. The three-day Commodity Labs program applies the fundamental principles to real world inspections, including the five most commonly requested commodities—grapes, lettuces, potatoes, strawberries and tomatoes—with up to seven additional commodities based on the attendees’ most common preferences!

Class size is limited and registrations are accepted on a first-come, first-served basis. The last course in January sold out, so be sure to register your team today! The member registration fee for the introductory course is $895 and $1925 for intro and advanced course. If three or more colleagues register for both courses at the same time they each receive a $100 discount!

To learn more, please visit the United Fresh website or click here for Produce Inspection flyer and downloadable registration form. If you have any questions about this or any other United Fresh education program, contact Shannon Young, education manager, at 202-303-3405.

Register Now for Special Pricing on HACCP for the Fresh-Cut Industry Workshop at UGA

United Fresh is partnering with University of Georgia on the Fresh-Cut HACCP Short Course workshop designed to establish an in-plant HACCP program for the fresh-cut produce industry. As fresh produce moves from the field through the processing plant to the table, three sources of contamination - microbial, chemical and physical - may pose a health hazard. HACCP is a specific action plan developed to identify and control any of these hazards from entering the handling process, and to document the safety of fresh-cut produce.

The three-day course, held May 22-24, 2012 at University of Georgia’s Athens campus, will provide a unique program of lectures and work group discussions from a broad-based faculty of food microbiologists, HACCP experts, authorities from academia, industry and government. The work group sessions provide interaction with HACCP authorities who have developed and implemented successful HACCP programs in fresh-cut processing plants.

In the hands-on laboratory participation the participants will learn which microbial testing tools to use to document and verify your sanitation program, how to interpret microbial results and which standardized procedures are best for consistent microbial analysis in testing fresh-cut produce.

The program is open to owners, plant managers, quality assurance personnel, production supervisors, field inspectors, marketing directors, and anyone responsible for designing and implementing field and fresh-cut food safety programs.

BONUS! This course is accredited by the International HACCP Alliance. Successful completion of the course and exam provides HACCP certification!

Register by May 4! United Fresh members receive discounted registration.

Click here for more information or contact UGA at 706-542-2574 or efs@uga.edu.

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:

  • Bunzl, Inc., St. Louis, MO

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.

  • Henning’s Market, Harleysville, PA
  • Nash-Finch Company, Minneapolis, MN
  • Tricar Sales, Inc., 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

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