July 5, 2012
In Today's Issue:
Washington Public Policy Conference Sparks Fireworks on Capitol Hill

Keep the July 4th celebrations going strong by registering now to attend the Washington Public Policy Conference! This is the industry’s chance to participate in the policy making process in a forthright and powerful way. With produce industry leaders and our nation’s policymakers all in one place, the conference strengthens the industry’s voice on issues such as food safety, farm labor, nutrition and consumption and the 2012 Farm Bill.

“The grassroots advocacy that takes place at WPPC continues the American tradition of participation in our government,” said Tom Stenzel, United Fresh president & CEO. “I hope all our members had an enjoyable 4th of July holiday, and I’m looking forward to successful dialogue about the future of the industry at WPPC.”

This year, the event features two days of strategic, face-to-face meetings with lawmakers and staff of congressional offices. Attendees will also hear from key Cabinet officials and participate in candid and constructive dialogue with the president’s executive team. Market segment education sessions will also provide industry stakeholders the opportunity to evaluate progress made on priority issues.

“Congressional visits are the most powerful part of this conference,” said Robert Guenther, United’s senior vice president of public policy. “Constituents raising their concerns to their senators and representatives is extremely valuable. We’re looking forward to the real impact we’ll have this year, especially with the Farm Bill shaping up and the November elections just around the corner.”

For more information, visit the Washington Public Policy website, or contact Angela Tiwari at 202-303-3416.


Grower-Shipper Association Raises More Than $43,000 for School Salad Bars

Margaret D’Arrigo-Martin (Right), GSA Chairwoman, with sons Alex and Sterling and classmates in front of the salad bar at Lincoln Elementary Schools in Salinas.

More than 15 salad bars will be donated to Salinas/Monterey County area schools, thanks to the Grower-Shipper Association of Central California (GSA). Last weekend at the 74th Annual GSA Golf Tournament and Gala Events, Association Chairwoman Margaret D’Arrigo-Martin, Taylor Farms, and produce industry leaders raised more than $43,000 to support the Grower-Shipper Association Foundation’s More Produce in Schools Program and United Fresh Produce Association Foundation’s campaign to place salad bars in schools across the country.

“I’m thrilled with the support from so many people to bring salad bars to local schools and to support nutrition education and training for students and school staff,” said D’Arrigo-Martin, who has made it her priority to promote increased access and consumption of fresh fruits and vegetables in schools, through the Grower-Shipper Association Foundation program, More Produce in Schools.

Tom Stenzel, United Fresh President & CEO, was on hand at this weekend’s GSA events to support the local industry efforts. “I really want to thank Margaret and all the members and staff of the Grower-Shipper Association and the GSA Foundation for their commitment,” he said. “It’s great for our two associations to work together supporting a cause that’s a win-win for our industry, and our children. With many schools in California requesting salad bars, there’s plenty of opportunity for more companies, associations and other groups to follow GSA’s lead, and get involved to bring salad bars to more schools.”

Let’s Move Salad Bars to Schools was developed to raise the visibility of salad bars as an effective strategy for increasing children’s produce consumption at school. The program supports First Lady Michelle Obama’s broader Let’s Move! initiative to solve childhood obesity within a generation. To date, more than 1,600 salad bars have been donated to schools through Let’s Move Salad Bars to Schools.

The GSA salad bar donations are made possible by the generous contributions of the following companies and other event attendees: NH3 Service Company, Pro*Act, Green Gate Fresh, Dole Fresh Vegetables, Taylor Farms, Church Brothers, R.C. Farms, Johnson, Moncrief & Hunt, PLC, Tanimura & Antle and Three Star Lettuce.

For more information about Let’s Move Salad Bars to Schools or More Produce in Schools, and to learn how your company can get involved, contact United Fresh policy and grassroots manager, Andrew Marshall at (202) 303-3407 or Abby Taylor-Silva of the Grower-Shipper Association Foundation at (831) 422-9007.


Scholarship Steps Up Family Business Engagement on Capitol Hill

2011 Caplan Family Business Scholarship Winners at WPPC.

United Fresh is proud to accept applications for the 2012 Frieda Rapoport Caplan Family Business Scholarship Program. The program recognizes up to four employees of family-owned United Fresh member businesses with complimentary airfare, hotel and registration to attend the association's annual Washington Public Policy Conference, October 1-3 in Washington, DC.

The Frieda Rapoport Caplan Family Business Scholarship Program was established in 2001 through a generous grant from Frieda's, Inc. by Karen Caplan and Jackie Caplan Wiggins in honor of their mother, Frieda. The program, administered through the United Fresh Foundation, is designed to increase family business' involvement in government relations and produce industry advocacy.

“This program allows employees of family businesses to share their perspective on industry issues in a high-profile way,” said Victoria Backer, United Fresh senior vice president of member services, foundation. “One-on-one meetings with policymakers are a key feature of this conference that really amplifies the voice of the industry, and I encourage anyone who is involved with a family business to apply and take advantage of this advocacy opportunity.”

Applications for the 2012 Frieda Rapoport Caplan Family Business Scholarship must be received by July 31. For more information about the scholarship program, contact Shannon Young, United’s education manager, at 202-303-3405.


Spots Are Filling Fast for Produce Transportation Best Practices Webinar

Don’t miss out on the webinar that will help ensure your produce shipment escapes the heat this summer! The North American Produce Transportation Working Group (NAPTWG) will host a webinar on produce transportation best practices on Wednesday, July 18 at 11:00 am PT/2:00 pm ET. The session is filling quickly, register now!

The session, sponsored by Sun World, will give an overview of the best practices and delve into the roles and responsibilities of the shipper, carrier and receiver in facilitating a seamless, safe, and sustainable global supply-chain. Speakers include industry veterans with varied perspectives: Dan Vaché, vice president of supply chain management, United Fresh; Doug Stoiber, vice president, L&M Transportation Services, Inc.; Jim Gordon, operations manager, Ippolito Fruit & Produce LTD.; and Doug Nelson, special services manager, Blue Book Services, Inc. A question and answer period will follow the presentation and the session will be posted on the website as a resource.

“As summer quickly approaches, the webinar will be especially valuable to anyone involved in the movement of perishables and refrigerated cargo via truck,” said Dan Vaché, vice president of supply chain management for United Fresh. “It’s vital that the entire industry be on the same page when dealing with the movement of fresh fruits and vegetables. We need to ensure the cold chain remains intact and to prevent complications in the distribution and delivery of our fresh and wholesome products.”

Registration is complimentary to all interested parties. Register now!

This is the first in a series of educational webinars the NAPTWG will hold. For more information, please visit the NAPTWG website, or contact Dan Vaché, vice president of supply chain management, at 425-629-6271.


Paramount Citrus Focuses on Food Safety with Produce Traceability

A pallet with traceability labels prepares to ship out from Paramount Citrus.

Food safety has always been one of Paramount Citrus’ top priorities. By implementing Produce Traceability Initiative (PTI) recommendations, the company has taken an active role in the supply chain, and learned some lessons along the way that PTI has presented in a case study, available here. The case study is one of a series that PTI has posted as resources for operations looking to implement traceability programs. These case studies document early adopters' experiences implementing the PTI within their companies.

Paramount Citrus has more than 30,000 acres in cultivation, producing enough citrus to pack 10 million cartons annually. To date, Paramount has assigned 2,500 Global Trade Item Numbers® (GTINs®) to their products for case-level identification, following recommendations by the Produce Traceability Initiative.

“We have taken a deliberate stance to implement traceability for food safety. We believe it’s what we need to do – to lead in the Produce Traceability Initiative versus follow,” said Rick Burnes, Paramount’s vice president of supply chain.

Not only have Paramount’s traceability efforts helped ensure a safe product is delivered, the implementation has also made the packing system more efficient – Burnes estimates that new labeling practices are saving up to $100,000 each year. To read more about Paramount’s path to traceability, click here.

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.

For additional case studies and resources, please visit the PTI website. For more information on the Produce Traceability Initiative, please contact Dan Vaché, United’s vice president of supply chain management, at 425-629-6271.


New Member Welcome

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

  • Chapman Produce, Tallahassee, FL
  • City Produce, Fort Walton, FL
  • Gulf Coast Produce, Biloxi, MS
  • Limehouse Produce Company, North Charleston, SC
  • McCartney Produce, Paris, TN
  • Metropolitan Foods, Little Rock, AR
  • Sunrise Fresh Produce, Jacksonville, FL

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.

Summer Webinar Series: Nutrition
August 8

Produce Inspection Training Program
September 10-14, USDA Training Center, Fredericksburg, VA

Summer Webinar Series: The Produce Message to Congress
September 12

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