July 19, 2012
In Today's Issue:
Take the Fresh Impact Produce Policy Poll Today!

Which presidential candidate will United Fresh members support in November? Where do members stand on immigration, nutrition, food safety and other agriculture-related policies? How do members participate in political campaigns?

United Fresh members are invited to take a brief straw poll that gives you an opportunity to share your views on priority industry issues, campaigns, the presidential candidates and more! Your responses to the survey are anonymous and the poll should take less than two minutes to complete.

The results of this members-only poll will be presented in United’s Fresh Impact Magazine. Look for your copy in the mail in August.

United Fresh members, take the Fresh Impact Produce Policy Poll now!

Poll will close at 11:00pm EDT Monday, July 23. Don't be left out!


Webinar Will Examine Recent Immigration Policy Changes

United Fresh continues the 2012 Summer Public Policy Webinar Series with a recently-added session, “Federal Immigration Policy – Uncertainty Reigns.” The webinar will provide a timely update on recent immigration topics such as the recent Supreme Court decision on Arizona’s immigration law and the president’s announcement on the status of young adults brought to this country illegally as children. Major questions exist regarding how Congress will act on comprehensive reform of our country’s immigration laws.

On Tuesday, July 24 at 2 pm EDT, join United Fresh and immigration experts to discuss the recent Supreme Court decision and what impact it will have on the produce industry. These experts will also be discussing what Congress will do to address the immigration issue and what it means for your ability to maintain a stable, experienced workforce:

Craig Regelbrugge, VP Government Relations, American Nursery and Landscape Association, Co-chair, Agriculture Coalition for Immigration Reform
Craig will discuss the outlook for legislation in light of the Supreme Court’s recent action and how much closer it brings Congress to voting on immigration policy reform, as well as industry advocacy efforts.

Monte Lake, CJ Lake, Counsel, Agriculture Coalition for Immigration Reform
Monte will focus on the impact of the Court’s announcement on agriculture’s ability to attract and maintain a stable workforce.

Laura Foote Reiff, Greenberg Traurig
Laura, an expert on business compliance with immigration compliance with one of DC’s leading law firms, will comment on the overall impact of the Supreme Court’s decision on businesses across the country.

“With the recent developments on the issue of immigration, the direction of federal immigration policy has been left in doubt,” said Robert Guenther, United’s senior vice president of public policy. “We’ve prepared this webinar in the hopes that it will give the industry some clarity on what it all means, what can be expected in the coming months and how to most effectively communicate our industry’s labor needs to Congress.”

This webinar is part of a four-part series featuring monthly, one-hour webinars. All sessions will be recorded and accessible to all registered participants. The webinar series is free for United Fresh members and only $149 for non-members. Register Your Team Today!

For more information on the Summer Public Policy Webinar Series click here or contact Angela Tiwari at 202-303-3416.


Produce Transportation Webinar Attracts Multinational Audience

Yesterday’s transportation best practices webinar, hosted by the North American Produce Transportation Working Group (NAPTWG), was widely attended by industry stakeholders. The session, sponsored by Sun World, gave an overview of the best practices and discussed the roles and responsibilities of the shipper, carrier and receiver in facilitating a seamless, safe, and sustainable global supply-chain.

Speakers included 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.

The question and answer period following the presentation sparked discussion on perishability and timeliness, dispute resolution strategies and how to most effectively use the NAPTWG resources.

“We had participants from all over the United States and from Canada, Mexico and Australia, which really gives credence to the importance of produce transportation best practices,” said Dan Vaché, vice president of supply chain management for United Fresh. “NAPTWG intends to expand our transportation educational efforts to ensure that the entire industry is on the same page when dealing with the distribution and delivery of fresh fruits and vegetables.”

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.


Prepare to March on Capitol Hill at the Washington Public Policy Conference

This year’s Washington Public Policy Conference will be the largest ever, offering attendees more face-to-face congressional meetings and insider events with leading policymakers. With congressional meetings always a highlight of the event, we’ve doubled our time on Capitol Hill, allowing members to focus on House visits one afternoon, followed by Senate visits the next morning. This allows for more time for serious conversation with each congressional office, and this is more important than ever since we’ll be in DC just one month before the November elections.

Though former Senator Fred Thompson no longer has an office on Capitol Hill, he will be attending WPPC to present the closing keynote address. As a top political observer, Thompson will give an insider’s look at the campaign process and the pivotal 2012 elections. Thompson is well known for his acting role on the television series “Law & Order,” but also served in the U.S. Senate from 1994 to 2002, during which time he was Chairman of the Senate Governmental Affairs Committee and a member of the Finance Committee and Select Committee on Intelligence.

United members will prepare for the March on Capitol Hill and meetings with lawmakers with segment-specific education sessions designed by United’s Market Segment Boards. Attendees will have the chance to brush up on current policy issues and engage with expert speakers in these cutting-edge education sessions:

  • Grower-Shipper Session - Managing Your Workforce in a Harsh Labor Environment
  • Fresh-Cut Processor Session -The Outlook for Pathogen Testing by Government Agencies
  • Wholesaler-Distributor Session - Opportunities to Drive Produce Sales Through Government Feeding Programs
  • Retail-Foodservice Session - Retail & Foodservice Operators as Targets of Social Media Activism

For more information on the Washington Public Policy Conference, please contact Angela Tiwari at 202-303-3416.


United Fresh to Move Forward As Merger Talks End

Merger talks with the Produce Marketing Association ended this week, according to a statement from Chairman David Krause. “From the very start, we’ve been steadfastly committed to acting only in the best interest of member companies and the entire produce industry, without predetermined constraints on programs, executive leadership or staff. We are disappointed that in the end, PMA’s current leadership did not agree with what we believe was a very fair, member-oriented plan that could have blended the goals and priorities of both associations. Without that commitment from our friends at PMA, the United Board could simply not abandon the principles that have guided our association for more than a century.”

United Fresh will move forward and continue with the century-long tradition of serving the fresh produce industry. United’s goal has always been about enhancing member value, and driving increased sales and profitability for the fresh produce industry.

You can view a letter sent to members on Tuesday by the Board of Directors by clicking here.


Less Than 2 Weeks Left to Apply for Family Business Scholarship!

2011 Caplan Family Scholarship winners advocating for their family businesses on Capitol Hill at WPPC.

Are you employed by a family business?
Do you want to learn more about critical issues that are affecting your business?
Do you want to make a difference for the produce industry?
Do you want attend the largest produce policy event in Washington, DC for FREE?

The July 31st deadline for applications for the 2012 Frieda Rapoport Caplan Family Business Scholarship Program is quickly approaching! Don’t miss this chance to advocate for your family business on Capitol Hill. The program recognizes up to four 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.

“This program gives family-owned businesses the opportunity to send their employees as ambassadors to Capitol Hill,” said Victoria Backer, United Fresh senior vice president of member services, foundation. “Family businesses have a unique perspective on industry issues, and with the one-on-one meetings with policymakers that this conference offers, it’s a powerful chance to make their priorities known.”

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.

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 at 202-303-3405.


United Fresh Staff, Fresh Food Executives Meet with Retail Leadership

Victoria Backer, United Fresh senior vice president of member services, took part in the FMI Fresh Foods Council meeting in Chicago this week, along with leaders from other fresh food trade associations. The goal of the meeting was to help retail perishable executives understand some of the common issues affecting the different sectors of the fresh food departments, including produce, deli, dairy, bakery, seafood and meat.

“It quickly became evident that many of the issues and challenges we face in produce are also impacting other fresh departments,” said Backer. “This was an important opportunity to talk with retail executives about ‘what keeps them up at night’ and share lessons learned across different sectors of their businesses.”


Put Your Produce Inspection Knowledge to the Test!

Do you know the two visible differences between Burmuda Granex-Grano (BGG) and Northern onions? Or the color requirement of a calyx for a US No. 1 Strawberry? Take our Produce Quality Inspection Quiz to test your knowledge and preview the material that will be covered in the upcoming Produce Inspection Training Program!

Join us for the Produce Inspection Training Program, September 10-14, for the produce industry’s only USDA-instructed inspection training program, 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 May sold out, so be sure to register your team today! The member registration fee for the introductory course is $895 and $1925 for both the 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.


New Member Welcome

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

  • Multicorr, Louisville, KY
  • Zep, Inc., Atlanta, GA

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: Federal Immigration Policy
July 24

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