October 18, 2012
In Today's Issue:
Schools in Miami and Sacramento Start the School Year with Salad Bars Thanks to Let’s Move Salad Bars to Schools and Produce Industry Donors

United Fresh President and CEO Tom Stenzel (left) joined Produce for Kids founder John Shuman to celebrate the donation of salad bars to Miami-Dade County Schools.

Students in Anaheim fills their plates with fresh fruits and vegetables from a salad bar donated by FPFC.

In schools from coast to coast, the salad bar concept is catching on, and school foodservice directors are seeing the benefits. Two school districts, the Miami-Dade County Public Schools and the Sacramento City Unified School District may be on opposite coasts, but they are both leading the way when it comes to salad bars and providing students with an array of fresh fruit and vegetable choices.

This week, in honor of National School Lunch Week, United Fresh participated in two events to celebrate the donation of salad bars to schools in Miami and Sacramento. Produce for Kids and Publix Super Markets hosted a salad bar media event with officials from the Miami-Dade County Schools and the Fresh Produce and Floral Council hosted a ribbon cutting with local FPFC members and officials from the California Department of Education to highlight their recent donation to a Sacramento elementary school.

The Produce for Kids/Publix event took place on Tuesday at Sunset Park Elementary School. United Fresh president & CEO Tom Stenzel joined Produce for Kids founder, John Shuman and representatives from Publix Supermarkets, the Florida Department of Agriculture and Miami-Dade County Schools, to commemorate the donation of salad bars to 17 salad bars for Miami schools. The donation, made possible by Produce for Kids and Publix Super Markets from funds raised from the fall 2011 Healthy Schools, Healthy Minds campaign, benefitted Let’s Move Salad Bars to Schools, of which the United Fresh Foundation is a founding partner. The promotion enabled the donation of 39 salad bars for schools in Florida, Georgia, Alabama and Tennessee, of which 17 benefitted schools in the Miami-Dade County School District.

Also in attendance at Tuesday’s Miami event were representatives from Acosta Sales and Marketing, Buddy Fruits®, Del Monte Fresh Produce, Paramount Farms, Pero Family Farms®, Shuman Produce and Ventura Foods, all sponsors of the Produce for Kids campaign. Crunch Pak, Amco Produce, Mastronardi Produce, Ventura Foods and Del Monte Foods were also sponsors of the campaign, but were unable to attend.

 “Through the Let’s Move Salad Bars to Schools initiative, schools like Sunset Park Elementary are able to offer healthier choices for their students at lunchtime,” said John Shuman. “Putting fresh fruits and vegetables in front of children offers them the ability to make proper decisions and helps them to build lifelong healthy habits.”

Tom Stenzel added, “Two years ago First Lady Michelle Obama launched Let’s Move Salad Bars to Schools at Riverside Elementary School, a nearby Miami school. I’m glad to be back in Miami to commemorate the donation of 17 salad bars to a school district that’s a model for others that are looking for ways to serve more fresh produce at school lunch every day.”

On Wednesday on the west coast, Fresh Produce Council president Carissa Mace and members of the FPFC Board hosted their own ribbon-cutting ceremony at Earl Warren Elementary School in Sacramento.

Brenda Padilla, Director of Child Nutrition for the Sacramento City Unified School District, is a big proponent using salad bars as strategy for increasing students’ access and consumption of fresh fruits and vegetables. She has seen firsthand how salad bars can expose her students to a wide variety of produce items. She loves hearing stories from parents.  Ms. Padilla has a goal to place a salad bar in every school, and still needs salad bars for an additional 23 schools. 

Jeff Oberman, United Fresh vice president of membership and trade relations, and members of the FPFC Board, who were on hand to speak with students, and event attendees to reiterate the produce industry’s commitment to developing creative ways, like salad bars in schools, to get kids excited about eating more fresh fruits and vegetables.

“The FPFC has been a tremendous supporter of the United Fresh Foundation and Let’s Move Salad Bars to Schools. This salad bar donated by the Council will count toward the goal of United’s recently launched campaign, Let's Move Salad Bars to California Schools, which has set a goal to raise funds for salad bars for 350 schools by May 2013”, said Oberman.  Let's Move Salad Bars to California Schools is a special initiative under the umbrella of the national Let's Move Salad Bars to Schools (LMSB2S) initiative.

Wednesday’s event marked the FPFC’s second salad bar donation this year. Last month the Council hosted an event to commemorate their donation to Western High School in Anaheim.

To learn more about these donations, or for more information about the Let's Move Salad Bars to California Schools campaign, contact Andrew Marshall, United Fresh policy and grassroots manager at 202-303-3407. Schools interested in requesting salad bars can apply at www.saladbars2schools.org.

Fresh Produce Industry Weighs In on Labor Challenges at Summit

David Hille (far right) explains the produce industry’s need for a stable labor force at a summit last week.

United Fresh Board of Directors member David Hille, President of Cabbage, Inc. in Sheffield Village, OH, told an audience that labor policies that do not consider the needs of the fresh fruit and vegetable industry can have a devastating impact. In a session about the impact of foreign-born workers on his business and the broader produce industry at an immigration summit held in Indianapolis and hosted by the National Immigration Forum, Hille noted that nearly one and a half million laborers work on crop farms, and an estimated 75 percent of those are in fruit, vegetable and nursery production.

The summit in Indianapolis was one of a series of immigration summits being held throughout the country to focus on the impact of foreign-born workers on the U.S. economy, as well as the challenges and opportunities communities throughout the U.S. have in addressing the needs of the workers, employers, faith-based organizations and law enforcement. Hille joined representatives of the dairy and restaurant industries as well as the Indianapolis Chamber of Commerce to highlight how they have addressed the challenges and benefits of matching workers with labor needs, as well as the importance of immigration policy to their organizations.

“David illustrated for the audience what a tremendous interest the fruit and vegetable industry has in shaping immigration policy and how state and federal policies can help or hinder the ability of produce growers to do business,” said Julie Manes, United Fresh director of government relations, who also attended the event. “His first-person perspective really emphasized the significance of the issue. United is fortunate to have members like David, who do such a great job of explaining the real impacts of immigration policy on the economy and on agriculture specifically.”

For more information, please contact Julie Manes at 202-303-3400.

Regional Food Systems Discussed at AGree Conference

An increase in school and community gardens is an example of changing regional food systems. 

Last week, Robert Guenther, United Fresh senior vice president of public policy, joined a diverse group of stakeholders from across the country to discuss how to strengthen regional food systems through policy actions and private sector commitments. The symposium, held at UC Davis, was sponsored by AGree, a Washington, DC based long-term initiative funded by a number of philanthropic foundations. Guenther discussed current produce industry initiatives and policy efforts that will support projects to improve access to more nutritious foods.

“This was a great forum to help bridge current efforts within our industry to build access and availability of fresh fruits and vegetables while better communicating the role we all have in this new food environment,” Guenther commented. “We need to continue to exchange ideas amongst these important stakeholders and partners to help forge consensus goals towards a stronger food network.”

AGree’s primary goal is to drive positive change in the food and agriculture system by connecting and challenging leaders from diverse communities to catalyze action and elevate food and agriculture as a national priority. More information can be found on their website.

For more information, please contact Robert Guenther at 202-303-3400.

WPPC Videos Highlight Ambitions, Behind-the-Scenes Action

Video highlights from the 2012 Washington Public Policy Conference take you behind the scenes at the FreshPAC dinner, the March on Capitol Hill and Fresh Festival. Hear why discussing issues with congressional offices gave Mac Riggan of Chelan Fresh Marketing the confidence to return home and work hard. See which young industry leader has his eyes on becoming a senator and hear how WPPC inspired another young attendee in the 35 & Under video.

Tune in to UnitedFresh.TV here!

And don’t miss the photo gallery with day-by-day snapshots of all the exciting events!


United Member Craig Kelly Keeps Produce Supply Chain Moving

United Fresh member Craig Kelly explains CHEP’s sustainable pallet platform and why rock concerts are the best stress relief.

When produce is on the move, you can be sure that Craig Kelly had something to do with it. As director of sales for CHEP, Craig supplies the industry with the pallets that move fresh fruits and vegetables along the supply chain from the field to the grocery store. His engagement in United Fresh and the produce industry makes him an example of the thousands of industry leaders who are members of United Fresh and are working together towards a stronger industry. If you know Craig, you know United.

The concept of equipment pooling is well suited to the produce industry, especially considering that it offers a sustainable platform. “As a member of the United Fresh Sustainability Advisory Board, I am able to engage with industry leaders and hear their perspective and needs, which are invaluable and allow CHEP to better partner with the grower and retail community,” said Craig.

Involvement with United also helps keep Craig informed on current trends in the industry and pending legislation that can have an effect on the pallet business. “Food safety certainly is front and center to the industry. Our pallets move food products, including produce, around the world, and it is imperative we have measures in place to insure a safe platform. It’s our moral obligation to deliver a safe product to our customer.”

To read more about Craig’s industry involvement and his work at CHEP, continue reading his profile here. For perspectives from other industry leaders, click here.

GLOBALG.A.P. to Consider Produce Safety Standards at Meeting

GLOBALG.A.P. North America has scheduled a meeting of its U.S. National Technical Working Group (NTWG) for Thursday, October 25 in Anaheim, CA. According to Dr. David Gombas, United Fresh senior vice president of food safety & technology, and U.S. NTWG Coordinator, “GLOBALG.A.P. North America has launched its food safety-only Produce Safety Standard (PSS) for fruit and vegetables, and is looking for input from the NTWG on how auditors are to judge the requirements. PSS is the only standard based upon the Harmonized Standards that has been submitted to GFSI for benchmarking. GLOBALG.A.P. North America is making a good faith effort to maintain the integrity of the Harmonized Standards when implemented at the field audit level.”

Some of the topics to be covered at the October 25 NTWG meeting include an update on the Produce Safety Standard and its application of the Harmonized Standards; discussion of the “Tomato Metrics” proposed checklist riders for PSS, which are modified and additional control points designed specifically for the tomato industry; an update on GFSI benchmarking of PSS and re-benchmarking of GLOBALG.A.P.’s comprehensive Integrated Farm Assurance (IFA) standard; and other topics of interest to U.S. stakeholders interested in GLOBALG.A.P.’s certification. The NTWG meeting will take place immediately after GLOBALG.A.P. North America’s two-day Public Workshop (IFA/PSS Fruit and Vegetables training), October 24-25, at the same location in Anaheim.

Please contact Dr. David Gombas at dgombas@unitedfresh.orgfor information about participating in the US. NTWG or attending the October 25th meeting. For more information about GLOBALG.A.P. North America’s Public Workshop on October 24-25, please contact Jonathan Needham at needham@globalgap.org.


New Member Welcome
Welcome New Members!

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

  • Deloitte & Touche, LLP, San Jose, CA
  • Fresh Produce Import Association, Verona, NJ
  • Green & Grow, Inc., Mesa, AZ
  • Lamanuzzi & Pantaleo, LLC, Fresno, CA

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 Wolk at 202-303-3410.


Upcoming United Fresh Events

day plannerJoin us for events designed to grow your business:

2013 Produce Executive Development Program 
March 10-15, 2013, Cornell University, Ithaca, NY
United Fresh 2013
May 14-16, 2013, San Diego Convention Center, San Diego, CA