October 25, 2012
In Today's Issue:
United Fresh and Food Marketing Institute to Co-Locate 2014 Tradeshows in Chicago

Chicago promises to be an exciting location for the retail and produce industries to come together for the co-location of United Fresh and FMI in 2014.

United Fresh is proud to announce the co-location of the 2014 convention, June 10-13, with the Food Marketing Institute (FMI) in Chicago. This premier tradeshow and education event will bring together the retail and fresh produce industries and highlight the shared interest in providing high quality, fresh selections to consumers. The show will offer retail and produce executives unprecedented value in the opportunity to connect with customers and industry counterparts.

“We’re excited to once again co-locate with FMI for United Fresh 2014 in Chicago,” said Tom Stenzel, United Fresh President and CEO. “The co-location of the United and FMI shows is a perfect setting for produce and retail executives to explore the flavors, variety, innovation and sales growth opportunities available in fresh produce.”

"Consumers consistently point to the importance of the produce section as a compelling reason in selecting their primary store, so FMI members - in recognition of the eminence of the fresh category - are delighted we are again partnering with United Fresh as we bring FMI2014 back to Chicago." Leslie G. Sarasin, president and CEO of FMI, said. "The focus on fresh is a return to our food retail roots that is especially appropriate in the year our show stages a return to one of the most renowned food towns."

The reunion of FMI and United Fresh follows the successful 2012 co-location in Dallas, which attracted more than 14,000 attendees and featured 2,800 exhibits covering one million square feet.

The United Fresh 2013 show will be hosted in sunny San Diego, May 14-16. Join us to discover fresh horizons, ideas to grow your business, and the resources to build your market advantage.

For more information, please contact John Toner, vice president of convention & industry relations, at 202-303-3424.

2013 Produce Executive Development Program Registration Now Open

The 2012 graduates of the Produce Executive Development Program who left Ithaca with renewed focus and the resources to take their careers and businesses to the next level.

Advance your career with an Ivy League education at the 2013 Produce Executive Development Program! Presented through the United Fresh Foundation’s Center for Leadership Excellence in partnership with the Cornell University Food Industry Management Program, the program will be held March 10-15, 2013 on the Cornell campus in Ithaca, NY.

The Produce Executive Development Program is an intense, five-day program for mid- to senior-level executives led by Cornell faculty and industry experts. The course focuses on issues critical to both personal development and the larger challenges and opportunities faced by today’s produce industry executives.

“This program was a game-changing experience for me,” said 2012 program graduate Miguel Suarez, president of MAS Melons & Grapes, LLC. “Not only did it have a major impact on my business outlook, but the lessons also resonated in my personal life. This is not your average educational program – I highly recommend it to anyone who is ready to challenge themselves in a new way.”

This robust program agenda will include respected Cornell faculty, guest speakers, and industry experts. Some of the topics for the 2013 course include:

  • Executive Leadership
  • Today’s Food Retailing & Foodservice Climate
  • Competitive Strategy
  • Team Dynamics and Decision Making
  • Financial Planning
  • Work/Life Balance: The Power of Sleep
  • Negotiation & Conflict Resolution
  • Leading Through Change
  • Strategies for Growth in Entrepreneurial Environments
  • Supply Chain Stimulation
  • Produce Industry Forecast for the Future
  • Understanding Your Executive Leadership Style

“This program partners the experience of industry leaders with the insights of world class academics in an environment that fosters a valuable knowledge exchange,” said Victoria Backer, United Fresh senior vice president of member services, foundation. “It’s an unmatched opportunity for learning and development, which is vital for even for the most seasoned executives.”

Tuition for the program includes: five nights lodging, course instruction, course materials and supplies, breakfasts, luncheons and several special dinners. For United Fresh members, the registration fee is $4,995 if booked prior to January 18. Enrollment is limited to 40 participants. Last year’s course sold-out, so interested participants are encouraged to register early.

More information on the program is available by clicking here or by contacting Shannon Young, United Fresh education manager, at 202-303-3405.

FDA Now Accepting Facility Re-Registrations

Domestic and foreign facilities that manufacture, process, pack, or hold food for human or animal consumption in the United States are required to re-register with FDA between now and December 31, 2012. After a brief delay, FDA has now opened an electronic portal for facilities to re-register here. In the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA), Congress instructed FDA to require facilities to re-register every two years, beginning in 2012. There is no fee to register or renew the registration of a food facility.

The facilities required to register have not changed, and are described in Title 21 of the Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) Part 1, Subpart H. New this time, however, is how facilities are to describe the types of food they handle. Previously, facilities were to use the food product categories as identified in 21 CFR Part 170.3. In guidance published here, FDA has updated the list to categories they believe will be more descriptive. Operations can register electronically through the link above, or can fax or mail their registrations, as described in that same link. It is important for facilities to remember that, if a change occurs to a facility’s previously submitted registration information, the facility has 60 calendar days to update its registration. For example, if a facility has a new owner, the former owner must cancel the facility’s registration within 60 calendar days of the change and the new owner must submit a new registration (21 CFR Part 1.234).

Farms and retail operations remain exempt from the registration requirement, however a “mixed-type facility" is required to register. FDA uses the term "mixed-type facility" to refer to an establishment that engages both in activities that are exempt from registration and activities that require the establishment to be registered, such as a farm that grows, washes, packs and ships its own produce (exempt) and also packs produce not grown on the farm (not exempt) or manufactures a fresh-cut product for commercial distribution (not exempt). Retail facilities are those that sell food products directly to consumers as its primary function, and would include a farm stand. More about which facilities are and are not exempt can be found here.

Visit the Food Safety Modernization Act link on the United Fresh website periodically for more updates relevant to United Fresh members. For more information, please contact Dr. David Gombas, senior vice president of food safety & technology, at 202-303-3400.

Before the Produce Industry Goes to the Polls, Know Where the Candidates Stand

The produce industry can influence the outcome of this election. Read the presidential candidates’ positions on the produce industry’s top issues today!

With less than two weeks to Election Day, President Obama and Governor Romney are hitting the campaign trail full throttle. To help members make the best choice in the presidential election, United Fresh submitted questions to the Obama and Romney campaigns about the produce industry's top issues: immigration, food safety, agricultural regulation, Farm Bill, taxes and nutrition.

See President Obama’s and Governor Romney’s Exclusive Policy Responses Here!

“The candidates took the opportunity to specifically address the concerns of the produce industry by responding to our submitted questions,” said Ray Gilmer, United Fresh vice president of communications. “These statements give members of our industry the information to make an informed decision and they underscore how important the produce industry is in this race.” 

Control of critical seats in the House and Senate are will also be decided on November 6, and industry leaders at this year’s WPPC expressed their support of candidates who have demonstrated themselves to be allies to the industry. Attendees carried the produce message to Capitol Hill, sharing first hand perspectives on the impact of various policies on their operations with congressional offices. United provided a comprehensive listing of lawmakers’ positions on key votes, including the 2012 Farm Bill, an amendment requiring a feasibility study of recall insurance, and the 2012 Highway Bill. See how your representative and senators voted on critical issues here.

For more information, please contact Robert Guenther, senior vice president of public policy, at 202-303-3400.


Chinese Delegation Visits United Fresh to Discuss Produce Industry Strengths

United Fresh hosted a 17-member Chinese delegation at its Washington office on Tuesday to discuss the strength of the produce industry in the United States. Burleson Smith, vice president of environmental affairs & sustainability, and Julie Manes, director of government relations, met with the delegation, which was led by Mr.Wang Wenjie, Deputy Director-General of the Inner Mongolia Department of Commerce. After a presentation on United’s mission and programs, the group discussed the regulatory situation in the United States regarding fresh produce, particularly related to food safety and the Farm Bill. The delegates were also interested in the effects of rising land costs on the price of fresh produce, various sustainability initiatives along the supply chain, and how the industry handles transportation issues.

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