November 1, 2012
In Today's Issue:
A Message from CEO Tom Stenzel

Next Tuesday marks an important day in the United States – your opportunity to help choose our nation’s next president and a host of federal, state and local leaders. United does not endorse candidates in the presidential election because as the representative of the entire industry we must stand ready to work with whichever administration takes office next January. But we do ask YOU to make your voice known!

This is an extremely important election, with serious impact on the future of the country depending upon who wins the presidency. Over the past several months, we’ve shared the views of the candidates on key issues in agriculture. But I also ask you to weigh your decision on who you believe will guide the nation most effectively on business issues such as the economy, job growth, tax policy and regulation. Look at who you think will do the best job in international affairs and national defense. And be sure to look at all of the personal issues that are important to you and your family. I’ve made my own decision and already voted in the swing state of Virginia. Now it’s your turn. No matter what your decision, it’s clear that a handful of votes could make the difference in this election.

Remember, when we don’t exercise our right to vote, we get the kind of government we deserve.


DiSogra Recognized for Leadership in Public Health, Salad Bars Highlighted at American Public Health Conference

United Fresh Vice President of Nutrition & Health Lorelei DiSogra was honored for 40 years of service by the American Public Health Association.

This week in San Francisco, Dr. Lorelei DiSogra, United Fresh vice president of nutrition & health, was recognized for 40 years of leadership in public health nutrition by the American Public Health Association (APHA) at their Food and Nutrition Awards reception. Susan Foerster from the CA Department of Public Health, another national leader for increasing fruit and vegetable consumption, was also recognized for her 40 years of leadership in public health nutrition.

At the APHA conference, DiSogra presented an update on Let's Move Salad Bars to Schools, highlighting the success of school salad bars in increasing children's fruit and vegetable consumption and the importance of public-private partnerships in national public health initiatives. DiSogra also noted that the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) has just awarded a cooperative agreement to Tulane University in New Orleans to evaluate Let's Move Salad Bars to Schools.

"I am thrilled that Tulane University will work with CDC to evaluate the effectiveness of school salad bars. In 2011, the United Fresh Foundation donated salad bars to 43 New Orleans schools to benefit the children of our convention host city. Researchers at Tulane University were very helpful, visiting salad bar schools with us and attending our press event," said DiSogra. Members of the Tulane University evaluation team were in attendance at the presentation at APHA and expressed their enthusiasm to be working on this exciting project.

While in the San Francisco Bay Area, DiSogra is also meeting with several Northern California foundations to discuss their support for Let's Move Salad Bars to California Schools – a special initiative to donate salad bars to 350 California schools by the United Fresh 2013 Convention in San Diego in May.

For information on how you can support Let's Move Salad Bars to Schools, please contact Andrew Marshall, United Fresh policy & grassroots manager, at 202-303-3407 or visit www.saladbars2schools.org.


United Fresh and FPFC Team Up to Drive Produce Sales, Move Salad Bars to Schools

A student fills his plate with colorful fruit and vegetables at a salad bar in California.

United Fresh is teaming up with the Fresh Produce & Floral Council (FPFC) for a special educational program that will explore the fresh produce industry’s opportunities for increased sales to school foodservice programs. With new government regulations requiring an increase in fruits and vegetables in school lunch programs, school districts will be looking for innovative ways to incorporate fresh produce in their school menus. Learn how federal school lunch programs and the Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Snack Program can offer growing business opportunities for the wholesale and distribution sectors of the fresh produce industry.

“The FPFC membership voted on which charity they wanted to see benefit from the 2012 Holiday Auction and they selected Let’s Move Salad Bars to Schools in addition to Wounded Warriors. We felt to enhance to the day’s program with an educational program focused on how to increase sales to this sector would be a great opportunity,” said Carissa Mace, FPFC president.

The workshop will take place immediately prior to the FPFC Holiday Luncheon and Charity Auction on December 12 in Cerritos, CA. A portion of FPFC’s Annual Holiday Charity Auction will benefit Let’s Move Salad Bars to Schools and the program’s goal to donate 350 salad bars to California schools.

Registration for both events will be available through FPFC beginning next week. For more information, please contact Jeff Oberman, United Fresh vice president of membership & trade relations, at 831-422-0940.


USDA Urges Farmers to Record Storm Losses

Hurricane Sandy was one of the largest storms to make landfall on the East Coast, leaving a path of devastation.

The USDA’s Farm Service Agency (FSA) is urging farmers and ranchers affected by Hurricane Sandy to keep thorough records of all losses incurred as a consequence of the storm, including:

  • Crop records, including seed and fertilizer purchases, planting and production records;
  • Pictures of on-farm storage facilities that were destroyed by wind or flood waters; and
  • Evidence of damaged farm land.

Producers with damaged farmland should contact their local FSA office. The Emergency Conservation Program (ECP) may be able to assist producer who need to repair farmland or remove debris due to Hurricane Sandy. FSA currently has $15.5 million available for producers in counties that received a Major Disaster declaration.

“United is currently consulting our members up and down the east coast and those that distribute in the area to assess the situation and provide help and information where most needed,” said Robert Guenther, United’s senior vice president of public policy.

USDA's Risk Management Agency reminds producers faced with questions on prevented planting, replant, or crop losses to contact their crop insurance agent for more information. Producers who need emergency credit due may receive assistance through the Emergency Loan Program if they need assistance recovering from production and physical losses due to natural disasters. Producers are eligible for these loans as soon as their county is declared a Presidential or Secretarial disaster county.
Unfortunately, USDA’s authority to operate five disaster assistance programs authorized by the 2008 Farm Bill, including the Tree Assistance Program (TAP), expired on Sept. 30, 2012. Production losses due to disasters occurring after Sept. 30, 2012, are not eligible for disaster program coverage.

USDA will continue working with state and local officials, as well as our federal partners, to make sure people have the necessary resources to recover from this challenge.

More information about federal crop insurance may be found at www.rma.usda.gov. Additional resources to help farmers and ranchers deal with flooding and other damage may be found at www.usda.gov/disaster. To find the USDA Service Center nearest you, please visit http://offices.sc.egov.usda.gov/locator/app?state=us&agency=fsa. Also visit:
http://www.usda.gov/wps/portal/usda/usdahome?contentidonly=true&contentid=HurricaneInfo.xml

 

Free Fresh Fruit Snacks Equals Less Junk Food for Students

A Norwegian study found that free fruit programs in schools caused a decrease in the consumption of unhealthy foods such as soda and sugary snacks.

A new study found that programs like the Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Program not only increase student’s fruit consumption, but also decrease their consumption of junk food and soda. Researchers found that students consumed less junk food and soda when schools participated in Norway’s Free Fruit at School program, with the most notable improvement in eating habits in children from disadvantaged households.

The Scandinavian country’s program is very similar to the US Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Program (FFVP), and was found to boost consumption of fresh fruit and decrease the intake of unhealthy foods.  Students who received the free fruit snacks ate 2.8 fewer unhealthy foods each week compared to those students in schools who did not participate in the program.

“Programs like FFVP are global strategies for increasing kids’ fruit and vegetable consumption. Many countries have followed suit by implementing programs similar to the US that provide fresh fruit and vegetables snacks. This study shows that providing the snacks at schools not only increase kids’ consumption of fruits and vegetables, but also decrease their consumption of junk food,” said Dr. Lorelei DiSogra, United Fresh vice president of Nutrition & Health. “Introducing children to fresh fruit and vegetable snacks creates the foundation for a lifetime of healthy eating.”

The full study can be read here. For more information, please contact Dr. Lorelei DiSogra at 202-303-3400.


Register Now for the 2013 Produce Executive Development Program!

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.

“If you are considering an executive management course, look no further – this is the all-star program,” said 2012 program graduate Jon-Christopher Myers, director of business development at Eurofresh, Inc. “World class faculty, industry icon guest speakers, relevant and interactive study topics, and a classroom full of like-minded peers. This is an opportunity to re-enter the engaging world of academia at one of the finest institutions in the world!”

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.


New Member Welcome
Welcome New Members!

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

  • Soho Produce, Maasdjik, Netherlands

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:

Driving Produce Sales Through School Lunches Workshop
December 12, 2012, FPFC Holiday Luncheon and Charity Auction, Cerritos, CA

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