November 15, 2012
In Today's Issue:
Produce Retail Stars to Be Honored at United Fresh 2013

The 2012 Retail Produce Manager Award winners were honored at the United Fresh show in Dallas.

The United Fresh Foundation, through the Center for Leadership Excellence, is now accepting nominations for the 2013 Retail Produce Manager Awards Program. Established in 2005 by founding sponsor Ready Pac Foods, Inc., the program will honor 25 outstanding retail produce managers at the United Fresh 2013 convention May 14-16 in San Diego.

The Retail Produce Manager Awards Program pays special recognition to produce managers on the front line in supermarkets working every day to increase sales and consumption of fresh fruits and vegetables. Since the program’s inception, over 170 managers from more than 60 different retail banners have been honored for their commitment to customer satisfaction, innovative merchandising, produce-related community outreach, and recognition among company peers.

“Produce managers are the face of our industry to the consumer,” said Chairman of United’s Retail-Foodservice Board Randy Scott, Produce Category Manager for Delhaize America. “Their creativity and positive interaction with customers can had a tangible effect on all of our bottom lines. This program is a powerful way to send a message to produce managers everywhere that we value what they do.”

This year, 25 award winners, along with their corporate produce directors, will receive complimentary airfare, hotel accommodations and registrations to the United Fresh 2013 convention. The winners will be honored at the Produce Celebration Dinner on Thursday, May 16, where five grand prize winners will be announced as recipients of an additional $1,000 cash prize.

“We salute the incredible work of these men and women who are delivering an exceptional produce experience every day to the consumer,” said Michael Solomon, President and CEO of Ready Pac Foods, Inc. “We are proud to sponsor this program and honored to have such dedicated and talented managers showcasing the best our industry has to offer.”

“We strongly encourage all retailers who want to recognize their best produce managers to nominate them today,” said Victoria Backer, United Fresh senior vice president of member services, foundation.  “This is more than just a plaque to hang on the wall. This program is experience that many have called a highlight of their careers!”

The 2012 Retail Produce Manager Award winners were:

  • Leslie Alex, Hannaford Brothers, Dover, NH
  • Ricky Allemand, Brookshire Grocery Company, New Iberia, LA
  • John Ballard, Food City/K-VA-T Food Stores, Lafollete, TN
  • Mathew K. Blair, Price Chopper/Golub Corporation, Cicero, NY
  • Phil Burgess, Safeway Stores, Bend, OR
  • Brian Burrow, Brookshire Grocery Company, Whitehouse, TX
  • Franklin Bys, Hy-Vee, Inc., Coralville, IA
  • James Campbell, Sunflower Farmers Market, Denver, CO
  • Brian Collegnon, Rueben’s County Market , Hartford, WI
  • Corey Conrad, Colemans Food Centres, Corner Brook, NFL, Canada
  • Brian Corbitt, Bel Air Market/Raley’s Family of Fine Stores, Sacramento, CA
  • Jolene Cyr, Food Maxx/Save Mart Supermarkets, Fairfield, CA
  • Ron Danielson, Raley’s Family of Fine Stores, Woodland, CA
  • Chad Faulk, Harris Teeter, Charlotte, NC
  • John Heon, Big Y Foods, Lee, MA
  • Rich Jackson, Quality Food Centers, Sammamish, WA
  • Steve Kaminski, Jewel-Osco, Westmont, IL
  • Charmagne Kendrick, VG's Food Center/Spartan Stores, Fenton, MI
  • Jim Kesteloot, Harris Teeter, Reston, VA
  • Michael Kolek, Jewel-Osco, Schaumburg, IL
  • Brian Langdon, The Kroger Company, Cincinnati, OH
  • Mike McElmeel, Hy-Vee, Inc., Silvis, IL
  • Elizabeth Myers, New River MCAS Commissary, Jacksonville, NC
  • Wanda Ivy Nicholas, Travis Air Force Base Commissary, Travis, CA
  • Nick Puleo, Vons, San Diego, CA

Nominations for the 2013 Retail Produce Manager Awards Program may be accessed online and must be received by January 18, 2013.

Click here for more information, including selection criteria and a list of winners since 2005, or contact Shannon Young, United Fresh education manager, at 202-303-3405.

Take Action to Support Fruits and Vegetables in the 2012 Farm Bill

Let Congress know today that the fruit and vegetable industry supports the 2012 Farm Bill!

The Farm Bill is the single most important agriculture policy legislation enacted by the federal government. This measure affects YOU, and is critical to the entire fruit and vegetable industry. United Fresh is asking members to take action today to tell Congress to pass and complete action on the Farm Bill before adjourning for the year. Send a letter to your representative now!

“Congress will come back to DC to work for only 17 days this year, which leaves us a small, but critical window of hope that the 2012 Farm Bill will be passed and that federal investments in specialty crop programs will be preserved,” said Robert Guenther, United Fresh senior vice president of public policy. “We’ve made it simple to ask your member of Congress to address the 2012 Farm Bill before the end of the year; all you need to do is sign your name.”

These essential programs are included in the Farm Bill that was passed by the Senate, and now requires action in the House of Representatives:

  • $70 million annual investment for the Specialty Crop Block Grant program
  • $50 million in funding for the Specialty Crop Research Initiative
  • $150 million annual funding for the Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Program
  • $50 million annual funding for DoD Fresh program to provide fresh fruits and vegetables to schools and service institutions
  • $71.5 million for pest and disease management programs
  • $200 million/year for the Market Access Program

As an industry, we do not want the Farm Bill to be delayed to 2013. Take action today! Encourage your colleagues to also take action and strengthen the voice of the produce industry.

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

Be Ready for Deadline on FDA Food Facility Registration

Does your food facility need to be registered with the FDA? Don’t miss the deadline!

United Fresh will host a webinar to answer key questions about the FDA’s Food Facility Registration Process. Beginning in 2012 under the Food Safety Modernization Act, FDA requires food facilities to renew their registration every two years. Registration renewals with FDA must be done before December 31, 2012.

Join us November 19 at 2:00 PM ET for a one-hour webinar that will outline important information about who needs to register, how to register or renew your registration, and upcoming deadlines not to miss.

Amy Barringer, Director, Division of Field Programs and Guidance, FDA Office of Compliance, and David Gombas, Ph.D., Senior Vice President, Food Safety & Technology, United Fresh Produce Association, will address the following questions:

  • Who is required to register or renew their registration?
  • What changes have been made to the registration process?
  • Which companies are exempt from registration?
  • How do companies renew their registration and what information is required?
  • When do registration updates need to be submitted?

Registration for the webinar is open to all interested parties, especially domestic and foreign facilities that manufacture, process, pack, or hold food for human or animal consumption in the United States. The cost to participate for United Fresh members is $25 and $50 for non-members. Register now!

Five Days That Could Change Your Career

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.


Start Off 2013 as a Produce Inspection Expert!
Watch the video for an insider’s look at the Produce Inspection Training Program!

The United Fresh Foundation, through the Center for Food Safety & Quality, will conduct its first Produce Inspection Training Program of 2013 on January 14-18. These hands-on training sessions, executed in partnership with the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Agricultural Marketing Service (USDA-AMS), are designed to help produce industry members better understand the breadth of the produce inspection process.

“This course prepares produce handlers to better understand the complexities of product quality inspection,” said Victoria Backer, United Fresh senior vice president, member services, foundation. “We continue to see many new and returning companies take advantage of the hands-on, practical format offered in this unique program.”

The program is offered in two specialized courses: Fundamentals of Produce Inspection and Commodity Labs. Upon completion of the Full Course, attendees receive a certificate of completion from United Fresh and USDA.

The first of the two courses, Fundamentals of Produce Inspection, is a prerequisite of the Commodity Labs course and focuses on topics such as inspection essentials, the Perishable Agricultural Commodities Act (PACA), sampling procedures, and general market principles. The three-day Commodity Labs course takes place in the lab and applies the principals learned in the fundamentals course to real product inspections. Each Commodity Labs course will include the five most commonly requested commodities: grapes, lettuces, potatoes, strawberries and tomatoes, and will be customized with additional commodities based on the attendees’ most common preferences (up to 12 in total).

Additional Produce Inspection Training Programs offered in 2013 will be held June 3-7 and September 16-20. All courses are held at the USDA Fresh Products Branch National Inspectors’ Training and Development Center in Fredericksburg, VA.

For more details and registration options, please visit the United Fresh Foundation website or contact Shannon Young, education manager, at 202-303-3405.

Chairman’s Roundtable Thanks 2013 Supporters
Welcome New Members!

The Chairman's Roundtable provides extra support for programs in government relations, food safety, nutrition policy and other areas to help grow the produce industry. We are pleased to recognize the following companies who have committed to the 2013 Chairman’s Roundtable:

  • Flavor 1st Growers & Packers, Horse Shoe, NC
  • Jack Keller Company/JAB Produce, Chicago, IL
  • John Vena, Inc. Philadelphia, PA
  • O.P. Murphy & Sons, Soledad, CA
  • Pear Bureau Northwest, Milwaukie, OR
  • Stemilt Growers, LLC, Wenatchee, WA
  • Strube Celery & Vegetable Company, Chicago, IL
  • Walter P. Rawl & Sons, Inc., Pelion, SC

The Chairman's Roundtable is an opportunity for United Fresh member companies to contribute above and beyond their basic dues. Roundtable members are industry leaders who set the pace in building United Fresh's strength in areas that do not generate their own revenue. Members of Chairman's Roundtable enjoy special recognition throughout the year for their support.  For more information on the Chairman’s Roundtable, please contact Senior Director of Membership Miriam Wolk at 202-303-3410.


New Member Welcome
Welcome New Members!

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

  • Pacific Financial Resources, Marina Del Ray, 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:

FDA Food Facility Registration Webinar
November 19

Opportunities to Drive Produce Sales to Schools Workshop
December 12, Sheraton Cerritos Hotel, Cerritos, CA

Produce Inspection Training Program
January 14-18, USDA Training Center, Fredericksburg, VA

United Fresh Foundation Golf Tournament & Produce Legends Dinner
January 28, Loews Ventana Canyon, Tucson, AZ

2013 Winter Leadership Meetings
January 28-30, Loews Ventana Canyon, Tucson, AZ

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