November 21, 2012
In Today's Issue:
Thanksgiving Message from United President Tom Stenzel

This message was first published in the United newsletter 19 years ago, and has appeared each Thanksgiving issue since.

Tomorrow, those of us in the U.S. will celebrate the Thanksgiving holiday. As we pack the kids in the car and head to the airport or put the finishing touches on the house before the family arrives, we take stock of our many blessings. Every year at this time, I am reminded of how lucky we are to do what we do. We are part of the noblest and most wonderful profession in the world—feeding people across the globe with the healthiest foods on the planet.

As representatives of each point in the fresh produce supply chain, those of you who grow, cut, pack, ship, sell or serve fresh fruits and vegetables have worked all year to provide Americans with the foods that their families will enjoy this holiday season. I hope you will relax and enjoy yourselves and take time to reflect on the important role our industry plays in providing delicious and nutritious foods for Thanksgiving and every day of the year.

The United Fresh family salutes each of you for your accomplishments and ongoing commitment to bringing that amazing bounty from our farms to tables around the world.

Best wishes for a great Thanksgiving holiday,

Tom Stenzel

United, Let’s Move Salad Bars to Schools Partners Set Goal to Donate 1,000 Salad Bars in 2013

: (L-R): Diane Harris, CDC; Andrew Marshall, United Fresh; Kim Herrington, Whole Kids Foundation; Beth Collins, F3 Foundation; Nona Evans, Whole Kids Foundation; Jane Johnson, Whole Kids Foundation; Joan Atkinson, ASTPHND; Lorelei DiSogra, United Fresh. Not pictured: Larry Grummer-Strawn, CDC; and Tom Stenzel, United Fresh.

For 2013, Let’s Move Salad Bars to Schools (LMSB2S) partners have established a goal to donate salad bars to more than 1,000 schools. This ambitious goal was made during a meeting last week of national LMSB2S partners, including the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Whole Kids Foundation, F3 Foundation and the United Fresh Foundation. The 2013 strategic plan includes the United Fresh’s Lets Move Salad Bars to California Schools initiative, Whole Kids Foundation’s campaign and a potential “angel donor.” Marissa Duswalt, Let’s Move! Associate Director, joined the meeting to highlight First Lady Michelle Obama’s support for LMSB2S and Let’s Move! prioritiesfor the next four years.

Nationwide, more than 1,600 schools have received salad bars from LMSB2S benefitting more than 1 million students.  However, more than 1,500 schools remain on a waiting list. LMSB2S partners hope to fund as many of these 1,500 as possible during 2013. 

For more 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

United, FDA Help Industry Prepare to Register Food Facilities

United Fresh hosted a webinar this week 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.

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 outlined important information about who needs to register, how to register or renew your registration, and upcoming deadlines.

“We were very fortunate to have Director Barringer personally answer the produce industry’s questions about the facility registration process,” said Dr. David Gombas, United Fresh senior vice president of food safety & technology. “Clearly, FDA has worked the bugs out of the process.  Now it’s up to our industry to comply with the law before the end of the year, and I would recommend sooner rather than later.”

Changes to the Food Facility Registration process under FSMA include the requirement of additional registration information to be submitted, namely: an e-mail address for the contact person at the facility; assurance that FDA will be permitted to inspect the facility at the times and in the manner permitted by the FD&C Act; and food product category information.

FSMA also gives FDA the authority to suspend the registration of a food facility in certain circumstances. If FDA determines that food manufactured/processed, packed, received, or held by a facility has a reasonable probability of causing serious adverse health consequences or death to humans or animals, FDA may, by order, suspend the registration of that facility.

Registration or renewal of food facilities may be completed online by clicking here.

An archived version of the webinar is available for purchase here.

Members with additional questions should contact Dr. David Gombas at 202-303-3400.


United Discusses Concerns for Produce Industry Stemming from Port Challenges

On Monday, November 19, the Maritime Exchange for the Delaware River & Bay hosted a meeting to discuss how challenges faced by the ports are impacting the perishable industry.  The discussion focused on the lack of adequate funding received by the Customs and Border Protection (CBP). The CBP employs agricultural specialists who are tasked with the prevention of entry of harmful plant pests and exotic foreign animal diseases, and also confront emerging threats in agro- and bioterrorism. Due to budget cuts and the increase of agricultural imports the system is strained and impacting the supply chain. The meeting included a question and answer session with the Area Port Director and the Assistant Area Port Director for Tactical Operations.

“There are definitely issues that need to be addressed to assist the perishable industry as more and more imports from the southern hemisphere and Central America hit many of the US ports,” stated Dan Vaché, United Fresh vice president of supply chain management. “The current economic situation and the recent election have put added emphasis on the need to address the issues to help efficiently move perishable products through the system. Port delays have a direct impact on the quality, shelf-life and maintenance of an adequate and consistent flow of products to the consumer. Many of our members are impacted by the delays caused by the current lack of agricultural inspectors in many US ports.”

“Getting timely releases of our perishable cargo from CBP- Agricultural Quarantine and Inspection (AQI) Services is critical to our ensuring both our customer's satisfaction levels and the efficiency of our operation.  The hiring freezes and budget constraints faced by CBP impact their ability to inspect and release our cargo as promptly our business demands,” said Stuart Jablon, vice president of operations  at Dole Fresh Fruit, Inc. “The future growth of the port in Delaware, and the jobs that will be generated from that growth, as well as the ability of CBP-AQI to perform their role of protecting US agriculture, will depend on getting the CBP-AQI the funding necessary to fully staff their operation.”

The meeting also included a conference call with staff members of the elected officials from Delaware and Pennsylvania who were updated on the port delays and the need to secure appropriate funding to address the lack of agricultural inspectors in the current budgeting process.

The United Fresh Supply Chain and Logistics Council along with the Government Relations Council are working with multiple members to address their concerns and challenges on both exports and imports through US ports. For more information, please contact Dan Vaché at 425-629-6271.

Salad Bar Trainings Highlight Efforts by Schools to Boost Produce Consumption
Welcome New Members!
Doug Davis, Foodservice Director for Burlington, Vermont Schools, speaks at the Atlanta salad bar training.

Welcome New Members!Rodney Taylor, who has been implementing salad bars for more than 20 years, speaks to California foodservice directors.

This month in Atlanta and Monterey, California, local stakeholders helped organize educational workshops for school foodservice directors and cafeteria managers to highlight how salad bars can be used to increase students access and consumption of fresh produce at school lunch, but also dove into the “nuts and bolts” of how to successfully implement salad bars and source more produce for school meal programs.

“There is evidence from schools across the country that when a salad bar is offered, students feel empowered to make their own choices and students learn to select healthy items for themselves, both now and throughout their lives,” said Dr. Lorelei DiSogra, United Fresh vice president of nutrition & health. “Schools also recognize that the presence of a salad bar is helping them meet new USDA fruit and vegetable requirements for school lunch and helping to increase their bottom line by enticing more students back to the lunch program.”

On November 5, Georgia Organics and the Atlanta Falcon’s Youth Foundation hosted a salad bar training workshop for food service directors and cafeteria staff from Georgia schools. All schools in Georgia that received salad bars through Let’s Move Salad Bars to Schools were invited to attend, as were foodservice directors interested in learning how they too could begin implementing salad bars. Held at the Atlanta Neighborhood Charter School, the workshop included speakers from the Georgia Department of Education, as well as special guest and salad bar advocate Doug Davis, foodservice director for the Burlington, Vermont Schools, who is known for successfully implementing salad bars and using produce from local farms. These stakeholders in Georgia also plan to develop a video to promote salad bars for schools.

On November 14, the California Department of Education and the Grower-Shipper Association of Central California hosted a salad bar training workshop for all schools in Monterey County. The workshop, sponsored by the Grower-Shipper Foundation as part of their More Produce in Schools initiative, was a tremendous success. Attendees had the opportunity to hear from Rodney Taylor, foodservice director for the Riverside Unified School District, who has implemented salad bars in schools for more than twenty years, and is considered the original school salad bar advocate. The training session provided attendees with a wide ranging education about how to implement a salad bar program, touching on topics such as: how to use salad bars to increase meal participation, control costs, ensure food safety, work with produce vendors and how to promote the foodservice program with students and parents. The training also provided an opportunity for foodservice directors and staff to network and share best practices regarding how to purchase more produce, and ensure students are eating more fruits and vegetables.

For more information about these trainings or about Let’s Move Salad Bars to Schools and how you can support salad bars for schools in your local community, contact Andrew Marshall, United Fresh policy & grassroots manager, at 202-303-3407 or visit


Get an Insider’s Look into Produce Inspection Training
Welcome New Members!

If you’ve been curious about the Produce Inspection Training Program, we invite you take a look at this short video for a sneak peek into the course and how it can benefit your company.

The Produce Inspection Training Program is a hands-on training course designed to help produce industry members better understand the breadth of the total produce inspection process. It is presented by United Fresh and USDA-AMS.

This course is designed for produce buyers, warehouse managers, field inspectors, produce inspectors, quality control managers, quality assurance managers, packing supervisors, produce receivers, operations managers, dock supervisors, inventory control managers and more.

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).

Allow the expert USDA trainers to take your staff to the next level of produce inspection knowledge. The next course will be held January 14-18, 2013 at the USDA Fresh Products Branch National Inspectors’ Training and Development Center Fredericksburg, VA. Sign up your team today!

Class size is limited and attendees are admitted on a first-come, first-served basis.  For more details and registration options, please visit the United Fresh Foundation website or contact Shannon Young, education manager, at 202-303-3405.


Five Days That Will Change Your Career
Welcome New Members!World class professors at Cornell University tailor the Produce Executive Development Program curriculum to your specific needs. 

For the past five years, the produce industry’s best and brightest executives have converged on Cornell’s campus for a five day, transformational education experience. Now it’s your turn.

Join top executives in the industry for the 2013 United Fresh Produce Executive Development Program, March 10-15. Presented in partnership with the esteemed Cornell University Food Industry Management Program, the program blends an Ivy-League learning environment with produce industry thought leaders, making for a unique experience that will dramatically impact your career.             

During this intensive five day course, you will be exposed to the latest business trends, master skills to navigate economic challenges and learn effective tools to advance your company. The small class size of 40 attendees enables the instructors to tailor the curriculum to your specific needs, allowing for a personalized learning experience.

Tuition for the program includes five nights lodging, course instruction, 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 Produce Executive Development Program is available online or by contacting Shannon Young, United Fresh education manager, at 202-303-3405.


Chairman’s Roundtable Thanks 2012 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:

  • Andrew Bros., Inc.
  • Castellini Company, LLC
  • Crunch Pak Sliced Apples
  • D’Arrigo Brothers Company of New York, Inc.
  • Duda Farm Fresh Food, Inc.
  • Flavor 1st Growers & Packers
  • Florida Fruit & Vegetable Association
  • G.O. Fresh
  • Gold Coast Packing Company, Inc.
  • Heartland Produce Company
  • Huron Produce Ltd.
  • Jack Keller Company/JAB Produce
  • NatureSeal
  • Nonpareil Corporation
  • North Bay Produce, Inc.
  • Northwest Horticultural Council
  • O.P. Murphy & Sons
  • Stemilt Growers, LLC
  • Strube Celery & Vegetable Company
  • Tanimura & Antle
  • The Kroger Company
  • Walter P. Rawl & Sons, Inc.
  • Wiers Farm/Dutch Maid Logistics
  • Winter Garden Produce
  • Yerecic Label

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.

  • Kings Food Markets, Inc., Parsippany, NJ

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:

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