December 06, 2012
In Today's Issue:
Registration Now Open for United Fresh 2013 in San Diego

Discover Fresh Horizons at United Fresh 2013 in San Diego, one of the world’s most beautiful convention destionations.

Whole Foods Co-CEO Walter Robb will give keynote remarks on leveraging customer values to build brand loyalty and exceed expectations.

Registration is now open for United Fresh 2013 in San Diego! This year’s theme, “Discover Fresh Horizons,” underscores the many opportunities for education, innovation and sales growth in fresh produce at the United Fresh show, and all in San Diego, one of the world’s most beautiful convention destinations, May 14-16.

“When you think about a San Diego event dedicated to building produce sales and profitability for the future, ‘Discover Fresh Horizons’ really says it all,” said Tom Stenzel, United Fresh President and CEO. “We are excited to return to this beautiful city to reunite with our produce industry colleagues for an event offering cutting-edge education, VIP networking and hands-on resources the industry has come to expect from United.”

Keynote Address Features Visionary Retail Leader
United Fresh is proud to welcome Whole Foods Market Co-CEO Walter Robb to deliver the keynote address at the convention. Robb has more than 20 years of experience in the company and is responsible for overseeing retail operations for half of the more than 340 stores. At the May 15 Opening General Session Breakfast, he will share what produce consumers at Whole Foods value most, and how the produce industry and retailers can work together to meet and exceed those expectations. Don’t miss insights from this innovative retailer on how the company's core values provide connections with a loyal and growing customer base that drives their marked success.

Opening Party Offers Extraordinary Networking Location
This year’s Opening Party promises an unforgettable adventure as attendees climb aboard the historic USS Midway, one of America’s longest-serving aircraft carriers. Industry colleagues, customers and suppliers will enjoy strolling the flight deck with a spectacular view of San Diego’s harbor and skyline as they explore aircraft spanning 50 years of military history.

New Post-Show Conference to Share Insights on Consumer Marketing
The focus on innovation and growth continues at the new post-show Produce Marketing & Merchandising Conference on May 17. This day-long educational event will bring together produce marketers to learn more about today’s sophisticated, connected and changing consumer. Attendees will gain powerful knowledge about where food dollars are spent, tools to understand complex consumer demographics, and thought-provoking research on marketplace trends that are influencing buying decisions in today’s food culture. They’ll also hear real-world examples about retail, foodservice and food companies that are changing the way consumers experience and interact with food, and uncover key insights on engaging the next generation of produce consumers.

United Fresh 2013 Packs Schedule with Industry Value
Throughout the convention in San Diego, United will host a number of traditional events and popular programs, from the annual Reception Honoring Women in Produce to the Chairman’s Reception & Annual Produce Celebration.  At this event, United Fresh will once again honor those professionals who deliver fresh produce at the retail and foodservice levels.

The Retail Produce Manager Awards Program sponsored by Ready Pac Foods pays special recognition to those on the front line in supermarkets working every day to increase sales and consumption of fresh fruits and vegetables. The program, rewards commitment to customer satisfaction and promotion of fresh produce, innovative merchandising, produce-related community service or outreach, and recognition among peers. The Produce Excellence in Foodservice Awards Program sponsored by PRO*ACT honors chefs for their use of fresh produce in the culinary arts, recognizing one chef in each of the following six categories: Business in Industry and Colleges; Casual and Family Dining Restaurants; Fine Dining Restaurants; Hotels and Healthcare Industry; K-12 School Foodservice; and Quick Service Restaurants

“The influence that our retail and foodservice winners have on encouraging fresh produce consumption is undeniable,” said Victoria Backer, senior vice president of member services. “We’re proud to hold these outstanding professionals up as models of excellence for the industry, and to extend our thanks to the retail and foodservice leaders who support them in their careers.”

United Fresh 2013 will continue the tradition of presenting top-flight education in two learning centers on the show floor. Market segment education is specifically designed by leaders in each sector to address the unique challenges and trends faced by Grower-Shipper, Fresh-Cut Processor, Wholesale-Distributor and Retail-Foodservice attendees. The education sessions are just steps away from the United Fresh Marketplace, where attendees will find marketers and merchandisers of fresh produce for retail, foodservice and wholesale levels of trade, and the United Fresh Tech expo, the produce industry's only expo focused on the fresh-cut/value-added market, and all the tools, technology, equipment and services needed for an efficient and profitable produce supply chain. Private Business Suites will also be available, where exhibitors and prospects can get down to business without ever leaving the floor.

The Featured Product Showcase and the Best New Product Awards will be show floor highlights, with an array of new products and innovations highlighted by exhibitors in prominent display cases. The Best New Product Awards will be selected by United Fresh 2013 attendees in this coveted award competition, in categories such as packaging, equipment, food safety tools and, of course, best new fruit or vegetable product.

Early registration packages are available through April 1. The All Access Pass to United Fresh 2013 includes access to all of the United Fresh education sessions and networking events, as well as the post-show Produce Marketing & Merchandising Conference. The convention will be held at the San Diego Convention Center, and the San Diego Marriott Marquis & Marina will serve as the headquarters hotel for United Fresh 2013, and reservations may be made online.

Get the latest updates from United Fresh on expert speakers, networking events and more as the countdown to United Fresh 2013 kicks off! Follow us on Twitter with the hashtag #UnitedFresh2013 or share photos on Facebook.

It’s even easier to register, get the latest on networking and education events, and plan your stay with the launch of the new show site: It’s mobile friendly, for the produce industry professional on the go.

Join Industry Colleagues for First Annual Produce Legends Dinner and Foundation Golf Tournament

Last year’s golf tournament was a huge success, regardless of a few rain drops. Don’t miss playing this jewel of a course with your industry colleagues.

The United Fresh Produce Association will honor Frieda Rapoport Caplan with its Lifetime Achievement Award at the new annual Produce Legends Dinner in conjunction with the United Winter Leadership Meetings. This year’s dinner honoring Frieda Caplan will be held on Monday, January 28 at the Loews Ventana Canyon Ranch in Tucson, Arizona. Friends and associates who wish to join in honoring Frieda are invited to participate in the dinner, as well as the Foundation’s benefit golf tournament earlier that day.

“Frieda Rapoport Caplan truly embodies the essence of Lifetime Achievement in the produce industry,” said United Fresh President and CEO Tom Stenzel. “From the very beginning of her career, she epitomized the classic produce entrepreneur, always pushing forward as a progressive marketer, savvy business personality and as a leader in our industry. Frieda has not only been a longtime role model for women in produce, but also a role model for the entire industry. Come together with industry leaders as we support her contributions!”

Just prior to the Produce Legends Dinner, the United Fresh Foundation Golf Tournament will bring together produce buyers, sellers, suppliers and most of all, friends of the produce industry! The Mountain Golf Course at Ventana Canyon is set in the foothills of the Catalina Mountains and makes use of the spectacular desert terrain while preserving the integrity of the natural environment.  All proceeds from the golf tournament will go to the United Fresh Foundation.

More information on the Foundation Golf Tournament and Produce Legends Dinner is available here. For more information, please contact Angela Tiwari at 202-303-3416.

California Table Grape Commission Donates Salad Bars to 58 Schools

The California Table Grape Commission salad bar donations increase children’s access to fresh fruits and vegetables.

The California Table Grape Commission is donating salad bars to 30 schools in California’s grape growing regions, with the salad bars set to arrive in schools by spring 2013. With their donation earlier this year of 28 salad bars to Tulare County schools, the commission now stands atop the list of produce companies that have provided salad bars to schools through the Let’s Move Salad Bars to Schools initiative.

“USDA recommends that we all make half of our plate fruits and vegetables, so the salad bars are a practical way of helping kids to achieve this,” said Kathleen Nave, president of the commission. “If we can make it easier for kids and families to incorporate grapes, and fruit and vegetables in general, into their snacks and meals, we can hopefully contribute in some small part to increased produce consumption and healthier lifestyles. That’s really what it’s all about.”

The recent salad bar donation will benefit children in the Alta Vista, Coachella Valley, Pleasantview Elementary, Porterville, Richgrove, Sequoia Union, Standard, and Visalia school districts. The commission worked with the California Department of Public Health to identify schools that participate in SNAP-Ed, otherwise known as the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program Education program, or “food stamp” education, when selecting the schools to receive salad bars.

To coincide with their donation, the commission developed a number of materials for students and their parents, as well as school foodservice personnel. These included bilingual flyers with health information and easy usage ideas and a school-specific foodservice brochure outlining ways to store, handle and use grapes.

The recent donation of 30 salad bars will count toward the United Fresh Foundation’s special California salad bar campaign, Let’s Move Salad Bars to California Schools, which has a goal to increase children’s fruit and vegetable consumption by donating salad bars to 350 California schools by May 2013, and to announce this milestone industry donation at United Fresh 2013 in San Diego. Let’s Move Salad Bars to California Schools is a special campaign of the United Fresh Foundation, under the umbrella of the national Let’s Move Salad Bars to Schools initiative, which supports First Lady Michelle Obama’s Let’s Move! initiative to end childhood obesity in a generation.

To learn more about Let’s Move Salad Bars to California Schools, or how you can support salad bars for schools in your local community, contact Andrew Marshall, United’s policy & grassroots manager, at 202-303-3407.

United Fresh Talks FSMA at National Onion Association Annual Meeting

“FDA’s new food safety rules are going to change our world,” was the message from Dr. David Gombas, United Fresh senior vice president food safety & technology at the National Onion Association (NOA) annual convention.

“Publication of the proposed rules have been delayed for so long that it’s easy to think they won’t be released,” he said. Gombas suggested that onions, and every other fresh produce commodity, examine their respective food safety guidelines closely before the rules are published, since it is expected that they will require operations on both sides of the farm gate to do a hazard analysis and determine those food safety risks reasonably likely to occur. “When these were just guidance to the industry, there was no downside to being conservative and recommending considering all of the usual risk factors,” he said. “Now that the guidances have been out there and used, in some cases for several years, it’s time to give them a second look and critically evaluate what is a hazard that commodity growers and handlers need to consider in their food safety plans, and what isn’t.”

Gombas also noted that, even if published today, there will still be a comment period of several months, during which United Fresh, NOA and other fresh produce groups will closely consider the implications of the proposed rules. That would be followed by an implementation period of at least a year, giving operations ample time to prepare before the rules are enforced.

For more information, please contact Dr. David Gombas at 202-303-3400 or visit the United Fresh Food Safety Resource Center.

FDA Responds to United’s Questions on Facility Registration

Facilities who produce waste that is subsequently used as food for animals must register as “producing animal feed” under the new registration requirements.

Following the November 19 United Fresh webinar on FDA Food Facility Registration, additional questions arose about whether or not facilities should register as “producing animal feed” if the produce waste, such as culls, is subsequently used as food for animals. FDA’s Center for Veterinary Medicine recently provided the following responses:

Q: If a registered facility routinely sells produce waste, such as culls, to a farm or other entity for use as animal feed, does the facility have to register as producing animal feed?
A: Yes.

Q: What if the facility only sells the produce waste for use as animal feed only occasionally, or only some of its waste is sold as animal feed?
A: The facility still needs to register as producing animal feed; there is no minimum frequency or amount in the registration process.

Q: What if the facility does not sell the waste; rather the waste is either given away or the facility pays to have it taken away for use as animal feed?
A: The facility still needs to register as producing animal feed; there is no provision in the registration process that the facility sells the material.

Q: What if the facility does not know the intended use of the waste; i.e., it may or may not be used as animal feed? 
A: If the facility has a reasonable expectation that the waste will be used as animal feed, even occasionally, then the facility has to register as producing animal feed.

Q: If the facility did not register as producing animal feed, because their produce waste was not sold or given for such use, and then decides to provide their waste (with or without compensation) for animal feed, even once, is the facility required to amend their registration?
A: Yes, within 60 days.

Q:  If a farm uses its culls for animal feed, either for its own animals or for animals owned by another operation, does the farm have to register and declare itself as producing animal feed?
A: No, operations that meet the definition of a “farm” are exempt from FDA registration.

For additional information and questions about the FDA’s Food Facility Registration Process, industry members are invited to purchase a copy of the "FDA Food Facility Registration: What You Need to Know" Webinar Recording. In the webinar, Amy Barringer, Director, Division of Field Programs and Guidance, FDA Office of Compliance, explains who needs to register, how to register or renew your registration, and upcoming deadlines.

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. Registration or renewal of food facilities may be completed online by clicking here. United Fresh members with additional questions should contact Dr. David Gombas at 202-303-3400.

Nominate a Chef for the Produce Excellence in Foodservice Awards Program

Know a chef or foodservice professional that incorporates fresh produce into the menu in creative ways? Above, the 2012 award winners in Dallas.

Nominations are now being accepted for United Fresh Foundation’s 2013 Produce Excellence in Foodservice Awards Program. Sponsored by PRO*ACT, LLC since its inception, the program honors the foodservice industry’s most innovative produce performers.

“This program is a great way to recognize the work that chefs do in incorporating produce into the new products they develop for their menus,” said United Retail-Foodservice Board Vice Chairman Sean Picquelle, produce and beverage product quality and food safety manager for Taco Bell. “It spotlights the incredible ways that chefs in a variety of restaurants and culinary settings can utilize fresh and fresh-cut produce which ultimately increases fresh produce consumption.”

Since its launch in 2008, the program has honored 27 talented chefs and foodservice professionals for their exceptional work in incorporating fresh produce in menu development, proper food safety and handling, engaging in community outreach, and building an overall positive dining experience featuring fresh produce. 

In 2013, six winning chefs will be honored in each the following business categories: Business in Industry & Colleges Hotels & Healthcare Industry, Casual and Family Dining Restaurants, Fine Dining Restaurants, K-12 Foodservice, and Quick Serve Restaurants. Winners are selected by a panel of United Fresh member representatives focused on excellence in the foodservice sector. Nominations must be submitted before January 16, 2013. Nominations are accepted on the United Fresh Foundation website.

“Produce can take a consumer’s ordinary dining experience and make it extraordinary,” said Max Yeater, President of PRO*ACT. “We are proud to continue to support this program which honors chefs who make fresh produce an integral part of their menus and provider their customers with innovative and exciting concepts.”

The six winning chefs and their corporate executives receive complimentary airfare, hotel accommodations and registrations to United Fresh 2013, May 14-16 in San Diego. The winners will be honored at the Annual Chairman’s Reception & Produce Celebration Dinner and will also participate in education sessions at the convention to share their views on produce trends in foodservice. PRO*ACT will also make a donation to a charitable organization of each winner’s choice.

For more information about the award program, please visit the Produce Excellence in Foodservice Awards Program online or contact Miriam Wolk, United Fresh senior director of membership, at 202-303-3410.

Produce Retail Stars to Be Honored at United Fresh 2013
Welcome New Members!
Display by 2012 Retail Produce Manager Award winner Leslie Alex of Hannaford Brothers in Dover, NH.

The United Fresh Foundation, through the Center for Leadership Excellence, is 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 everyday 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.

“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.”

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 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!”

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.


PTI Update: PTI Labels Make Claims Process Smoother
Welcome New Members!
Traceability data is a powerful tool to identify potential problem spots along the produce supply chain.

In implementing PTI milestones, produce suppliers are finding unexpected benefits of using PTI labels in their claims processes. Sunkist Growers, Mastronardi Produce, and Wish Farms are among the companies reporting that using traceability data, GTINs with Batch/Lot Numbers, can speed up the claims process and provide straightforward resolutions to many types of claims. Read how companies are using PTI to identify problem points in the supply chain and other news from the industry in the recently released FYI Update.

The November/December edition of the Produce Traceability Initiative FYI also includes:

  • PTI Leadership Council Agrees to Create New Buyer Working Group
  • Wal-Mart’s Michael Agostini Accepts Co-Chair post on Leadership Council
  • Join the New PTI Buyer Working Group
  • Demonstrate Your Commitment to PTI
  • Select Articles Discussing PTI Progress
  • And more!

PTI is a voluntary, industry-wide effort designed to help the industry maximize the effectiveness of current track and trace procedures, while developing a standardized industry approach to enhance the speed and efficiency of traceability systems for the future. Industry participants cover every segment of the produce supply chain. The PTI is an industry-led, supply chain-wide initiative governed by a 34-member Leadership Council.

You can access this and past editions of PTI FYI on the PTI website in English, Spanish and French. For more information, please contact Dan Vaché, United’s vice president of supply chain management, at 425-629-6271.


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:

  • Apio, Inc.
  • Delhaize America
  • Frontera Produce
  • Horton Fruit Company
  • JV Smith Companies
  • Pandol Brothers, Inc.
  • Potandon Produce, LLC
  • Sensitech
  • The Tom Lange Company, Inc.

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.

  • Dawn Gray Global Consulting, Vancouver, Canada

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