January 10, 2013
In Today's Issue:
United Fresh Mobilizes Experts to Review FDA’s Proposed FSMA Rules

United Fresh has launched a review of recently released rules from FDA to gauge the impact on the fresh produce industry.

On January 4, FDA released two major much-anticipated proposed rules under the FDA Food Safety Modernization Act, the new law signed by President Obama in 2011 bringing sweeping changes for the entire food chain. While the law was the culmination of years of work in Congressional debate to modernize our food safety system, these proposed Produce Safety and Preventive Controls for Human Foods rules mark the beginning of a process to implement new standards in a scientific, effective and practical way.

United has organized two working groups, one for each rule, that will now begin a deliberative process to review the more than 1,000 pages included in each of the two released proposals. The working groups are comprised of United’s volunteer leaders, representing a broad spectrum and expertise of the produce industry. Members serving on our Food Safety & Technology Council, Government Relations Council, and other volunteer leadership groups will be serving on these working groups. 

Each of these panels will conduct a thorough analysis of the proposed FDA rules over a series of meetings beginning at United’s Winter Volunteer Leadership Meetings January 28-30, as well as several webinars and other events. Comments generated by the working groups and the broader membership will be compiled and approved by United’s Board of Directors before being submitted to FDA prior to the May 16 deadline on the 120-day comment period set by FDA for both proposed rules.

"We will be analyzing the proposed rules to ensure that they draw upon the principles we have supported throughout the development of the FSMA,” said Ray Gilmer, United Fresh vice president of issues management & communications. “The proposed rules must be: 1) commodity-specific, based on best available science; 2) risk-based; 3) consistent no matter where produce is grown or packaged, in the U.S. or imported, large or small operations; and 4) flexible to allow for advances in science and production technology. We are committed to ensuring that those critical provisions, and others, will be integrated into the final rules going forward."

For more information about the proposed food safety rules, please contact Dr. David Gombas, United’s senior vice president of food safety & technology, at 202-303-3400 or visit United’s FSMA Implementation page.

Get a Sneak Peak at New Horizons That Await at United Fresh 2013

Check your mail for the Show Preview featuring exciting events and exhibitors you'll see at United Fresh 2013! This year's show features new business contacts and fresh ideas to help your company grow and succeed. Be a prominent part of the strategic produce event while building sales and profitability with the excitement and innovation of fresh produce.

Inside you’ll find a preview of keynote speaker Walter Robb, Whole Foods Co-CEO, who will explore what produce consumers value most, and how the produce industry and retailers can work together to meet and exceed those expectations.  And plan to attend the post-show Produce Marketing & Merchandising Conference on May 17 for insights to understand today’s complex consumers.

It all kicks off with the Opening Party aboard the USS Midway, where you can stroll the flight deck with a spectacular view of San Diego’s harbor and explore aircraft spanning 50 years of military service. It’s the perfect way to relax with friends and catch up with business contacts.

Register now for United Fresh 2013!

Can't wait to receive your copy of the Show Preview in the mail? Read the online version here.


United Fresh to Host January 24 Town Hall Luncheon in Yuma
United Fresh President and CEO Tom Stenzel gives an industry update at a town hall luncheon in California last year.
The averted port strike could still have an impact on the fresh produce supply chain.

United Fresh and the Yuma Fresh Vegetable Association will host a town hall luncheon for the local produce industry on Tuesday, January 24 at the Radisson Hotel Yuma.

Topics will include managing the costs and challenges of the new food safety rules; the latest developments in immigration reform and potential impacts on the agricultural workforce; and opportunities to promote fruit and vegetable consumption to improve our nation’s health, increase sales and grow our industry’s future customer base.

“United’s town hall programs are a unique opportunity for us to meet with members in their local area and discuss how national issues impact their region, as well as their individual businesses,” said United Fresh President and CEO Tom Stenzel.  “These forums provide an opportunity for our members to join the dialogue on important issues affecting their companies, as well as how they can engage with the association and contribute to a unified industry voice.”

Registration for this event is complimentary and lunch will be provided.  To register, or for more information, visit the United Fresh website, complete a registration form or contact Sophie Drayton, membership coordinator, at 202-303-3413

Experience a Taste of San Diego at United Fresh 2013

Register today for United Fresh 2013 and you'll be automatically entered for United's Taste of San Diego giveaway. You could win a gift certificate to one of the best restaurants in San Diego!

Every Thursday through May 2, 2013, United Fresh will draw one lucky winner from the United Fresh 2013 registered attendee list. Each winner will receive a $100 gift certificate to one of San Diego's finest restaurants, courtesy of our promotional sponsor, Diversified Restaurant Systems, Inc.

Congratulations to Ashley Berrysmith, Snap Fresh Foods LLP, who will dine at Burlap, a playfully unique experience of meat, seafood and bold sides with Asian influences. Be sure to try the prosciutto wrapped albacore with Asian pesto and balsamic teriyaki or the duck breast with black plum, black radish and black kale.

Register now for your chance at next week’s featured restaurant, Searsucker, where Top Chef finalist Chef Malarkey creates a fantastic eatery full of local fare. The menu includes fresh seafood caught on the San Diego coast as well as locally brewed lagers and ales on tap. Searsucker isn't a place to get away; this is a place to get together.

The sooner you register, the greater your chances to win a certificate to one of these stellar restaurants:

On the Border Mexican Grill & Cantina
Bully’s East
Baci Ristorante
George’s at the Cove
Pamplemousse Grill
Bertrand at Mister A’s
Donovan's Steak & Chop House
The Marine Room
Poseidon on the Beach
The Prado at Balboa Park
Island Prime
The Oceanaire Seafood Room
Mille Fleurs
Ruth's Chris Steak House

Learn more about these great restaurants and how you can experience a Taste of San Diego!

United Fresh to Hold Reception, Exhibit at Fruit Logistica 2013

Last year’s Global Reception attracted many domestic and international members. We hope to see you in Berlin this year!

United Fresh again will exhibit and hold special activities at Fruit Logistica, February 6-8 in Berlin, Germany.

“United’s presence at Fruit Logistica provides a great opportunity to visit with our European-based members where they have operations,” said Jeff Oberman, vice president, trade relations.  “By providing a headquarters hotel and a destination within the exposition, we look forward to providing value to all United Fresh members from around the word attending the event.”

The United Fresh stand will be located in Hall 23/Stand F-12. Serving as the destination for members attending the exposition, the stand will be an opportunity to visit with United Fresh staff and colleagues for networking and industry dialogue, as well as updates on the United Fresh 2013 convention, executive development programs for global produce leaders and programs in food safety and supply chain management, research in consumer trends, fresh-cut and convenience trends and more.

United Fresh will continue the annual tradition of hosting its Association Global Reception on Wednesday, February 6 from 17:00 – 19:00 in the United Fresh stand.  “We’re so pleased to continue our annual tradition of gathering our members and industry friends from around the world,” said Miriam Wolk, vice president of membership &marketing.  “It’s a wonderful opportunity for our members to network with friends and colleagues and form new industry relationships.”

United Fresh member Klaus Klische, Fresh Factory, will also host an informal welcome reception at the Berlin Marriott, the United Fresh Headquarters Hotel, on Tuesday, February 5 at 17:00 in the hotel lobby.

For more information on Fruit Logistica, please visit the United Fresh website or contact Jeff Oberman at 831-600-8922.

Nominate a Chef to Be Honored at United Fresh 2013 for Creative Fresh Produce Feats

A veggie topped burger by 2012 Produce Excellence in Foodservice Award winner Chef Michael Stebner, Director of Culinary, at True Food Kitchen, Scottsdale, AZ.

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. The deadline to submit a nomination is January 16.

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. Nominations are accepted on the United Fresh Foundation website.

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 vice president of membership & marketing, at 202-303-3410.

Does Your Produce Manager Deserve Special Recognition in 2013?
Welcome New Members!
2012 Retail Produce Manager Award winner Corey Conrad from Colemans Food Centres, Corner Brook, NFL, Canada, organized several activities in his department, including a visit from a Watermelon Queen.

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 deadline to submit a nomination is January 18.

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.

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

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


Celebrate a Produce Legend with Dinner and Foundation Golf Tournament
Welcome New Members!
Join us in celebrating the inspiring career of Frieda Caplan in Tucson on January 28.

United Fresh will honor Frieda Rapoport Caplan with its Lifetime Achievement Award, which recognizes individuals for a lifetime of achievement and for lasting contributions to the fresh produce industry. The award will be presented at the new annual Produce Legends Dinner to be held each year 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. 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!”

This year’s United Fresh Foundation Golf Tournament will bring together produce buyers, sellers, suppliers and most of all, friends of the produce industry! Join us on this gem of a course for 18 holes of championship golf at one of America’s premier golf resorts. 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. Funds raised from last year’s event helped the Foundation sustain important initiatives, such as the salad bar campaign, and meet other important goals.

Information on golf and dinner tickets and sponsorship is available here. For more information, please contact Angela Tiwari at 202-303-3416.


United Member Mac Riggan Talks Solutions to Labor Issue in Washington, DC
Welcome New Members!
If you k now Mac, you know United.

Mac Riggan has been successful in the produce industry by following the motto: “Keep it simple.” As Director of Marketing for Chelan Fresh Marketing, he’s weathered the ups and downs and emerged as vocal advocate for industry issues. His leadership and enthusiastic participation in United Fresh make him an example of the thousands of industry leaders who are members of United Fresh and are working together towards a stronger industry. He is the latest in a series of members to be profiled and featured on our homepage. If you know Mac, you know United.

Mac attended this past year’s United Washington Public Policy Conference (WPPC), where he spoke up on the “most important issue to the fresh produce industry” - labor. He supports a practical guest worker program, and aims to work towards that goal by educating the opposition. “This year at WPPC we visited with our allies who understand why this is so important. And next time, I hope to visit more offices of those who vote against reform and explain to them how it can benefit them as well,” he said. “WPPC provides an important opportunity to let folks on the Hill know what is going on in the fields, and we need to keep telling the story of how the guest program works because it’s a win for consumers, a win for growers and a win for the workers.”

To read more about Macs's industry involvement and his work at Chelan Fresh Marketing, continue reading his profile here. For perspectives from other industry leaders, click here.


USDA to Host PACA Trust Provision Webinar
Welcome New Members!

The Agricultural Marketing Service’s (AMS) Fruit and Vegetable Program will host a free, interactive webinar on the Perishable Agricultural Commodities Act (PACA) Trust provision on January 24 at 2 pm ET.

The PACA Trust provision gives sellers of fresh and frozen fruits and vegetables priority status in recovering funds owed by buyers who become insolvent or file for bankruptcy protection.  By following a few simple steps, produce suppliers have received hundreds of millions of dollars that they were owed. 

Webinar speakers will provide information on three specific areas:

  • Josephine Jenkins, Acting Chief of the Investigative Enforcement Branch, AMS PACA Division, will explain the statutory foundations and basic steps you must take to protect your business. 
  • Jason Klinowski, agricultural and food law attorney, will discuss the PACA Trust from the private practitioner’s viewpoint and share current case law. 
  • Karla Whalen, AMS PACA Division director, will provide an update on the U.S.’ efforts to gain financial protection for U.S. produce shippers selling into the Canadian market under the Regulatory Cooperation Council. 

The presentations will be followed by a real-time, interactive question and answer session. 

This informative webinar is designed for fruit and vegetable growers, packers, shippers, processors, wholesalers, and retailers of all sizes.  The webinar is free but registration is required and space is limited. Log on today to register.
Questions about the webinar or USDA’s Agricultural Marketing Service should be directed to Christopher Purdy at (202) 720-3209.


Fresh Fruit Reigns Supreme in World of Snacks
Welcome New Members!
Hungry? More Americans are reaching for fresh fruit as a healthy snack.

Fresh fruit has earned the title of top snack food consumed in the United States according to a report by the NPD Group. The group found that growing concerns about health and eating right are contributors to the increasing popularity of fruit as a snack. During the two-year period ending March 2012, fresh fruit was consumed as a snack in 10 more snack occasions a year than chocolate, the next top snack food, and 25 more occasions a year than potato chips, the third most popular snack food.

“Fresh fruit snacks are popular with all age groups, thanks to their increasing availability and convenience,” said Ray Gilmer, United Fresh vice president of issues management & communications. “Many United member companies have contributed to this positive trend with new packaging, fresh-cut options, kid-sized portions, and other creative offerings that make healthy snacking easy.”


Labor Secretary Hilda Solis Resigns
Welcome New Members!
Labor Secretary Hilda Solis resigns, citing a desire to return to her home state of California.

Hilda Solis has given notice that she will not remain in her position as Secretary of Labor for President Obama’s second term. She is the first Hispanic woman to serve in a presidential cabinet. Before joining taking the Department of Labor post, Solis was a member of Congress and a California legislator, serving eight years in each position.

The departure comes on the heels of Lisa Jackson’s announcement that she will step down as Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). The Obama Administration has not yet named successors for either position.


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:

  • Freshway Foods, Sidney, OH
  • IFCO Systems, N.A., Tampa, FL
  • Unifrutti of America, Inc., Philadelphia, PA

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 Vice President of Membership & Marketing 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.

  • The Harbinger Group, LLC, Monterey, 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:

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

Yuma Produce Industry Town Hall Luncheon
January 24, Radisson Hotel Yuma, Yuma, AZ

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

United Fresh at Fruit Logistica
February 5-8, Berlin, Germany

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