February 21, 2013
In Today's Issue:
United Fresh to Honor Women in the Produce Industry

Past Honorees (L-R) Steffanie Smith, River Point Farms, LLC, Mayda Sotomayer-Kirk, Seald Sweet, LLC, Dan'l Mackey Almy, DMA Solutions, Inc., Lorri Koster, Mann Packing Company

United Fresh Produce Association is now accepting nominations to help select an honoree to speak at the annual Reception Honoring Women in Produce, Wednesday, May 15 at United Fresh 2013 in San Diego. Each year, United Fresh recognizes the contributions of all women working in the produce industry and honors one outstanding female industry leader at this reception.

“It is an honor to count such thought-leaders, role models and inspiring innovators among us,” said United Fresh President and CEO Tom Stenzel. “It is always a highlight of the convention to celebrate the contributions of women who guide the industry. We’re looking forward to welcoming back our past honorees and recognizing another outstanding leader in San Diego.”

“This recognition is a wonderful way to acknowledge an individual’s contribution to our industry, while also promoting and encouraging progress and growth among the women in our space,” said Dan’l Mackey Almy, 2012 Women in Produce Honoree and founder of DMA Solutions, Inc. “I was honored when I was given the opportunity to share my own story with the industry and I know that we will all continue to be inspired by women who receive this award in years to come.”

Nomination forms may be downloaded online and must be received by Wednesday, March 13.

Past Women in Produce Honorees include:

Dan’l Mackey Almy, DMA Solutions, Inc.
Tonya Antle, Tanimura & Antle
Frieda Rapoport Caplan, Frieda’s Inc.
Margaret D’Arrigo , Taylor Farms, Inc.
Jan DeLyser, California Avocado Commission
Jan Fleming, Strube Celery & Vegetable Company
Janice Honigberg, Sun Belle, Inc.
Lorri Koster, Mann Packing Company
Kathleen Nave, California Table Grape Commission
Dr. Martha Rhodes-Roberts, University of Florida, Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences
Steffanie Smith, River Point Farms, LLC
Heather Shavey, Costco Wholesale
Mayda Sotomayor-Kirk, Seald Sweet International
Rosemary Talley, Talley Farms
Jenney Tenney, The Kroger Company

For more information on the Reception Honoring Women in Produce, please contact United Fresh Political Affairs Manager Angela Tiwari at 202-303-3416 or atiwari@unitedfresh.org.


United Supports Legislation to Improve Fresh Produce Transportation Efficiencies

United Fresh applauded the February 12 introduction of legislation that would give states the authority to increase weight limits for certain trucks on federal interstates. The Safe and Efficient Transportation Act (SETA), co-sponsored by Representatives Reid Ribble (R-WI) and Mike Michaud (D-ME), would allow for trucks fitted with a sixth axle to haul up to 97,000 pounds on federal interstates. The current limit of 80,000 pounds on a vehicle with five axles has been in place since 1982 and puts US growers at a disadvantage with competitors in Mexico and Canada. The increase in weight allowance is expected to result in fewer loads, leading to economic efficiencies and a smaller environmental impact.

“The fresh fruit and vegetable industry stands to gain significant efficiencies along the supply chain from this legislation,” said Robert Guenther, United Fresh senior vice president of public policy. “Numerous studies have shown that the increase in weight allowed for these trucks does not compromise safety on the roads, and will allow the industry to provide more fruits and vegetables to consumers across the country and world, resulting in affordable nutrition and a healthier population.”

A letter of support was sent to Representatives Ribble and Michaud this week. United and nearly 50 national and state organizations also signed the letter, which can be read here.

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


50 Salad Bars Needed to Reach Goal for California Schools

“We only need 50 more donors to step forward to reach our goal of donating 350 salad bars to California schools by May 15,” said Dr. Lorelei DiSogra, United’s vice president of nutrition & health. “With three months to go, we’re looking for produce industry leaders to step up to benefit kids in California by supporting Let’s Move Salad Bars to California Schools. Children increase their produce consumption when their school has a salad bar. And, school foodservice directors report that salad bars are the easiest way for schools to meet the new school lunch nutrition standards,” added DiSogra.

To date, more than 100 produce companies, retailers and foundations have contributed to Let’s Move Salad Bars to California Schools benefitting tens of thousands of California students. There are currently more than 150 California schools on the waiting for salad bars and plenty of opportunities for individuals and companies to help students increase their fruit and vegetable consumption. A salad bar costs $2,625.

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. The campaign is spearheaded by the United Fresh Foundation and four California produce industry leaders passionate about increasing children’s fruits and vegetables consumption: Karen Caplan, President and CEO, Frieda's Inc; Margaret D'Arrigo-Martin, Vice President of Community Development, Taylor Farms; Lisa McNeece, Vice President of Foodservice and Industrial Sales, Grimmway Enterprises, Inc.; and Dick Spezzano, President, Spezzano Consulting.

The Let’s Move Salad Bars to California Schools Celebration Press Conference will recognize all donors and school food service directors receiving salad bars. The Press Conference will take place on May 15, 2013 at the 2013 United Fresh Convention in San Diego. California education, agriculture and public health officials will be on hand to celebrate this milestone.

To make a contribution to Let’s Move Salad Bars to California Schools pleasecontact Andrew Marshall, United Fresh policy and grassroots manager, at 202-303-3407.


United Talks Food Safety, Policy Agenda at American Farm Bureau Meeting

On Monday, United Fresh Senior Vice President of Public Policy Robert Guenther joined FDA Deputy Commissioner Mike Taylor to discuss the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) proposed rules at the American Farm Bureau winter meeting in Washington, DC. Farm Bureau representatives from across the country were in town to discuss key issues that will impact their members and to advocate on Capitol Hill in meetings with congressional offices.

Guenther also shared United’s 2013 policy and regulatory agenda with the group. Guenther focused on the need for comprehensive immigration reform, the path to a new Farm Bill, nutrition priorities, and shared industry observations on the new FSMA proposed rules related to fresh produce.

“American Farm Bureau and their members are important allies in our work in Washington, DC,” said Guenther. “We share the same concerns in many policy and regulatory areas such as Farm Bill reauthorization, the need for a new immigration guest worker program, and focusing on key aspects of the new FSMA proposed rules,” he stated. “We look forward to working aggressively with AFBF on these issues in the coming year.”

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


Go Out on Stilts for the Freshest Fish and a Taste of San Diego

Want to experience a Taste of San Diego? Register now for your chance at next week’s featured restaurant: Island Prime. Resting on stilts atop San Diego Bay overlooking the city skyline and Coronado, there’s nowhere better than Island Prime to experience quintessential San Diego. The best views in the city complement the finest selection of fresh fish and meats, don’t miss the macadamia crusted Mahi Mahi with roasted pineapple salsa and seabeans or the 14oz double pork chop with a brown sugar crust.

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 Shannon Torrey Kyle, Torrey Farms, Inc., this week’s winner of our Taste of San Diego give away. Mrs. Kyle will receive a gift certificate to dine at The Oceanaire Seafood Room. Sleek and sophisticated, The Oceanaire provides the perfect setting to enjoy the freshest, sustainably caught seafood, with a menu that is always dynamically changing.

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!

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

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

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


Now Is the Time to Begin Your Leadership Journey

Leadership Class 18 visits Brandt farms in California on a trip last year.

United Fresh wants to equip your up-and-coming leaders with the tools they need to achieve success in the produce industry. The United Fresh Produce Industry Leadership Program is designed for industry professionals ready to take the next step in their leadership journeys.

Class 19 of the Produce Industry Leadership Program will embark on a year-long program that will expose participants to the many facets of the produce industry and help them think beyond their daily business. Participants will engage in a fully customized program, focused on four core areas:

  • Leadership Development
  • Business Relationships
  • Government and Public Affairs
  • Media and Public Relations

“The program is an exploration of the many facets of the produce industry while teaching the professional skills and personal development that are vital to success,” said Strube. “It is a life-changing experience and an opportunity that I recommend to anyone who is committed to advancing their career.”

The 12 leadership fellows will take part in a series of customized trips which include face-to-face meetings with leading industry players, hands-on training with top industry experts and educators, interactive experiences with influential leaders in Washington and more. This year's schedule will feature trips to Michigan & Ontario; Washington, DC & Wilmington, DE; and Yuma, AZ. The class will graduate at the 2014 United Fresh Convention in Chicago, IL.         

 The Produce Industry Leadership Program is made possible through a generous grant from DuPont Crop Protection. It is a special opportunity for United Fresh members to advance and enhance their leadership skills and industry knowledge. There is no cost participate and all regular travel expenses are covered through the program.

Candidates interested in applying for the program can download information and an application at unitedfreshfoundation.org. The deadline for applications is Monday, March 11, 2013. Participation in the program is limited to 12 fellows who are selected by an Advisory Committee. The fellows are chosen from a broad cross-section of the industry to represent the breadth of the United Fresh membership. Since the program’s inception, more than 200 industry members have participated. For more information, please contact Shannon Young, United Fresh education manager, at syoung@unitedfresh.org or 202-303-3405.


Sharpen Your Produce Inspection Savvy This June

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 another offering of the 2013 Produce Inspection Training Program  on June 3-7. The 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).

The last Produce Inspection Training Programs offered in 2013 will be held September 16-20 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

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:

  • Giant Eagle, Inc. Crafton, PA
  • pHlexapeel LLC, Melbourne, FL

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.

  • Coborn’s Inc., Saint Cloud, MN
  • pHlexapeel LLC, Melbourne, FL

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 831-600-8922 or Miriam Wolk at 202-303-3410.


Upcoming United Fresh Events

day plannerJoin us for events designed to grow your business:

United Fresh FSMA Rules Review Meeting
February 27, Washington, DC

2013 Produce Executive Development Program
March 10-15, 2013, Cornell University, Ithaca, NY

United Fresh FSMA Rules Review Meeting
March 12, Chicago, IL

United Fresh FSMA Rules Review Meeting
March 28, Portland, OR

United Fresh 2013 
May 14-16, 2013, San Diego Convention Center, San Diego, CA