May 02, 2013
In Today's Issue:
United Members Meet with Congress, Administration Officials on Port Issues

United Fresh members met with key congressional offices and administration officials this week to raise concerns over the impact that inspection procedures are having on the import and export of fresh produce at the nation's ports. Stuart Jablon, vice president of operations, Dole Fresh Fruit, Inc.; Ken Mobley, general manager, EarthSource Trading Inc.; Joe Galeone, vice president of commercial development perishables, OHL International; John Ercolani, vice president of operations, JK Fresh East; Bill Weyland, vice president of imports, Seven Seas Fruit; and Julie Manes, United Fresh director of government relations; shared their perspectives on the unresolved issues that are causing delays in inspections and subsequent delivery of fresh produce at the ports.

The group met with staff of the US Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Government Affairs and Committee on Agriculture Nutrition and Forestry.  In addition, the group met with Tom Winkowski, Acting Chief of Customs and Border Protection (CBP), and Osama El-Lissy, with USDA's Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) Plant Protection and Quarantine office.

"United Fresh members have raised questions and concerns about CBP and APHIS exam procedures and how they are impacting the industry's ability to move product in a timely and efficient manner and given the perishable nature of the commodities they produce, this is a serious issue. These delays are having a notable economic impact on the fresh produce industry," said Manes. "Our members want to work with the federal agencies involved and we appreciate their willingness to listen to our concerns, but it is crucial that officials with jurisdiction over port procedures are aware of the impact that exam procedures can have on the industry's ability to do business."

United Fresh will continue to engage with United Fresh members and federal and port officials on the issues facing port facilities and the import and export of fresh produce through those ports. For more information, please contact Julie Manes, United Fresh director of government relations, at 202-303-3400.

Prepare for the Next Generation of Produce Consumers at United Fresh 2013

With schools doubling the amount of fresh fruits and vegetables served every day, the opportunities to increase children's fresh produce consumption and boost your sales are growing.

United Fresh 2013 will make connections and drive conversations to increase produce consumption and create healthy eating habits for millions of children. With 35 school foodservice directors attending, several on-topic education sessions, and the donation of 350 salad bars to California schools, the produce industry will find opportunities to grow sales and ensure that children have access to fresh fruits and vegetables.

Produce suppliers will have the opportunity to meet with 35 school foodservice directors from school districts across California. The foodservice directors will be honored guests at the convention, thanks to the sponsorship support of Grimmway Farms and Duda Farm Fresh Foods. Collectively, these foodservice directors purchase fresh fruits and vegetables for more than 2,000 schools, serving nearly 1.3 million students each day.

The show kicks off with a celebration of the donation of 350 salad bars to California schools. School officials, friends, and produce industry donors will be on hand for the Wednesday, May 15 press event to commemorate the Let's Move Salad Bars to California Schools campaign's success. Attendees will hear about the industry's continued efforts to bring salad bars to school children and how salad bars have made a real impact on increasing fresh produce consumption in schools.

Two education sessions in the Fresh Marketplace Learning Center Session on the show floor focus on the importance of ensuring children have continued access to fresh produce. The Wednesday, May 15 session, "Opportunities to Drive Produce Sales to Schools" will explore how foodservice directors are using fresh fruits and vegetables to create healthier school food environments, what they need from produce suppliers, and how to develop collaborative partnerships to achieve shared goals. 

The Thursday, May 16 session, "Losing Big or Gaining Big: Important Lessons from The Biggest Loser," will feature of the show's Child Ambassadors Lindsey Bravo, and other past contestants, for a conversation about overcoming the challenges of obesity. The speakers will share their personal journey, their experiences on their way to healthier living and the importance of fruits and vegetables as part of their new food choices.

Register now to prepare your company to meet the growing demands of the next generation of produce consumers!


United Fresh Family Is Growing Strong

United Fresh is proud to welcome new members for special events at United Fresh 2013.

United Fresh is excited to announce more than 100 new members have joined United since the beginning of the year. The 101 new members represent a diverse cross section of the fresh produce industry and come from 23 states and 6 countries.

 "We're so pleased to welcome so many engaged and motivated companies to the United Fresh family," said Miriam Wolk, vice president of membership & marketing. "Membership is about making connections and working collectively to create the best possible future for the produce industry."

All of the new United members will be welcomed at convention with a special "Welcome Aboard Reception" before the United Fresh 2013 Opening Party on the USS Midway. The event will be a chance for new members to meet United volunteer leaders and build relationships with other industry players.

For more information on the benefits of membership with United Fresh, please contact Miriam Wolk, vice president of membership & marketing, at 202-303-3400.

Get a Taste of San Diego at Historical Balboa Park

Want to experience a Taste of San Diego? Register now for your chance at next week's featured restaurant: The Prado at Balboa Park. Set in a rich landscape among finely manicured gardens, the Prado Restaurant is located at the historic House of Hospitality in the center of San Diego's famous Balboa Park. Rarely does a restaurant offer this type of unparalleled ambiance complimented by world class cuisine and excellent service. Specializing in California cuisine, The Prado's Executive Chef Jonathan Hale presents a fusion of regional signature specialties with traditional favorites that will delight all palates. Locals' favorite dishes include the spiced Szechuan duck breast served with black rice, pea shoots, mint, basil, and caramelized pineapple and the red wine braised beef short ribs with horseradish mashed potatoes, grilled asparagus, gremolata, and bordelaise sauce.

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 Drew Yancey, Yancey's Foodservice, this week's winner of our Taste of San Diego give away. Our winner will receive a gift certificate to dine at Poseidon on the Beach. Poseidon has become a coastal culinary landmark known for serving fantastic food made with high quality ingredients while offering a fun and lively ocean front ambiance.

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!


USDA Announces Webinar Series for the Fruit and Vegetable Industry

The USDA Agricultural Marketing Service's  Fruit and Vegetable Program is hosting a series of free, interactive webinars on the various programs and services available to producers.  At each webinar, participants will hear a presentation from a USDA expert on a specific topic and take part in an interactive question and answer session. 

The first webinar in the series, "How to Sell Fruits and Vegetables to the USDA," will take place on June 27 at 2:00 pm ET. The hour-long session will provide background and information on how to sell produce to USDA. Each year, USDA purchases over $530 million and 1.1 billion pounds of frozen, processed, and fresh fruits and vegetables to be used in school feeding programs and food banks.

These informative webinars are designed for fruit and vegetable growers, packers, shippers, processors, wholesalers and retailers of all sizes.  All of the webinars are free and available to all. Registration is, however, required and space is limited. Register today to take the first step to gaining a competitive edge and learning how to work together with USDA to meet your unique business needs. 

For more information about the webinar series or USDA's Agricultural Marketing Service, please contact Christopher Purdy at (202) 720-3209.


Hands-On HACCP for the Fresh-Cut Industry Workshop at UGA

University of Georgia's Fresh-Cut HACCP Short Course workshop will offer the fresh-cut produce industry  the necessary tools to establish an in-plant HACCP program. This year, United Fresh members will gain extra value from an updated agenda that will address forthcoming FSMA regulations and the proposed Preventive Control Rule as they relate to the fresh-cut produce industry.

The course will draw attention to three main sources of contamination – microbial, chemical and physical – that may occur as fresh produce moves from the field through the processing plant to the table. HACCP is a specific action plan developed to identify and control any of these hazards from entering the handling process, and to document the safety of fresh-cut produce.

The three-day course, held June 11-13 at University of Georgia's Athens campus, will provide a unique program of lectures and work group discussions from a broad-based faculty of food microbiologists, HACCP experts, authorities from academia, industry and government. The work group sessions provide interaction with HACCP authorities who have developed and implemented successful HACCP programs in fresh-cut processing plants.

In the hands-on laboratory participation the participants will learn which microbial testing tools to use to document and verify your sanitation program, how to interpret microbial results and which standardized procedures are best for consistent microbial analysis in testing fresh-cut produce.
The program is open to owners, plant managers, quality assurance personnel, production supervisors, field inspectors, marketing directors, and anyone responsible for designing and implementing field and fresh-cut food safety programs.

Register by May 27! United Fresh members receive discounted registration. Click here for more information or contact UGA at 706-542-2574 or


New Member Welcome
day planner

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

  • Bay Area Herbs & Specialties, South San Francisco, CA
  • Earl's Organic Produce, San Francisco, CA
  • Snake River Produce, Nyssa, OR
  • The Produce Company, South San Francisco, CA
  • Tri-County Agricultural Cooperative, Charleston, MS

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 Miriam Wolk at 202-303-3410.

Upcoming United Fresh Events

day plannerJoin us for events designed to grow your business:

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

Produce Marketing & Merchandising Conference
May 17, San Diego Convention Center, San Diego, CA

Produce Inspection Training Program
June 3-7, USDA Training Center, Fredericksburg, VA

Washington Public Policy Conference
Sept 30 – Oct 2, Washington, DC