July 11, 2013
In Today's Issue:
House Votes to Approve Agriculture-Only Farm Bill

Agriculture Committee Chairman Frank Lucas (R-OK) spoke in support of the Farm Bill on the House floor today ahead of the vote.

The House today voted 216-208 to pass a revised version of the 2013 Farm Bill. In a last minute move, the House decided to remove Title IV, which includes funding for nutrition programs such as the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) and others, and consider the farm program and nutrition portions of the bill separately. The full bill failed in the chamber on June 20, with a vote over amendments that severely cut nutrition programs. The splitting of the bill did yield a vote that passed the slimmed-down, farm program-only bill, but sparked intense debate on the House floor about the sidelining of nutrition funding.

"Though this is not the path by which we anticipated the Farm Bill to pass the House, we hope that this vote takes the bill to conference where a final, comprehensive bill can be approved," said Robert Guenther, United Fresh senior vice president of public policy. "We look forward to working with conference negotiators to advance this legislation."

For more information, please contact Robert Guenther at 202-303-3400.

United Fresh Presents Summer Public Policy Webinar Series

Prepare for the 2013 March on Capitol Hill by discussing immigration reform, food safety and more with expert speakers in our summer webinar series.

Ready to March on Capitol Hill at the 2013 Washington Public Policy Conference? United Fresh is offering its annual public policy webinar series to help you prepare. Hear insightful perspectives from industry experts and United Staff on the top policy and regulatory initiatives affecting your business, including immigration, food safety, and more. Each webinar will close with a discussion period, where you can ask questions directly to the speakers.

Don't miss these informative webinars:

My Business Needs a Stable and Legal Workforce NOW:  
The Current State of Play as Immigration Policy Moves Through Congress 

Tuesday, July 23, 2013, 2:00 pm Eastern / 11:00 am Pacific

How the Implementation of FSMA Will Affect Your Business: 
How to be Prepared for the FDA's Food Safety Overhaul
Tuesday, August 13, 2013, 2:00 pm Eastern / 11:00 am Pacific

What Congress Needs to Know About Your Business: 
Preparing for Your March on Washington

Wednesday, September 4, 2013, 2:00 pm Eastern / 11:00 am Pacific

Participants can log-in live to hear from industry and government experts and ask questions that address their specific business priorities. Each of the webinars will last one hour - participate in the entire series or just the ones of interest to you. All of the sessions will be recorded and made available online shortly after each session. All webinars are complementary for both United Fresh Members and non-members.
For more information, please contact Erin Grether, Government Relations Coordinator, at 202-303-3402.


Congress Is Back in Session: Urge Action on Immigration Reform Today

Now that Congress is back in session, get engaged, join the discussion, and let your voice be heard!

This month, the House of Representatives is set to take up its own immigration legislation and this is your chance to send a clear message that they must act. Congress must establish a viable agriculture guest worker program that meets the timely needs of the produce industry – the survival of our businesses depends on it.

Get engaged. Call their offices. Send an email. Participate in United's upcoming immigration webinar.

Share with them the fresh produce industry's priorities. Tell your Congressman:

  • Legislation must preserve agriculture's experienced workforce by allowing unauthorized farm workers to earn adjust to a legal status.
  • For future needs, a new market‐based agricultural worker visa program must be implemented that provides access to a legal and reliable workforce. The visa must have the flexibility to meet the needs

To get the latest on developments on immigration reform and how you can make a difference, please join us on July 23 at 2:00 pm ET/11:00 am PT for an interactive webinar, the first in the Summer Public Policy Series listed in the story above. You'll hear from key congressional staff about the House of Representatives' plans for immigration reform and from industry leaders who participated in the successful effort to push the Senate to pass immigration reform.  Register Today!

For more information and more ways to contact Congress, please visit www.unitedfresh.org/labor.

United Fresh Survey to Benchmark Wholesaler-Distributor Operations

Wholesaler-distributors are invited to help create a valuable new resource to benchmark the segments business trends and effectiveness.

United Fresh has announced the opening of the Wholesaler-Distributor Operations Benchmarking Survey, designed to assist wholesalers and distributors in measuring the effectiveness of their warehouse management, transportation fleets and overall operations.

"The Wholesaler-Distributor Board put a great deal of effort into developing this survey," said Ron Carkoski, United Fresh Chairman-elect, past Chairman of the Wholesaler-Distributor Board and president and CEO of the Four Seasons Family of Companies. "We considered what data helps us to be successful in our businesses, and had several detailed discussions on the metrics we measure and how to use them to create a valuable tool. The survey is designed to be simple for companies to complete, and I am confident that the final report will be a strong resource for our business sector."

This confidential survey will ask wholesalers and distributors for information on their labor practices, sales practice metrics, procurement and inventory management, warehouse metrics and outbound transportation. After responses have been compiled from the industry, a final report will be developed that includes breakdowns by company size, type and geographic location. Survey participants will also receive a customized report that shows how their responses compare to the overall survey results.

To complete the survey, please visit www.UnitedFreshBenchmarking.com. The survey will be open through August 12, 2013.

"The more companies that participate, the more robust a data set we will have to inform produce wholesale and distribution companies about current business trends," said Lisa Strube, Chairman of the Wholesaler-Distributor Board and director of finance and administration at Strube Celery & Vegetable Company. "I would encourage the sector to complete the survey and encourage friends and colleagues to do so as well."

Once the final report is published, it will be available to members for $195 and non-members for $295. Companies who provide data through the survey will be able to purchase the report for $95. Questions about the survey can be directed to Miriam Wolk, United Fresh vice president of membership & marketing, at 202-303-3410.


Recall Webinar Stresses Importance of Knowing Risk Management Options

In the face of increased regulation and governmental authority, increased inspections and media attention, produce operations must prepare themselves for a recall situation. Options to safeguard operations against catastrophic losses during a crisis were laid out during the July 10 United webinar, "Managing Risk for Contamination and Recall Events."

Expert speakers Dr. David Gombas, senior vice president of food safety and technology, United Fresh; Jonathan Cohen, Partner, Gilbert LLP; and Michael Lieberman, Capital Risk Concepts; discussed the intricacies of varying insurance policies and endorsement options for government recalls and third-party indemnity.

Lieberman expanded on the structure of coverage, specifically what types of events and related losses can be covered. Different policies may respond to certain triggers, such as the requirement for the potential for bodily injury or property damage. Accidental or malicious contamination events of a product, or losses incurred in the market from a related recall, are not covered under all policies.

The discussion stressed that operations should not solely rely on a general liability policy for contamination events, but that additional coverage is multi-layered and varies greatly by insurer. Participants were advised to not buy on price alone, and to work with a broker who has experience and an understanding of the produce industry.

A recording of the webinar is available here.

The Recall Ready Risk Management Webinar was just one component of the Recall Ready Program, which also offers recall plan development, training and workshops to help produce industry companies prepare for and respond to virtually any recall event. It also offers rapid response services to assist during recalls. For more information, please visit www.unitedfresh.org/recallready or contact Erin Grether, government relations coordinator, at 202-303-3402.


Represent Your Family Business on Capitol Hill at the Washington Public Policy Conference

Don't miss your chance to speak up for your business' priorities in Washington, DC!

"The Caplan Family Business Scholarship afforded me such a unique opportunity to connect with our nation's lawmakers and gain a deeper understanding of the policy-making process, and how those policies impact my family business," said 2012 scholarship recipient TJ Rahll, Edward G. Rahll & Sons, Inc. "Walking the halls of Congress was an incredible experience and one that highlighted how important it is to be engaged so that our industry's voice is heard in DC." 

If you'd like to represent your family business on Capitol Hill, applications for the 2013 Frieda Rapoport Caplan Family Business Scholarship Program are accepted through July 31. The program awards up to four scholarships for employees of family-owned businesses to attend United Fresh Produce Association's Washington Public Policy Conference in October.

Scholarship recipients will receive complimentary airfare, hotel and registration to attend the WPPC, September 30 – October 2 at the Hyatt Regency on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC. The Washington Public Policy Conference brings together hundreds of produce leaders from all sectors of the industry to interact personally and share ideas with administration officials, congressional leaders and industry colleagues.

The Frieda Rapoport Caplan Family Business Scholarship Program was established in 2001 through a generous grant from Frieda's, Inc. to the United Fresh Foundation by Karen Caplan and Jackie Caplan Wiggins in honor of their mother, Frieda Rapoport Caplan. The program is designed to increase family business' involvement in government relations and produce industry advocacy.

To apply for a 2013 Frieda Rapoport Caplan Family Business Scholarship, participants must complete an application form and written submission outlining why they want to attend the WPPC and what they hope to gain from the experience. Applicants must be employed by a family-owned business that is a United Fresh member company in good standing; the program is open to first-time attendees of the Washington Public Policy Conference.  The application can be downloaded here and must be received by July 31.

For more information about the scholarship program, contact Shannon Young at 202-303-3405, and for more information about the Washington Public Policy Conference, or to register, contact Angela Tiwari at 202-303-3416.


President's Love for Vegetables Spotlighted at Kid's Event

President Obama was a surprise guest at the Kids' State Dinner, where tables were topped with fresh produce centerpieces.

President Obama was asked about his favorite food at the second annual Kids' State Dinner at the White House. His response? Broccoli! As part of the First Lady's Let's Move initiative, children were invited to submit their original recipes and one from each state was selected to attend.

 "We're very pleased to hear that President Barack Obama has named broccoli his favorite food at today's White House Kids' State Dinner. We appreciate the emphasis on good nutrition and healthful eating that the president and First Lady Michelle Obama have made, and their efforts surely have made an impact on the children who were at the special event today, as well as countless others across the country. It is important for all of us to remember that all fruits and vegetables are an important part of any healthy diet," said Ray Gilmer, United Fresh vice president of issues management & communication.

United Fresh is a founding partner in Let's Move Salad Bars to Schools, a program that supports the First Lady's Let's Move! initiative to end childhood obesity within a generation. Let's Move Salad Bars to Schools aims to increase children's consumption of fresh fruit and vegetables, and to date, has donated more than 2,500 salad bars to schools across the country to reach that goal. Salad bars have been demonstrated as a proven strategy for significantly increasing children's produce consumption and creating healthy eating habits that last a lifetime.

For more information about Let's Move Salad Bars to Schools, please visit www.saladbars2schools.org, or to learn how you can support salad bars for schools in your community, contact Andrew Marshall, United Fresh policy & grassroots manager, at 202-303-3407.


United Discusses Industry Hot Topics With Syngenta Leadership Fellows

(L-R) Dr. David Gombas, United Fresh; Ray Gilmer, United Fresh; Todd Barlow, Abu Hanifah, Fabien Lubrano, Ernie Chilcott, Pascal Feidt, Syngenta; and Miriam Wolk, United Fresh.

United Fresh briefed several of Syngenta's up-and-coming leaders this week on the association's role in promoting fresh fruits and vegetables. As part of the company's leadership program, the group spent the week in Washington, DC to meet with and better understand the agriculture industry's perspective on current hot topics.

The diverse group hailed from Indonesia, Switzerland, and the United States and raised important questions about the impact of immigration, food safety regulations, and the Farm Bill on the fresh produce industry. United's Ray Gilmer, vice president of issues management & communications, and Miriam Wolk, vice president of membership & marketing, explained United's advocacy initiatives and member involvement in shaping the discussions around those issues.

"Syngenta is an important ally to our industry, and we appreciate the opportunity to build relationships with these leaders that will benefit all of us," said Gilmer.


New Member Welcome
day planner

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

  • IXE Agro USA, Morrisville, NC
  • Los Angeles Salad Company, City of Industry, CA
  • Pacific Northwest Vegetable Association, Kennewick, WA
  • WinCo Foods, Boise, ID

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:

Produce Inspection Training Program
Sept 16-20, USDA Training Center, Fredericksburg, VA

Recall Ready Training Workshop
Sept 18-19, Embassy Suites Monterey Bay, Seaside, CA

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

Recall Ready Training Workshop
Nov 6-7, Hilton Hotel, Philadelphia, PA