Novemeber 27, 2013
In Today's Issue:
A Thanksgiving Message from United Fresh President Tom Stenzel

This message was first published in the United newsletter 20 years ago, and has appeared each Thanksgiving issue since.
Today, those of us in the U.S. will celebrate the Thanksgiving holiday. As we pack the kids in the car and head to the airport or put the finishing touches on the house before the family arrives, we take stock of our many blessings. Every year at this time, I am reminded of how lucky we are to do what we do. We are part of the noblest and most wonderful profession in the world—feeding people across the globe with the healthiest foods on the planet.

As representatives of each point in the fresh produce supply chain, those of you who grow, cut, pack, ship, sell or serve fresh fruits and vegetables have worked all year to provide Americans with the foods that their families will enjoy this holiday season. I hope you will relax and enjoy yourselves tomorrow and take time to reflect on the important role our industry plays in providing delicious and nutritious foods for Thanksgiving and every day of the year.

The United Fresh family salutes each of you for your accomplishments and ongoing commitment to bringing that amazing bounty from our farms to tables around the world.
Best wishes for a great Thanksgiving holiday.
Tom Stenzel


United Applauds Lawmakers' Request to FDA Commissioner Hamburg for Additional Comment Period

United Fresh applauds the request by 75 members of Congress asking the FDA to provide a second set of proposed rules under the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) to allow for additional public comments. In this week's letter, co-signed by 30 senators and 45 representatives, the bipartisan coalition expressed concerns to FDA Commissioner Margaret Hamburg about the impact of proposed rules on farmers and businesses that an additional comment period could help alleviate.

The group of lawmakers, led by Sens. Roy Blunt (MO) and Jeanne Shaheen (NH), and Reps. Joe Courtney (CT), Chris Gibson (NY) and Annie Kuster (NH), expressed concern about uncertainty concerning many aspects of the proposed rules and asked that FDA propose and submit a second set of proposed rules for public comment before issuing the final rules.

"United Fresh strongly supports this request by members of Congress asking FDA to seek additional input through an additional set of proposed rules before final rulemaking," said Ray Gilmer, United Fresh vice president of issues management & communication. "We want the opportunity to closely work with FDA to be sure the rulemaking is done right."

On November 15, 2013, United Fresh submitted its comments to the FDA on two of the proposed rules under FSMA: the Standards for the Growing, Harvesting, Packing, and Holding of Produce for Human Consumption (Produce Safety Rule) and the Current Good Manufacturing Practice and Hazard Analysis and Risk-Based Preventive Controls for Human Food (Preventive Controls Rule). United's comments reflect 10 months of review by diverse expert working groups representing numerous member companies throughout the fresh produce supply chain.

Read the entire coalition letter to FDA at this link. For more information, please contact Robert Guenther, at 202-303-3409.


Gain New Business Strategies that Will Increase Your Level of Success!

The 2014 United Fresh Produce Executive Development Program is an excellent networking platform to interact and learn from other industry professionals and Ivy League professors. The program is offered on the campus of Cornell University from March 9-14, 2014.

The Produce Executive Development Program takes participants through a unique learning experience characterized by cutting-edge theory, industry best practices and thought-provoking discussions about critical business issues affecting the global produce industry.

Shannon Arias, produce distribution manager from Chick-fil-A, believes the program gives participants new business strategies that will help them overcome obstacles in the future.
"We're all facing similar issues and challenges, and this course helps us gain new perspectives on solutions that will ultimately impact success," said Arias.

Watch the video to hear what industry leaders like Arias are saying about their Cornell experience.

Space is limited to 40 participants, so register today! For more information, please contact Shannon Young at 202-303-3405.

Join Us For the Salute to Joe Procacci Golf Tournament at Trump National Doral Resort

Join us on the Gold Course at Trump National Doral Resort for The Salute to Joe Procacci Golf Tournament on January 21. The Gold Course hosted the 1999 PGA Qualifying School finals. PGA Tour legend Raymond Floyd recently redesigned this course to incorporate gently contoured greens, strategic bunkering and water surrounding 16 holes. The course features narrow, tree-lined fairways and finished with a dramatic par-4 island green on the 18th hole.

Following the golf tournament, players are invited to the Produce Legends Dinner, where Joe Procacci will be honored with the United Fresh Lifetime Achievement Award. Proceeds from the golf tournament and Produce Legends Dinner support the United Fresh Foundation's programs to increase the availability of fresh fruits and vegetables to children – a critical step in combating childhood obesity and launching a lifetime of healthy choices!

For more information about the golf tournament and Produce Legends Dinner, please contact Angela Tiwari at 202-303-3416. 

Share Your Produce Traceability Implementation Status by Completing the PTI Score Card

The Produce Traceability Initiative (PTI) Score Card is a simple and easy way to track your company's progress in implementing produce traceability measures. The Score Card also provides the produce industry with a snap shot of how far the voluntary initiative has progressed.

"As we enter 2014, the PTI is gaining momentum and the implementation by the buy side trading partners will continue to grab the attention of many companies who have been waiting for requests before each and every case of produce includes a PTI compliant label," said United's Dan Vaché, vice president of supply chain management.

The Score Card takes about 5 – 10 minutes to complete online. To complete the Score Card, go online to If you have questions, please contact Dan Vaché at 425-629-6271.


Don't Miss Your Chance to Learn More about Inspection Grading and Quality Standards

Register up today for the Produce Inspection Training Program to become more knowledgeable about quality standards, inspection grading, USDA produce procedures and much more! The program will be held January 13 – 17 at the USDA SCI Training and Development Center in Fredericksburg, VA.

This unique five-day course includes the fundamentals of produce inspection, covering essential knowledge, terminology and practical information. The course also includes Commodity Labs, which apply the principals learned in the fundamentals course to real produce inspections. USDA experts show hands-on examination of a range of commodities, including grapes, lettuces, potatoes, strawberries and tomatoes.

Visit the United Fresh website to learn more about the program. You can also watch a video and hear from participants about their experiences in the course. Click here to register online or you can download the registration form and email it to If you have questions, feel free to contact Shannon Young at 202-303-3405.


New Member Welcome

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

  • DND & Associates Consulting Group LLC, Menomonie, WI
  • Fillmore Piru Citrus, Piru, CA
  • Jack Brown Produce Inc, Sparta, MI

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.


Chairman's Roundtable Thanks 2014 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 this week to the 2014 Chairman's Roundtable:
  • Bunzl, Inc.
  • Castellini Company, LLC
  • DND & Associates Consulting Group LLC
  • Gold Coast Packing Company, Inc.
  • IFCO Systems, N.A.
  • Pacific Tomato Growers/Pacific Triple E
  • Potandon Produce, LLC

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.


Upcoming United Fresh Events

Join us for events designed to grow your business:

Produce Inspection Training Program
Jan 13-17, USDA SCI Training & Development Center, Fredericksburg, VA

The Salute to Joe Procacci Golf Tournament and Produce Legends Dinner
Jan 21, Trump National Doral Miami, Miami, FL

2014 Produce Executive Development Program
Mar 9-14, Cornell University, Ithaca, NY

Produce Inspection Training Program
Jun 2-6, USDA SCI Training & Development Center, Fredericksburg, VA

United Fresh 2014
Jun 10-13, McCormick Place, Chicago, IL

2014 Washington Public Policy Conference
Sep 8-10, Hyatt Regency Washington on Capitol Hill, Washington, DC

Produce Inspection Training Program
Sep 22-26, USDA SCI Training & Development Center, Fredericksburg, VA