January 23, 2014
In Today's Issue:
United and Produce Industry Honor Legend Joe Procacci in Miami This Week

United and the produce industry gathered in Miami to honor legend Joe Procacci with the 2014 United Fresh Lifetime Achievement Award at United’s Produce Legends Dinner this week in Miami. The ballroom at Trump National Doral Resort was filled with family and friends and business associates spanning decades of experience with Joe Procacci. Food stations at the dinner honored cities where Joe has lived and done business, including “A Tribute to Philly” featuring a Philly cheesesteak station, soft pretzels with cheese sauce and hand-cut French fries.

United President and CEO Tom Stenzel welcomed the attendees to the celebration of Joe Procacci, a true pioneer of the tomato industry. United Chairman Ron Midyett, CEO of Apio, also recognized Joe Procacci for a career that can truly be defined as a lifetime of service. “Joe has made an amazing impact on the fresh produce industry, on his community and on our association,” said Midyett.

Produce industry leaders shared their personal stories about Procacci, including Karen Caplan, president and CEO of Frieda’s, Inc.; Jose Sanchez, president of Alpine Fresh; and Joe Sheridan, president and COO of Wakefern Food Corp. Proceeds from the dinner supported the United Fresh Foundation’s programs to increase children’s consumption of fresh fruits and vegetables.
Winter Leadership Meetings Have Great Attendance This Week in Miami

United Fresh kicked off the Winter Leadership Meetings this week in Miami at the Trump National Doral Resort with The Salute to Joe Procacci Golf Tournament. After the golf tournament, volunteer leaders joined together for United market segment board, expert council and Board of Directors meetings. These volunteer leaders represent United member companies throughout the produce supply chain. Learn more about the board and council meetings in next week’s Inside United Fresh.

United Fresh Announces Let’s Move Salad Bars to Midwest Schools Campaign

On Wednesday, the United Fresh Foundation launched Let’s Move Salad Bars to MIDWEST Schools, a new multi-year campaign to increase children’s produce consumption by donating salad bars to schools in six Midwest states: Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Minnesota, Ohio and Wisconsin. United Fresh announced the campaign at its Winter Leadership Meeting in Miami, and introduced 12 Midwest produce industry leaders who will co-chair the campaign.




  • Lisa J. Strube, Strube Celery & Vegetable Co.
  • Rebecca Wilson, The Tom Lange Company, Inc.


  • Mark Girardin,North Bay Produce, Inc.
  • Harold Van Eerden, Van Eerden Co.


  • Ken Holthouse, Doug Walcher Farms
  • Joe Klare, Castellini Company LLC


  • Bob Kirch, Caito Foods Service, Inc.
  • Hilary B. Martin, Frey Farms


  • Phillip Brooks, H. Brooks & Company
  • Jason Craig, C.H. Robinson


  • Larry A. Alsum, Alsum Farms & Produce Inc.
  • Steve Jarzombek, Roundy's Supermarkets, Inc.

Let’s Move Salad Bars to MIDWEST Schools is a multi-year campaign supporting United’s 2014, 2015 and 2016 conventions, which will be co-located with the Food Marketing Institute conventions in Chicago. The new Midwest campaign builds on the momentum of United’s successful salad bar campaigns in New Orleans, Texas and California that donated salad bars to a combined 586 schools. The salad bars highlight the produce industry’s commitment to improving child nutrition and combating childhood obesity.

The campaign co-chairs will engage produce industry colleagues, allied industries and foundations to support salad bars for Midwest schools. Over the last three years more than 400 Midwest schools have received salad bars from Let’s Move Salad Bars to Schools, and the goal of United’s Midwest campaign is to provide salad bars to all Midwest schools that want them.

“Schools are a growing segment of our business and we’re pleased to support strategies that increase students’ access and consumption of fresh fruits and vegetables.  We think school salad bars are great way to educate students about making healthy choices,” said Bob Kirch, Indiana campaign co-chair and president and CEO of Caito Foods Service.

Steve Jarzombek, Wisconsin campaign co-chair and vice president of produce merchandising and procurement at Roundy’s Supermarkets, agrees. “School programs that encourage kids to eat more fresh fruits and vegetables benefit our produce departments,” said Steve Jarzombek.

Let’s Move Salad Bars to MIDWEST Schools is a special campaign of the United Fresh Foundation, a founding partner of the national Let’s Move Salad Bars to Schools initiative, which supports First Lady Michelle Obama’s broader Let’s Move! initiative to end childhood obesity in a generation. To date, salad bars have been donated to more than 2,800 schools nationwide.

Learn more about United’s Let’s Move Salad Bars to MIDWEST Schools campaign by visiting our website. If you’d like to find out how you can support salad bars for schools in the Midwest or in your community, contact Andrew Marshall at (202) 303-3407.


Deardorff Family Farms Supports Child Nutrition by Donating Salad Bar to California School
Vasken Khanjian, business development director for Deardorff Family Farms, hosts a trivia contest with students with featuring Tasti-Lee tomatoes
Students at the E.O. Green Junior High School enjoying their new salad bar, thanks to Bejo Seeds and Deardorff Family Farms

Last week, representatives from Deardorff Family Farms hosted an event with the 6th and 7th grade classes at the E.O. Green Junior High School, which is part of the Hueneme Elementary School District in Oxnard, CA. They educated students about their local growing operation, located down the road from the school, and provided samples of their Tasti-Lee Tomatoes.

“This donation is an excellent example of how produce companies can support United’s child nutrition programs, while promoting increased fruit and vegetable consumption with children in their communities,” said Andrew Marshall, United’s policy and grassroots manager.

Scott Deardorff, partner of Deardorff Family Farms, shared the history of his family’s business and some of their farming methods that creates the bounty that fills Ventura County. Vasken Khanjian, business development director for Deardorff Family Farms, hosted a trivia contest with the students that showcased recipes featuring Tasti-Lee tomatoes.

The school received their salad bar at the beginning of the school year as part of United’s Let’s Move Salad Bars to California Schools campaign, and now students have access to a wide variety of fresh produce options each day.

Join United’s Working Groups on FDA Animal Feed and Intentional Adulteration Rules

You are invited to participate in United Fresh working groups to assess and develop comments to FDA’s Preventive Controls for Animal Feed and Intentional Adulteration proposed rules. Thanks to the efforts of many of you, United Fresh submitted substantive comments to FDA on their proposed Produce Safety and Preventive Controls for Human Food rules, sufficient to warrant FDA agreeing to issue revised proposed requirements for many of the issues you identified, including water and compost standards, exemptions, and mixed-use facilities. We are currently in the process of developing comments based on input we received from the Foreign Supplier Verification Working Group.

FDA has now published proposed rules on Preventive Controls for Animal Feed and on Intentional Adulteration. As proposed, both rules have the potential to impact segments of the fresh produce industry. In the Animal Feed rule, FDA proposes to exempt farms that are not required to register with FDA, but holds registered facilities responsible for assessing potential hazards in produce distributed for animal feed, including culls and waste.

The Intentional Adulteration rule also proposes to exempt farms, and facilities with annual food sales of less than $10 million. The rule applies to operations that receive or store bulk liquids, perform mixing of ingredients, or that pack products with secondary ingredients. We believe that certain interpretations of this language could include packinghouses and fresh-cut operations.

The comment period for the Animal Feed and Intentional Adulteration rules end March 31. If you are interested in participating on a working group to assess and develop comments to either rule, please contact Erin Grether at 202-303-3402. More information will be sent to those who contact Erin.


Don’t Miss the Second Auditor Training Workshop on Food Safety Standards for Postharvest Operations at Taco Bell Headquarters

Don’t miss out on United’s second auditor training workshop for Postharvest Operations Food Safety Harmonized Standards held at Taco Bell’s Headquarters in Irvine, CA. The workshop will be offered on March 11-12. To register online for the workshop, click here.

The two-day auditor workshop will feature the official training materials developed by the Produce GAPs Harmonization Initiative Calibration Committee, designed to standardize food safety auditors’ expectations of post-harvest packing, holding and cooling operations using the Harmonized Standards. Workshop leaders will include Calibration Committee members from NSF, DFA of California and GlobalG.A.P.


On March 13, there will be a Technical Working Group (TWG) meeting following the two-day training course. The TWG is open to all interested stakeholders and there is no fee to attend, but registration is required. To register for the TWG meeting, click here. The agenda will include a review of the Field Operations and Harvesting and Post-harvest Operations Harmonized Standards, requests for changes to the standards that have been received since the last meeting in 2012, and updates from participating audit organizations like USDA, GlobalG.A.P and IFS.

If you have questions about attending the auditor workshop or the Technical Working Group meeting, please contact Erin Grether at 202-303-3402.

New Pilot Project Exploring Inspection Rates for U.S. Onions Exported to Canada

The Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) is starting a new pilot project on the importation of US onions into Canada under the Beyond the Border initiative. The pilot project aims to lower inspection rates for grade verification for US-grown apples, onions and potatoes imported from the United States.

Onions have been selected as the commodity for the pilot. The pilot will include US grown onions that are marketed fresh to consumers or are sold in bulk and intended for further processing/repacking. Revised Canadian import requirements for onions will come into effect on January 20, 2014 and will remain in effect until April 30, 2014 with the possibility of extension until October 31, 2014.

Onions imported to Canada from the US will still be required to meet the minimum grade, labeling and packaging requirements according to the Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Regulations; however during this time period, inspection/certification by USDA or CFIA will not be required for US grown onions. Onions grown in a country other than the US and imported from a US distributor into Canada will still require an FV-205 or a Conditional Release, followed by a custom clearance inspection, in order to be compliant with Canadian import requirements.

Visit the Canadian Food Inspection Agency website to learn more.


The United Fresh 2014 Preview Is Coming Soon

The United Fresh 2014 Preview is coming your way soon! The preview guide offers a behind-the-scenes view of United Fresh 2014 in Chicago. Learn about the hundreds of exhibitors featured in this year’s trade show. You’ll also get a preview of the new destination centers on the show floors that will make connecting exhibitors and buyers even easier. These destination centers include the Midwest Produce Pavilion, Food Safety and Traceability Pavilion, Floral Marketing Center and Expert Consultation Center. You’ll also learn about this year’s education sessions, including the Market Segment Super Sessions that address specific issues and needs within your sector.

The United Fresh 2014 Preview should be arriving over the next two week. If you have questions about the United Fresh 2014 Preview, please contact Miriam Wolk at 202-303-3410.


Headed to Fruit Logistica? United Fresh Will See You There!

Join United Fresh at Fruit Logistica, February 5-7, 2014 in Berlin, Germany. Visit the United Fresh Stand (Hall 5.2, Stand D-11) to learn more about our programs for the global produce industry, including United Fresh 2014 in Chicago.

Attendees are invited to join United members and friends at the United stand for the United Fresh Global Reception on Wednesday, February 5 from 5:00 p.m. – 7:00 p.m. To RSVP, contact Miriam Wolk at 202-303-3410.


Recall Ready Risk Management Webinar Now Available Online

The Recall Ready webinar, “Strategies for Limiting Your Legal Exposure in Recalls,” is now available online. The webinar is part of United’s 2014 Webinar Series. This one-hour webinar will help produce companies understand the legal consequences of recall events and identify strategies that companies can use to avoid staggering financial losses and criminal charges in the future. Attorneys David Durkin of Olsson, Frank & Weeda and David Gurwitz of Atlas, Hall & Rodriguez examine the scope of America’s food safety laws, review real-world case studies showing successful legal strategies, and address the most critical civil and criminal liability issues facing fresh produce companies today.

To view the webinar online, click here. For questions about the webinar series, please contact Shannon Young at 202-303-3405.

New Member Welcome

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

  • J & J Family of Farms, Loxahatchee, FL
  • Jetro Restaurant Depot, College Point, NY
  • S G E Environmental, Stoughton, MA

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

Join us for events designed to grow your business:

United Fresh Special Activities at Fruit Logistica 2014
Feb 5-7, 2014, Berlin, Germany

Webinar: 2014 Retail Produce Manager Awards Program
Feb 6

GAPs and GMPs for HACCP-Based Food Safety Workshop
Feb 18-20, Athens, GA

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

Produce GAPs Harmonization Post-Harvest Operations Train the Trainer Workshop
March 11-12, Taco Bell Headquarters, Irvine, CA

Technical Working Group Meeting
March 13, Taco Bell Headquarters, Irvine, CA

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