March 13, 2014
In Today's Issue:
Publix CEO Ed Crenshaw to Deliver Keynote Address at United Fresh 2014 Opening Breakfast General Session

Publix CEO Ed Crenshaw will be the keynote speaker at the Opening Breakfast General Session at the United Fresh 2014 convention in Chicago this June. Crenshaw will share his views on current and future trends in the supermarket retail industry, building upon his 40 years' experience at Publix, and his role as a member of the Board and past chairman of the Food Marketing Institute, representing all of the retail supermarket industry.

"Ed Crenshaw is an industry leader who will inspire our audience to think differently about the future of retail," said United Fresh President & CEO Tom Stenzel. "Ed has long championed the 'service-oriented' retail approach at Publix, and we are excited to hear his strategies for success and his insights into the future of food retailing."

Crenshaw joined Publix Super Markets in 1974. Over the years, he gained experience in all areas of store operations, starting as a stock clerk in Lake Wales, Florida. In addition to serving as a store manager, his staff experience includes buying and retail operations. Publix, one of the largest supermarket chains in the country, operates more than 1,075 stores in Florida, Georgia, South Carolina, Alabama, Tennessee, and North Carolina. The company has been honored as one of the top 100 companies to work for in America, as well as being recognized as one of America's most admired companies.

The Opening Breakfast General Session will be held Wednesday, June 11, from 8:00 a.m. - 9:45 a.m. in the Vista Ballroom at the McCormick Place Convention Center.  Participation in the keynote session is available only to those attendees who have purchased United's educational package. United appreciates the support of Sunkist Growers as sponsor of this Breakfast General Session.

United Fresh 2014 is the must-attend destination for the fresh produce industry. Co-located with FMI Connect 2014, the United Fresh show brings together the retail and fresh produce industries, offering executives unprecedented value in the opportunity to connect with customers and industry counterparts. The convention offers more than 900 exhibiting companies in 800,000 square feet of exhibits, more than 100 hours of educational programming, and extensive networking opportunities with more than 15,000 retail and produce attendees. Learn more about registration for United Fresh 2014 by visiting the show website.


United Fresh to Honor Outstanding Women in the Industry at United Fresh 2014 Convention

United Fresh is now accepting nominations to help select an honoree to speak at the annual Reception Honoring Women in Produce, Thursday, June 12 at the United Fresh 2014 convention in Chicago. 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.

"This event is a great time to celebrate the contributions so many women make to the produce industry," said United Fresh President & CEO Tom Stenzel.  "Each year, we have the opportunity to be inspired by the personal career paths of different leaders who serve as role models to us all, men and women alike."

"It was an amazing experience to be awarded this honor last year," said Lisa McNeece, 2013 Women in Produce Honoree and vice president of foodservice and industrial sales for Grimmway Enterprises Inc. "I encourage the produce industry to participate in the nomination process and recognize the many outstanding women who contribute to our industry."

Nomination forms may be downloaded from the United Fresh 2014 website and must be received by Thursday, March 27.

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
Lisa McNeece, Grimmway Farms
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 Angela Tiwari, United Fresh political affairs manager, at 202-303-3416 or visit the United Fresh 2014 website.

Fresh Facts Year in Review Shows Fresh Produce Sales Up in 2013

United Fresh released the 2013 Year in Review edition of the FreshFacts® on Retail report, which examines overall retail trends in produce for the past year. The report shows that during 2013, the produce department averaged more than $47,000 per week per store, which was up 4.8 percent over the previous year. 

The FreshFacts® on Retail report, produced in partnership with the Nielsen Perishables Group and sponsored by Del Monte Fresh Produce, measures retail price and sales trends for the top 10 fruit and vegetable commodities, as well as value-added, organic and other produce categories.
Highlights of this "Year in Review" report include:

  • Over the past year, all of the top 10 fruits posted volume increases 
  • Fruits' average weekly dollar sales increased 4.5 percent versus 2012
  • All of the top 10 vegetables posted increases in weekly dollar sales
  • Among value-added fruit categories, value-added fruit and fresh-cut fruit both posted increases in weekly dollar sales
  • Snacking value-added vegetables posted an increase of 15 percent in weekly dollar sales
  • Avocadoes posted the highest growth in the fruit category, with dollar sales increasing 11.7 percent and volume increasing 10.3 percent
  • Packaged salad and tomatoes, the two top-selling vegetable categories in 2013, increased dollar sales 6.7 percent and 3.4 percent

This quarters' FreshFacts® report also features a spotlight on organic produce. Recent trends show that even with increases in retail prices, volume sales continue to grow in all organic fruit and vegetable categories. The growing demand for organic produce resulted in dollar and volume increase, roughly 20 percent for both organic fruits and vegetables overall.

The complete FreshFacts® on Retail report can be downloaded free of charge for all United Fresh members ($50 for non-members) by clicking here. For more information about how to obtain the report, please contact Shannon Young, United education manager, at 202-303-3400 ext. 405. For questions about specific data contained in the report, please contact Cara Ammon at Nielsen Perishables Group at 773-769-3550.

United's March Webinar Explores the Latest Fresh Produce Trends in Restaurants

United Fresh invites industry members throughout the supply chain to sign up for the March webinar, Fresh Insights for Foodservice: Understanding Today's Produce Trends, on March 27, 2014 from 2:00 p.m. – 3:00 p.m. (Eastern Time). The webinar is part of United's 2014 Webinar Series. The webinar is hosted by the United Fresh Retail-Foodservice Board. During the one-hour event, Maeve Webster of Datassential will showcase the latest Spring trends for fresh produce in foodservice and restaurants. Maeve will share an in-depth analysis of United's latest Fresh Insights for Foodservice report, as well as what's hot on today's menus.

The webinar is free for United members and $50 for non-members. To register for the webinar, click here.


United Fresh Launches "Now Boarding for Chicago" Spring Fresh Impact Tour

United Fresh will kick off its 2014 "Now Boarding for Chicago" Spring Fresh Impact Tour with town halls and member visits in 10 states during March and April.  United Fresh staff will travel across the country to meet with members to discuss key industry issues and provide a sneak preview of this summer's United Fresh convention, taking place June 10-13 in Chicago.

At some 15 town halls across the country, members will learn how they can benefit from the recently passed Farm Bill, discuss expanding opportunities for produce sales in schools and at retail, and review the latest information on how new food safety regulations are likely to affect their businesses.

"Town halls give us the unique opportunity for informal, face-to-face discussion with our members about what matters most to them," said Stenzel. "With our Chicago convention coming up soon, we also want to let people know about this unique event that brings the fresh produce industry and supermarket industry together to pursue business growth. Working together with the Food Marketing Institute provides a strong retail platform, with great speakers like Publix CEO Ed Crenshaw, a broader educational offering focused on produce marketing from grower to retailer, and networking experiences with supply chain partners you just won't find at any other show."

The "Now Boarding for Chicago" Spring Fresh Impact Tour kicks off next week with town halls in Immokalee, FL; McAllen, San Antonio and Dallas, TX; and Charlotte, NC.  The tour will continue with stops in Ohio, Indiana, New York, Pennsylvania, Washington, Idaho and California.

To see a list of the upcoming town hall meetings, visit the United Fresh website. Throughout the trip, members and staff will be posting updates and photos to the United Fresh Facebook page. Follow us online or attend a Town Hall to join in on the Now Boarding for Chicago Spring Fresh Impact Tours! For more information, contact Miriam Wolk, United vice president of membership & marketing, at 202-303-3410.

FDA to Hold Public Meeting on Environmental Impact Statement for the proposed FSMA Rule

FDA will hold a public meeting on April 4, 2014 from 1:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m. (Eastern Time) in College Park, MD on the Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) for the produce safety proposed rule. The purpose of this public meeting is to discuss the scope of the EIS for the proposed rule to establish standards for growing, harvesting, packing and holding of produce for human consumption. FDA is holding a public meeting as part of their ongoing efforts to seek public input on the issues and alternatives that they should consider when preparing the EIS.

The deadline to submit electronic or written comments concerning the proposed rule is April 18, 2014. Click here to register online to attend the public meeting.  Early registration is recommended because seating is limited. If you have questions, please contact United's Dr. David Gombas, senior vice president of food safety and technology, at 202-303-3411. Cynthia Wise, FDA's Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition, at 240-402-1357.


Learn How to Sell Domestic Foods to the USDA

USDA presents a free webinar, How to Sell Domestic Foods to the USDA, on Thursday, March 20, 2014 at 2:00 p.m. (Eastern Time). Each year, USDA's Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) buys nearly $2 billion of agricultural products, including fresh fruits and vegetables. The program known as USDA Foods purchases these products to help feed millions of school children. These products are also distributed to food banks and disaster areas.

The webinar will focus on contracting information for small, socially disadvantaged, women-owned, and service disabled veteran-owned businesses. The small size standard for federal contractors in USDA Foods procurement is 500 employees or less. After a formal presentation by Sara Hernandez and Dianna Price of the AMS Commodity Procurement Program, the webinar will conclude with an interactive question and answer session.

Registration is required to participate in the webinar and space is limited. To register online, click here. You can submit questions before the webinar by emailing Sarah Hernandez.

New Member Welcome

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

  • Hothouse, Inc., Atlanta, GA
  • John B. Sanfillipo & Son, Inc., Elgin, IL

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 company who has committed this week to the 2014 Chairman's Roundtable:

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:

Immokalee Produce Industry Reception/Barbeque
March 17, University of Florida IFAS Southwest Florida Research & Education Center, Immokalee, FL

Charlotte Produce Industry Town Hall Luncheon
March 18, Chiquita Brands International, Charlotte, NC

McAllen Produce Industry Town Hall
March 18, McAllen Country Club, McAllen, TX

San Antonio Produce Industry Town Hall Luncheon
March 20, H-E-B Produce Retail Support Center, San Antonio, TX

Dallas Produce Industry Town Hall Luncheon
March 21, Campisi's Restaurant, Dallas, TX

Cincinnati Produce Industry Town Hall Luncheon
March 25, Marquis Banquet Center, Wilder, KY

Ohio Produce Industry Town Hall Luncheon
March 26, 224 Varsity Club, Willard, OH

Fresh Insights for Foodservice: Understanding Today's Produce Trends
March 27, Webinar

Pennsylvania Produce Industry Town Hall Luncheon
April 1, Four Seasons Family of Companies, Ephrata, PA

Philadelphia Produce Industry Town Hall Luncheon
April 2, Philadelphia Wholesale Produce Market, Philadelphia, PA

Seattle Produce Industry Town Hall Luncheon
April 7, Costco Wholesale, Issaquah, WA

Spring Government Relations Council Meeting
April 8-10, Grand Hyatt Washington, Washington, DC

Yakima Produce Industry Town Hall Luncheon
April 9, Gasperetti's Gourmet Restaurant, Yakima, WA

Recall Ready Training Workshop
April 9-10, Costco Headquarters, Issaquah, WA

Visalia Produce Industry Town Hall Luncheon
April 16, The Vintage Press, Visalia, 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