May 15, 2014
In Today's Issue:
Meet the 35 Winning Retailers from 32 Retail Banners at United Fresh 2014 in Chicago


There’s only one event this summer where you can meet 35 of the produce industry’s top retail managers – United Fresh 2014 in Chicago! The “best of the best” produce retailers are coming to United’s show to receive the 2014 Retail Produce Manager Award. It’s the 10th year of United’s hallmark program, which this year recognizes exceptional retail produce managers hailing from supermarkets, commissaries and independent stores in 20 states.

This year’s retailers and winning produce managers include:

  • A&P, Yorktown, NY, Sal Gentile
  • Albertsons, Lemon Grove, CA, Bob Beaudoin
  • Arteaga’s Food Center, Gilroy, CA, Gustavo Agillon,
  • Big Y Foods, Northampton, MA, Gina Wasilefsky
  • Brookshire Grocery Company, Lindale, TX, Justin Warner
  • Food City/K-VA-T Food Stores, Abingdon, VA, Randy Sheets
  • Food City/K-VA-T Food Stores, Kingsport, TN, Brent Harkleroad
  • Food Maxx/Save Mart Supermarkets, Brentwood, CA, Larry Aledo
  • Fry’s Food & Drug Stores, Phoenix, AZ, Jeff Haines
  • Harris Teeter Supermarkets, Charlotte, NC, Mike Willis
  • Hy-Vee, Inc, Iowa City, IA, Dan Atkinson
  • Hy-Vee, Inc, Lincoln, NE, Joe Gapp
  • Jewel-Osco, Park Ridge, IL, Dan Fabris
  • Kings Food Markets, Livingston, NJ, John Spellman
  • The Kroger Company, Dayton, OH, Gina Johnson
  • Los Angeles AFB Commissary, Los Angeles, CA, Robert Tanaka
  • McClellan Commissary, McClellan, CA, Michele Parks
  • Meijer, Grand Haven, MI, Douglas DeWitte
  • Metcalfe’s Market, Wauwatosa, WI, Dick Rose
  • MOMs Organic Market, Alexandria, VA, Kendall Lopez-Buitrago
  • Northgate González Markets, Barrio Logan, CA, Abel Meza
  • Oak Point Fresh Market, Watson, LA, Derek Sibley
  • Payson Market Place, Payson, UT, Garrett Fowden
  • Price Chopper/Golub Corporation, Lenox, MA, Bill Denault
  • Quality Food Centers, Bellevue, WA, Darin Eversaul
  • Raley's Family of Fine Stores, Oakley, CA, Luis Huerta
  • Raley's Family of Fine Stores, Turlock, CA, Steve Mendes
  • Roundy’s Supermarkets, Appleton, WI, Crystal Scherer
  • Roundy’s Supermarkets, Steven's Point, WI, Alice Firkus
  • Safeway Stores, Marysville, WA, Jason Mooring
  • Save Mart Supermarkets, Truckee, CA, Patty Patino
  • ShopRite, Medford, NJ, Bill Logan, Jr.
  • Tops Markets, Grand Island, NY, Mike Bawol
  • Wal-Mart Stores, Inc., Fayetteville, AR, Kenny Hackman
  • Weis Markets, Fogelsville, PA, Jake Wittman

Sponsored since its inception by Ready Pac Foods, the program pays special recognition to produce mangers working every day to increase sales and consumption of fresh fruits and vegetables. In the past 10 years of the program, more than 230 retail managers, representing more than 80 retail banners, have been honored for their contributions to fresh produce merchandising. In its 10-year history, the program has received nearly 2,000 nominations.

“There is no better opportunity to network with our industry’s most innovative retail managers than to come to United Fresh 2014,” said United Fresh CEO Tom Stenzel. “Join us in Chicago to meet these industry trendsetters and share ideas about growing consumption for fresh produce.” 

All winners, along with their corporate produce directors, will be honored at United Fresh 2014 during the Produce Celebration Gala, Wednesday, June 11 at Hilton Chicago. In addition to the awards, five Grand Prize recipients will receive an additional $1,000 cash prize. 

The Produce Retail Manager Award winners will also be featured in a panel discussion on the United Fresh 2014 trade show floor in the Fresh Marketplace Learning Center. A panel of the winners will share their perspectives on creative produce merchandising strategies during this special education session.

More information on United Fresh 2014 can be found at Get the latest updates on expert speakers, networking events, and more, as the countdown to United Fresh 2014 continues! Follow us on Twitter with the hashtag #UnitedFresh2014.


United Fresh Foundation to Host 2014 Tip Murphy Legacy Golf Tournament

The United Fresh Foundation is pleased to host the 2014 Tip Murphy Legacy Golf Tournament, Monday, September 29, 2014, at the Oasis Golf Club near Cincinnati, Ohio.

“We are honored that the founders of the Tip Murphy Golf Tournament reached out to our Foundation to serve as the ‘Host Partner’ for the 2014 event,” said Tom Stenzel, president & CEO, United Fresh Produce Association. “Tip was a great man who passed before his time and we welcome the opportunity to remember Tip’s legacy while raising funds to support programs and activities that benefit the next generation of produce consumers,” Stenzel said.

Proceeds from this year’s tournament will support the United Fresh Foundation’s mission of increasing children’s access to fresh fruits and vegetables. The United Fresh Foundation aims to increase the availability of fresh fruits and vegetables to children as a critical step in combating childhood obesity and launching a lifetime of healthy snack and meal choices. The United Foundation is a founding partner of the national Let’s Move Salad Bars to Schools initiative, which has donated salad bars to more than 3,400 schools nationwide, benefitting more than 2 million children every day.

The Tip Murphy golf tournament was developed in 2009 to honor the life and career of Terrence "Tip" Murphy, a 15-year veteran of the produce industry. Murphy was division vice president of retail sales for Ready Pac Foods when he passed away unexpectedly in July 2008 at age 48. His career included 13 years with Chiquita Brands International.

In previous years, The Tip Murphy Memorial Golf Tournament benefitted the Produce Marketing Association’s Foundation for Industry Talent. This year, the United Fresh Foundation will help promote the event, manage registration and provide onsite support.

For more information and to sign up to participate in this year’s golf tournament, please visit the United Fresh Foundation Tip Murphy Legacy Golf Tournament website,

Sponsorship opportunities are also available. Please contact Dana Davis at (302) 750-4662 or for more information.

United Fresh Requests Extension of Comment Period on Proposed Rule on Sanitary Transportation of Human and Animal Food

United Fresh and 21 other organizations have requested that FDA extend the comment period for 90 days – to August 29, 2014 – for the proposed rule on Sanitary Transportation of Human and Animal Food. The FDA’s proposed rule would require those who transport food to use sanitary transportation practices to ensure the safety of food. 

The proposed rule, which is required by the FDA Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA), would help maintain the safety of both human and animal food during transportation by establishing criteria, e.g., conditions and practices, training and record keeping, for the sanitary transportation of food. 

“Our organizations have been working diligently to analyze the proposed rule and prepare constructive and meaningful comments that address the significant issues we have identified thus far. However, additional time is needed to complete this undertaking. In addition, several of our organizations have spent extensive time and resources responding to other FDA-proposed foundational rules implementing FSMA,” stated the letter to FDA.

Organizations requesting the extension include:

Agricultural Retailers Association
American Farm Bureau Federation
American Feed Industry Association
American Trucking Associations
Corn Refiners Association
Fresh Produce Association of the Americas
Grocery Manufacturers Association
Idaho Trucking Association
Institute of Shortening and Edible Oils
National Barley Growers Association
National Association of Manufacturers
National Chicken Council
National Cotton Council
National Council of Farmer Cooperatives
National Grain and Feed Association
National Oilseed Processors Association
National Renderers Association
National Turkey Federation
North American Millers’ Association
Pet Food Institute
Transportation Intermediaries Association
United Fresh Produce Association

Read the letter to FDA here. For more information, please contact Robert Guenther, senior vice president, public policy, at 202-303-3400.


United Secretary/Treasurer Lorri Koster of Mann Packing Named Ag Leader of the Year

Lorri Koster, chairwoman and chief executive officer of Mann Packing Co. and United’s Secretary/Treasurer, was named Ag Leader of the Year at the 10th annual Valley of the World Awards in Salinas. The Ag Leader honor recognizes industry leaders for their service to the produce industry and its communities. The National Steinbeck Center presented the award May 8 at Corral de Tierra Country Club. Besides her service on United’s Executive Committee and Board of Directors, she’s also providing leadership on United’s Nutrition & Health Council.  

“Congratulations to Lorri for this well-deserved award,” said United Fresh CEO Tom Stenzel. “United Fresh and the produce industry are grateful to Lorri for her steadfast leadership and dedication to the success and growth of our industry.”


Submit Your Nominations for the Packer’s Produce Man or Woman of the Year

A highlight of United’s conventions every year is the naming of The Packer’s Produce Man or Woman of the Year. This year, The Packer editors are inviting United’s members to submit nominations for this industry honor. The award will be presented June 11 at United Fresh 2014 in Chicago. Please email your nomination (along with his or her qualifications) to The Packer Editor Greg Johnson at by Monday, May 19.

Build Your Brand and Consumer Demand at United’s Post-Show Conference

 Looking to take your marketing & branding expertise to the next level? Don’t miss your chance to interact with expert speakers and panelists at the Retail Produce Marketing & Merchandising Conference!  Speakers from across the broader food industry will share the insights and practical experiences you need to drive marketing innovation.

Legendary brand strategist Al Ries provides a keynote address about the role of brands in today’s food marketplace. Special attention will be focused on branding in fresh foods, and how the brand experience in the broader food industry can illuminate the brand opportunity in produce. Ries is a renowned brand positioning expert who has worked with many of the world’s largest companies, including Microsoft, Intel, Procter & Gamble, Samsung, Siemens, Apple, Xerox, Disney and many others.

Other session topics include:

Building Brand Awareness/Purchase Intent with the Consumer
Learn how food companies can build brand awareness before consumers even come into a retail store. Tactics include a wide range of strategies for social media, advertising, public relations, and more.

Product Design and Packaging to Create Brand Recognition
With thousands of competing products, how does product design maximize brand recognition? Hear how new and creative packaging designs have impacted the world of produce.

The Eataly Experience
Hear from the general manager of Eataly Chicago Raffaele Piarulli about the company’s goals and strategies for the Eataly experience creating a retail environment as the brand.

Point of Sale and In-Store Merchandising to Drive Brand Purchase
Examine what captures consumers’ attention once they’re in the store. How do POS materials, signage, kiosks, special displays, etc. affect consumer behavior? How can brand marketers who’ve already raised consumer awareness make sure shoppers can find their brands in store?

Engaging the Consumer Post Purchase to Drive Repeat Demand
How do you continue to engage with the consumer post-purchase, ensuring his/her desire to come back and buy again? Learn strategies for engaging consumers post purchase, from QSR codes and other contact information on packaging to individualized couponing tied to shopper loyalty cards.

For details about session speakers visit the Retail Produce Marketing & Merchandising Conference webpage. Contact John Toner at 202-303-3424 for more information.


A Free Dinner in Chicago? Register for United Fresh 2014 Today

Register today for United Fresh 2014 and you'll be automatically entered for United's Taste of Chicago giveaway. You could win a gift certificate to one of the best restaurants in Chicago! 

This week’s drawing features these great Chicago restaurants: Café Ba-Ba-Reeba!, Mercat a La Planxa , and Nactional 27.

Last week’s lucky winners were Marina Defuentes of Houston ISD Food Services/Aramark, Jeff Maurer of Fresh Madison Market and Joe Albach of Central-Grocers. Congratulations and bon appétit!

Every Friday through June 6, 2014, United Fresh will draw three lucky winners from the United Fresh 2014 registered attendee list. Each winner will receive a $100 gift certificate to one of Chicago's finest restaurants, courtesy of our promotional sponsor Testa Produce, Inc. 

Watch for the weekly announcement from United Fresh to see if you're a winner and Register now for United Fresh 2014 for the best chance to win!


Tell Us Your Favorite Things to Do in Chicago

United Fresh 2014 is less than a month away. Thousands of produce industry executives will be meeting in the Windy City for United’s education, networking and to enjoy all that Chicago offers.

Got great ideas for restaurants, sightseeing or other activities in Chicago? Share them with your industry colleagues on United’s Facebook page. We’re sure to see lots of great suggestions, so be sure to visit our Facebook page often for ideas of how you can make the most of your time in Chicago at United Fresh 2014!


Win $25,000 at the Salute to Leadership Raffle

At the United Fresh 2014 convention in Chicago, one lucky person will win the $25,000 Grand Prize for the “Salute to Leadership Raffle.” 

Proceeds from the raffle support the United Fresh Foundation. Tickets are just $100 and winner’s name will be drawn at the Produce Celebration Gala on June 11. 

Winners don’t need to be present to win (though it’s more fun if you’re there in person!), and you can purchase as many tickets as you like! Don’t miss your chance to win! Buy Your Tickets Today! 

For more information about the Salute to Leadership Raffle, contact United's Education Manager, Shannon Young at 202-303-3405. 


New Member Welcome

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

  • Starbucks Coffee, Seattle, WA
  • Total Quality Logistics, Milford, OH


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:

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