July 17, 2014
In Today's Issue:
Water, GMOs, Immigration and Trade Among Education Session Topics at The Washington Conference

United’s personalized educational experience at The Washington Conference, September 8-10, focuses on the critical issues and opportunities for the fresh produce industry. Hear insights and engage with expert speakers and policymakers that address top issues of our industry. See details below about education sessions offered at The Washington Conference and the value they can bring to your team.


The California Water Crisis: What’s Next?

The current drought in the West could force major changes in where and how we produce fruits and vegetables.  As companies are adjusting business strategies to deal with today’s challenges, legislators must be implementing long-term solutions to head off a major crisis.  Learn about pending legislation, future water issues and their impact on the entire produce supply chain throughout the world.


The Reshaping of America

Regardless of Congressional inaction, the face of America is changing.  The Hispanic population in America is growing inexorably and will change the political landscape, reshaping national policies and programs forever.  Look at how future population trends will affect our industry and our country.


The GMO Debate and Impact on Fruits and Vegetables

The GMO debate is making the national news every day  Are genetically modified products safe?  Should we label foods with GMO ingredients?  But how do these issues play out for the fruit and vegetable industry?  Learn what is happening in new product development, regulation at the state and federal level, and consumer transparency critical to our industry.


International Trade and the Importance to Agriculture

The United States Trade Representative is negotiating major new trade agreements bringing export opportunities to U.S. producers.  Concurrently, imports of fruits and vegetables continue to play a critical role in serving the U.S. consumer.  Sit down with experts in both arenas to learn what changes may be coming in the trade arena.


Can We Still Change Immigration Policy?

With our immigration system clearly broken, and Congress at a stalemate, is there still hope to modernize immigration policy?.  The Obama administration is taking some direct action, and many in Congress still believe we must act to pass a new guest worker program.  Where can we go from here to address this critical issue?


How Current and Pending Regulations Affect the Produce Supply Chain

Whether trucking regulations, border security and customs rules, or food safety requirements for sanitary transportation, government has a huge impact on the produce supply chain.  Learn how current and pending regulations create supply chain challenges that affect your business.


In addition to these education opportunities, The Washington Conference is the only event where the produce industry's most prominent and influential executives gather for strategic, face-to-face dialogue with lawmakers and staff at key congressional offices. Register today and join your colleagues in Washington to make a real difference on produce industry priorities and help ensure a more profitable future. For more information, please contact United’s Angela Tiwari at 202-303-3400.


Learn the Advocacy Words that Work from Pollster and Communications Expert Frank Luntz at The Washington Conference

When speaking to lawmakers about produce industry issues, what words matter most to be relevant and memorable? This September, United Fresh welcomes back one of its most popular speakers ever with Frank Luntz’s Insider’s Look at the 2014 Elections at the closing lunch Wednesday September 10. Luntz will give his entertaining, behind-the-scenes perspective on how the Fall 2014 Congressional elections will impact the produce industry.

“I like focusing on language rather than just politics. I will devote my time with your members to what they can do to be effective, and show examples of the best and worst political messaging of 2014,” said Luntz. “I’ll share my top 21 words for the 21st Century and the 14 phrases for 2014.”

Luntz, deemed “the Nostradamus of pollsters,” was named one of “50 of America’s most promising leaders aged 40 and under” by TIME magazine, as well as the “hottest pollster” in America according to the Boston Globe. He was also named one of the four “Top Research Minds” by Business Week and won the coveted The Washington Post “Crystal Ball” award for being the most accurate pundit. In 2012, he was included in a TIME global poll of the “most influential people in the world.” He also served as a consultant to the award-winning NBC hit show The West Wing.

“I want to deliver the message of how your members can raise their profile and how Americans can value the people in the produce industry and all of farming who make our economy work,” added Luntz.

Luntz also reminds United that he is a huge fan of nectarines, peaches and plums. “A ripe peach is better than anything in life,” he says.

To register or for more information, visit The Washington Conference website, or contact Angela Tiwari, political affairs manager, at atiwari@unitedfresh.org.

Produce Industry Connects with School Nutrition Leaders at United Fresh Produce Pavilion

The United’s Fresh Produce Pavilion was a popular destination for school nutrition directors seeking about fresh produce sourcing at the SNA conference in Boston.

John Alpers of Atlanta-based Royal Food Service talks about produce procurement with one of the hundreds of school foodservice directors who visited United’s pavilion.

The Fit Pick vending machine, displaying options for fresh produce snacks, was a popular display at the United Fresh Produce Pavilion.

Hundreds of school nutrition officials from across the country welcomed the first-ever Fresh Produce Pavilion at the School Nutrition Association Annual National Conference in Boston this week. By any measure, the pavilion was a resounding success, with United staff, produce distributors, growers, fresh-cut processors, and school nutrition directors sharing ideas and information in one-on-one exchanges at the SNA annual conference.

“We forged new relationships with so many school nutrition directors from around the country, all of them excited about serving more fresh fruits and vegetables in school meals,” said Dr. Lorelei DiSogra, vice president, nutrition & health. “The Fresh Produce Fit Pick vending machine was an instant star. School nutrition directors, USDA officials and advocates were snapping photos of it and uploading to twitter and other social media as an example of an easy way to meet new Smart Snacks in Schools nutrition standards. Schools wanted to know how they could get a fresh produce vending machine loaded with a wide variety of single serve fresh produce snacks.”

United’s Fresh Produce Pavilion included exhibits by many United Fresh member companies and a “Ask the Experts: Produce Solutions Center” for school foodservice directors. The “Ask the Experts” area was co-sponsored by PRO*ACT, which brought a number of produce distribution experts from around the country to serve as consultants for schools to answer all their produce-related questions, share guidance and tips for writing produce RFPs, and talk about the wide variety of fresh and fresh-cut fruits and vegetables that are ideal for school foodservice. 

United appreciates the support from Pro*Act and all the industry participants at the Fresh Produce Pavilion at SNA conference.

For more information about United’s pavilion at the SNA conference, contact Andrew Marshall at 202-303-3400.


Time Running Out to Apply for United’s Rising Leaders Seminar

Who will shape the future success of your company? United Fresh offers a new, unique leadership development opportunity for rising leaders in the produce industry, just prior to the start of The Washington Conference, Monday, September 8, beginning at noon.  Act now, because applications for participating in United’s inaugural Rising Leaders Seminar are due by July 31.

Rising Leader Seminar candidates must submit an application, including a brief essay on why they want to enhance their knowledge of the interaction between business and public policy, as well as the support of their supervisor. The seminar will include an opening lunch with keynote speaker, followed by in-depth discussion of how the public policy arena affects companies throughout the fresh produce supply chain. Participants will also discuss their roles as advocates for their companies and the produce industry, learning how they can personally make a difference in shaping a better business environment.

If selected following review of a candidate’s application, there is no additional cost beyond conference registration to participate in the Rising Leaders Seminar, however, participation is limited. Following the seminar, participants will join with all other attendees for networking during the Opening Night Party overlooking the U.S. Capitol, as well as all conference education programs and Congressional visits. For a full schedule click here.

If applicants are selected to participate in the Rising Leader Seminar, they must register and participate in the entire Washington Conference.


Still Time to Register for July 24 Immigration Reform Webinar

Be sure to register now for the next installment of United United's annual Washington Conference Webinar Series: My Business Needs a Stable and Legal Workforce NOW - The Current State of Play as Immigration Policy Moves Through Congress, July 24 at 2 p.m. EDT. Registration is complimentary for United members and $50 for non-members. Participate in the webinar series to hear insightful perspectives from industry and United staff experts on the top policy and regulatory initiatives affecting your business today.

A recording of the first webinar in the series – Fruits and Vegetables at Stake in School Meals – is available for viewing. For more information on the recording or about any topics of The Washington Conference Webinar Series contact Erin Grether at 202-303-3402.

While signing up for the webinar, be sure to register for The Washington Conference, the only event where the produce industry's most prominent and influential executives connect with each other and key members of Congress for strategic face-to-face dialogue. Join your colleagues in Washington and share your real-world experiences of how the political landscape is impacting your business and the broader produce industry.


Family Business Scholarships Available – Apply by July 31

United Fresh is accepting applications for the 2014 Frieda Rapoport Caplan Family Business Scholarship Program. Submit your application today; don’t miss your opportunity to march on the Hill!

The Program, established in 2001 through a generous grant from Frieda's, Inc., is designed to increase family business' involvement in government relations and produce industry advocacy. Up to four scholarship recipients from family-owned businesses will receive complimentary airfare, hotel and registration to attend The Washington Conference, September 8-10 at the Hyatt Regency on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC. The Washington Conference brings more than five hundred produce leaders from all sectors of the industry to interact and share ideas with administration officials, congressional leaders and industry colleagues.

"This scholarship afforded me the opportunity to step outside of my comfort zone and immerse myself in the issues that our industry is facing" said Dan Henry, W.D. Henry & Sons, Inc. "It's easy to get accustomed to day-to-day activities, and this program really opened my eyes to the importance of getting politically engaged and speaking up—after all, our livelihoods are at stake.”

Applicants must complete an application form by July 31 and be employed by a family-owned business that is a United Fresh member company in good standing; the opportunity is open to first-time attendees of The Washington Conference. 

Applications should be sent to the United Fresh Produce Association, attention Shannon Young, United Fresh Education Manager via email to syoung@unitedfresh.org or fax 202-303-3433. 

For more information about the scholarship program and The Washington Conference visit www.unitedfresh.org/twc.


Upcoming United Fresh Events

Join us for events designed to grow your business:

The Washington Conference Webinar Series: My Business Needs a Stable and Legal Workforce NOW - The Current State of Play as Immigration Policy Moves Through Congress
Thursday, July 24, 2014 (2pm - 3pm US/Eastern)

The Washington Conference Webinar Series: Capitol Hill 101 - Washington Conference First Time Attendee
Aug 14, 2014 (2pm - 3pm US/Eastern) 

The Washington Conference Webinar Series: What Congress Needs to Know About Your Business - Preparing for your March on Washington
Aug 21, 2014 (2pm - 3pm US/Eastern) 

The Washington Conference 2014
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

United Fresh Foundation Tip Murphy Legacy Golf Tournament
Sep 29, Oasis Golf Club, Loveland, OH