July 24, 2014
In Today's Issue:
Past Board Member Phil Muir Testifies Before Senate Agriculture Committee on School Meal Fruit and Vegetable Standards

Produce distributor Phil Muir of Muir Copper Canyon Farms told Senators that the produce industry is working with schools to serve more fruits and vegetables.

The Senate Agriculture Committee heard testimony Wednesday from the produce industry and school nutrition officials about providing more healthful meals to students.

United Fresh past Board member Phil Muir, President and CEO of Muir Copper Canyon Farms, Salt Lake City, UT, pledged support and cooperation to schools as they serve more fresh fruits and vegetables in meals during a hearing of the Senate Agriculture Committee Wednesday. Muir told lawmakers that his company provides fresh fruits and vegetables to 52 school districts in Utah, Idaho and Wyoming, serving a total of 450,000 students, and that he is finding schools doing a great job of boosting fruit and vegetable consumption in their meal programs.

"The produce industry is committed and stands ready to support school food service directors in successfully implementing the new fruit and vegetable requirements," said Muir in his Senate testimony. "There are produce suppliers all over the country who are just as passionate and committed to supporting schools as I am. We all want to provide schools with great quality fresh produce and help student's increase their consumption."

Congress will be reauthorizing child nutrition programs in 2015. Today's Senate hearing explored how schools are meeting healthier nutrition standards as required by the Healthy Hunger Free Kids Act of 2010. In his testimony, Muir illustrated how schools are successfully serving more fresh fruits and vegetables.

"Schools that were proactive in improving the healthfulness of school meals early on, made incremental changes, and offered nutrition education are not having problems or experiencing increased plate waste" said Muir. "The Dietary Guidelines for Americans calls for children and adults to "make half their plate fruits and vegetables" at every meal. How can you call school breakfast or school lunch a 'meal' if it doesn't include at least a half cup of fruits or vegetables?"

Also testifying at the Senate hearing were Betti Wiggins, Executive Director, Office of Food Services, Detroit Public Schools; Scott Clements, Director, Office of Healthy Schools and Child Nutrition, Mississippi Department of Education; Julia Bauscher, President; Director of School and Community Nutrition Services, School Nutrition Association; Jefferson County Public Schools, Louisville , KY; Katie Wilson, Executive Director, National Food Service Management Institute, University of Mississippi.

"Phil Muir shared his passion and commitment to working collaboratively with schools to implement the new fruit and vegetable requirements," said Dr. Lorelei DiSogra, vice president, nutrition & health, United Fresh. "His testimony also demonstrated the commitment of everyone in the fresh produce supply chain - grower shippers, fresh-cut processors and produce distributors - to helping schools be successful.  We are all committed to increasing children's fruit and vegetable consumption and improving their health."  

United continues to be a leading advocate for improving school children's access to fresh fruits and vegetables through a variety of strategies, including more healthful standards for school meals, the Smart Snacks in School standard, the Fresh Fruit & Vegetable Program, and the Let's Move Salad Bars to Schools initiative.

Additionally, Muir and other United Fresh members participated in United's first-ever "Ask the Experts: Produce Solutions Center" at the School Nutrition Association annual conference in Boston, July 13-16. The center brought produce industry veterans together with school nutrition directors from across the country for discussions about ways to provide a wide variety of high-quality produce items to students. United also presented two educational workshops at the conference to help school nutrition directors plan menus, understand seasonality and efficiently add more fresh produce to their schools' meals.

"My hat is off to those in the trenches who are implementing healthier school meals," said Muir at the hearing. "The produce industry is committed to helping you; we want to be your partner. This is about improving the health of America's children!" 

Phil Muir's testimony to the Senate Agriculture Committee is available here. For more information, please contact Dr. Lorelei DiSogra at 202-303-3400.


Leadership Expert Mark Sanborn to Keynote Rising Leaders Seminar

United Fresh is proud to announce that bestselling leadership author Mark Sanborn will present the keynote address at United's Rising Leaders Seminar, in conjunction with The Washington Conference, September 8 – 10. Sanborn is the president of Sanborn & Associates, an idea studio dedicated to developing leaders in business and in life.
As a noted leadership authority, Sanborn shows how each of us can be a leader in our daily lives and make a positive difference, whatever our title or position. In his latest book, You Don't Need a Title to Be a Leader: How Anyone, Anywhere, Can Make a Positive Difference, Sanborn says, "The simple fact of having a title won't make you a leader. I've found that everyone has the opportunity to lead, every day. Anyone at any level can learn to be a leader and help to shape or influence the world around them."
Principles of Sanborn's leadership development include:

• Acting with purpose rather than getting bogged down by mindless activity
• Caring about and listening to others
• Looking for ways to encourage the contributions and development of others rather than focusing solely on personal achievements
• Creating a legacy of accomplishment and contribution in everything they do

Candidates who wish to attend the Rising Leaders Seminar to hear Sanborn's inspiring address must submit a brief application by July 31. There is no cost to attend, however, participants are required to register for The Washington Conference to participate. Space in the program is limited and applications must be received by July 31.

For more information about the program, visit The Washington Conference website or contact United Fresh at 202-303-3400.

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

Leadership Class 20 Kicks Off Year-Long Journey in California

Class 20 tours Cal Giant Berry Farms, hosted by Class 13 Alumnus Anthony Gallino and United Board Member Cindy Jewell.

Dan Spain, Vice President of Kingsburg Orchards, showcases their vast array of tree fruit varieties.

Class 7 Alumnus, Mike Jarrard, President of Mann Packing, shares "lessons learned" as a graduate of the program.

The 12 members of the United Fresh Produce Industry Leadership Program Class 20 broke ground this week in California with a weeklong trek through the Salinas and Central Valleys.
The program, which is focused on developing future industry leaders, kicked off in San Jose and then brought the fellows through key production areas throughout the state.

The weeklong trip included a blend of professional development and business training along with meetings and networking with a range of produce industry leaders.

"By touring a range of produce operations, the class was able to gain a much deeper understanding of how other businesses operate and the challenges that are affecting different segments of our industry," said Victoria Backer, Sr. Vice President, Member Services.  "What makes this learning experience so unique is the incredible hospitality and candor of our members and their willingness to share their knowledge with the special group."

United extends a warm thank you to the many industry members and organizations who opened their facilities and shared their expertise with Leadership Class 20, including: Mann Packing Company; Ocean Mist Farms; California Giant Berry Farms; Grower-Shipper Association of Central California; Santa Cruz County Farm Bureau; Sundance Berry Farms; Monterey Mushrooms; San Luis & Delta-Mendota Water Authority; Kingsburg Orchards; Jasmine Vineyards; California Citrus Mutual; California Grape & Tree Fruit League; and Paramount Citrus.  Special thanks to DuPont Crop Protection, the sponsor of the leadership program since its inception in 1995.

The class will convene next in Washington, DC for The Washington Conference, September 8-10 in Washington, DC.  For more information about the leadership program click here or contact Shannon Young, education manager, at 202-303-3405.


New Date Announced for United's Immigration Reform Webinar

United Fresh has announced a new date for the next installment of the 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, is now scheduled for July 31 at 2 p.m. EDT / 11 a.m. PDT. 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.


One Week Left to Apply for Family Business Scholarships

The deadline is one week from today to apply 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.


New Member Welcome

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

  • Choptank Transport, Preston, MD
  • V. Marchese Inc., Milwaukee, WI

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:

NEW DATE - 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 31, 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