September 18, 2014
In Today's Issue:
Dietary Guidance Panel Expected to Recommend Bold Action to Increase Produce Consumption 

The 2015 Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee (DGAC) will likely urge increased consumption of fruits and vegetables in upcoming recommendations for improving the diets of Americans. United Fresh participated as the DGAC met in Washington, DC this week to discuss its draft conclusions and recommendations. Conclusions highlighted at the meeting: (1) consumption of fruits, vegetables, whole grains and dairy are well below recommended levels for good health and bold action is needed to increase fruit and vegetable consumption; (2) importance of improving children's dietary habits starting at very early age; (3) 75 percent of all adults are at high risk and need preventive intervention; and (4) recommendations will focus on individuals as well as policy, environmental and systems changes. Additionally, scientific evidence presented by the DGAC supported all of the new nutrition requirements currently being implemented to improve the healthfulness of school meals and foods/beverages sold in schools.       

"The DGAC is in the final phases of developing its Advisory Report to the Secretaries of Agriculture and Health and Human Sciences due by the end of 2014," said Lorelei DiSogra, United Fresh vice president of nutrition and health. "I expect the 2015 Dietary Guidelines to include strong recommendations for increasing fruit and vegetable consumption and to emphasize why it's important to maintain strong school nutrition standards." The DGAC Advisory Report will provide the scientific basis for the 2015 Dietary Guidelines for Americans. The DGAC will have a final public meeting in late fall or early winter to discuss their Advisory Report and USDA and HHS will consider public comments. The 8th edition of the Dietary Guidelines for Americans is expected to be released in Fall of 2015. The Dietary Guidelines encourage Americans to eat a healthful diet that promotes health, prevents disease and achieves/maintains a healthy weight and are updated every 5 years.    

Information about the DGAC, including video and slides from the public meetings can be found at:  Please contact Dr. Lorelei DiSogra for additional information.


Retired Military Leaders Tell Congress “Retreat Is Not an Option” On Healthful School Foods

Underscoring their message delivered last week at The Washington Conference, more than 450 retired admirals and generals yesterday urged Congress to not backtrack or delay updated nutrition standards for foods and beverages served and sold in schools. The report, Retreat Is Not an Option, was released today by Mission: Readiness, a nonpartisan national security organization, with membership comprised of retired top military brass. It includes new and previously unreported state-by-state data from the Department of Defense showing the number of young adults thought to be too unhealthy to join the military. The report notes that obesity is the leading reason why more than 70 percent are ineligible in many states.

Key statistics include:

  • Obesity rates among active duty personnel rose 61 percent between 2002 and 2011.
  • Twelve percent of active duty service members are obese.
  • The military spends more than $1.5 billion annually treating obesity-related health conditions and replacing those discharged because they are unfit.
  • More than 1 in 4 young adults ages 17 to 24 are too heavy to serve in the military.
  • One study of more than 2,000 men in a U.S. Army light-infantry brigade in Afghanistan found 14 percent were obese. The overweight and slower runners in the brigade were 1.5 times more likely to be injured than their healthier and fitter counterparts.

Last week at The Washington Conference, James A. "Jamie" Barnett, Jr., Rear Admiral, U.S. Navy (Retired), was joined by leaders from the National PTA and the American Heart Association in citing the critical need for good nutritional standards for America’s school children. Adm. Barnett said the retired military leaders of Mission: Readiness regard the child obesity crisis to be a threat to national security.

Also last week, a poll released by the Pew Charitable Trusts, Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, and American Heart Association found that 72 percent of parents nationwide favor updated nutrition standards for school meals and school snacks, while 91 percent favor requiring schools to serve fruits or vegetables with every meal.

The healthier meals standards—put in place following the enactment of the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010—have been implemented successfully by more than 90 percent of school districts nationwide, according to USDA.

For more information, please contact Dr. Lorelei DiSogra at 202-303-3400.


Former President Clinton Champions School Nutrition Standards

Former President Bill Clinton was the keynote speaker at last Friday’s Alliance for a Healthier Generation leader’s summit in Washington, DC. In his speech, Clinton publically chided congressional lawmakers looking to roll back federal nutrition standards for school meals, snacks and the overall school food environment. “Our children deserve the very best start we can give them,” said Clinton, as he touted the importance of the nutrition standards in providing children with greater access to healthy food, including fresh fruits and vegetables.  Clinton acknowledged the hard work that goes into serving healthier foods, but he urged the nutrition leaders to stay the course and continue to share their success stories, educating parents and their communities about these important changes.

Andrew Marshall, United Fresh policy and grassroots manager, attended the conference to meet with child nutrition advocates, foodservice directors and other school representatives that are successfully meeting or exceeding the federal nutrition standards.  “This event was an excellent opportunity to connect with school nutrition leaders and share the work that United Fresh and the produce industry are doing to assist schools with serving more fresh fruits and vegetables in the meal and a la carte snack lines,” said Marshall.

United Fresh is collaborating with the Alliance for a Healthier Generation to include single-serve fresh fruit and vegetable items on the Alliance’s new “Smart Snacks in Schools” Product Navigator tool. According to Marshall, “All fresh fruit and vegetables meet the ‘Smart Snacks’ standards and the Alliance is looking for more fresh fruit and veggie snacking products to include on their website. They plan to promote this information to schools and after school centers.”  Companies interested in having their products on the Alliance’s website, should contact Andrew.

The Alliance for a Healthier Generation was founded by the Clinton Foundation and the American Heart Association. The Alliance has coordinators in each state who work with schools and the organization has developed tools and resources to assist schools with meeting the new federal nutrition standards that apply to school meals, snacks and all foods sold throughout the school day.

For more information, please contact Andrew Marshall, (202) 303-3407,


Be Part of the FSMA Proposals Working Groups

United Fresh expects the supplementary proposals to four of the proposed FDA rules to be published very soon, with short comment periods that are not expected to be extended. With that in mind, and recognizing that this will be our last opportunity to comment prior to the rules being finalized, we are asking now for volunteers to serve on working groups to review the revised proposals and provide comments to FDA.

Please reply to Erin Grether at if you or other member of your company/organization is able to volunteer.

In your reply, please specify for which working group(s) you are volunteering:

  • Produce Safety
  • Preventive Controls for Human Food
  • Preventive Controls for Animal Feed
  • Foreign Supplier Verification Programs

Your participation in these working groups will help ensure a thorough review and expedient comment development for these important FSMA proposed rules.


See the Presentations on GMOs, Immigration, Water and More from The Washington Conference

United’s educational sessions tackled many of the produce industry’s biggest issues during The Washington Conference last week. Now, you can download the presentations from these sessions from the United website.

Session topics:

The educational session presentation files are available in PDF format. Just visit the United website to download the presentations and remember to mark your calendars for attending next year’s Washington Conference, September 28 – 30, 2015.


Thank You 2014 Fresh Festival Exhibitors

The 2014 Fresh Festival on Capitol Hill was a tremendous success, connecting produce industry leaders with members of Congress, congressional staff and policymakers.

Thank you to these exhibitors representing United Fresh Produce Association and our industry on Capitol Hill, and for continuing the reputation of the Fresh Festival as one of the most popular reputations during the congressional calendar.

United Fresh also thanks Four Seasons Family of Companies for consolidating and delivering the produce and materials for this year’s event, as well as Fox Packaging for supplying the popular giveaway bags used by congressional staff to bring home their produce selections.

To view photos from this year’s event, visit the Washington Conference photo gallery.

It’s never too early to begin planning for 2015.  For companies interested in exhibiting at the 2015 Fresh Festival on Capitol Hill, contact Andrew Marshall at (202) 303-3407.

Almond Board of California

Crunch Pak Sliced Apples

Del Monte Fresh Produce, N.A.

Florida Dept. Agriculture

Frey Farms

Grimmway Farms

Idaho Potato Commission

Lucky's Real Tomatoes

National Watermelon Association


New York Apple Association

Paramount Citrus

Pear Bureau Northwest

Ready Pac Foods

Robinson Fresh

New Member Welcome

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

  • Edible Software, Houston, TX
  • Premier Produce, Pembroke Park, FL
  • University of Florida IFAS St. Lucie County Extension, Fort Pierce, FL

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
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

United Fresh 2015
Jun 9-11, 2015,  McCormick Place Convention Center, Chicago, IL