October 2, 2014
In Today's Issue:
Join United’s FSMA Supplementary Proposals Webinar on October 6

United Fresh invites you and your company to participate on Monday, October 6, 3:30 – 4:30 pm ET for a free one-hour webinar briefing on the Supplementary Proposals to the four rules published by FDA in compliance with the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA).  Register Today!

FDA’s Rebecca Buckner, FSMA, chief implementation manager, and other senior policy advisors will brief United Fresh members on the four Supplementary Proposals, released last Friday by FDA, which include several revisions to four of FDA’s original draft rules.

The FDA is accepting comments on the proposed revisions until December 15, 2014FDA’s Mike Taylor, deputy commissioner for foods and veterinary medicine, tells United Fresh that no extensions of the comment period are likely to be granted. FDA continues to review comments already received on the provisions of the proposed rules that are staying the same. FDA says it will consider both sets of comments before issuing final rules in 2015.

For more information on the FDA’s FSMA activities, visit the FDA website. More information about United’s comments on the FSMA rules can be found at www.UnitedFresh.org/FSMA.

Please contact Erin Grether at 202-303-3402 or egrether@unitedfresh.org for more information or assistance registering for the webinar.


USDA Announces Funding of up to $31 Million to Boost SNAP Produce Purchasing Power

USDA this week announced that it is making up to $31.5 million in funding available to help participants in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) more easily afford fresh fruits and vegetables. Grocery retailers may apply for this funding through the new Food Insecurity Nutrition Incentive (FINI) program, for which United Fresh was a leading advocate for funding in the 2014 Farm Bill. Funded projects will provide incentives at the point of purchase to promote purchase of more fresh fruits and vegetables by SNAP participants.

“We encourage our retail grocery members who operate stores in underserved communities to partner with their state SNAP agency and apply for a FINI grant. Produce incentives work – they help SNAP families purchase more fresh fruits and vegetables and increase produce sales,” said Dr. Lorelei DiSogra. “Since 85 percent of all SNAP benefits are redeemed at grocery, we believe that scaling up produce incentives at grocery stores in underserved communities around the country will have the greatest public health reach by increasing access to a wide variety of fresh fruits and vegetables year round.“

USDA is requesting applications in each of the following three categories: (1) FINI pilot projects (awards not to exceed $100,000 over one year); (2) multi-year, community-based FINI projects (awards not to exceed $500,000 over no more than four years); and (3) multi-year, FINI large-scale projects (awards of $500,000 or more over no more than four years).

“Evidence gained by implementing produce incentives at grocery will shape SNAP policy in the future,” said Lorelei DiSogra, vice president of nutrition & health at United Fresh.

All FINI projects must (1) have the support of a state SNAP agency; (2) increase the purchase of fruits and vegetables by low-income consumers participating in SNAP by providing incentives at the point of purchase; (3) operate through authorized SNAP retailers; (4) agree to participate in the FINI comprehensive program evaluation; (5) include effective and efficient technologies for benefit redemption systems that may be replicated in other states and communities. Detailed information about the Request for Application can be found: http://nifa.usda.gov/funding/rfas/pdfs/1415_FINI.pdf. Applications are due Dec. 15, 2014.

USDA will host a webinar for applicants on Oct. 2 at 2 p.m., EDT. More information is at www.nifa.usda.gov. You may also contact United’s Lorelei DiSogra at 202-303-3400.


United Fresh Receives Top ASAE Honors for Leadership in School Salad Bars Program

At Thursday night's awards dinner in Washington, DC, ASAE presents its Power of A Summit Award to United's Tom Stenzel, Lorelei DiSogra and Andrew Marshall.

United Fresh has earned the highest association industry honor, a 2014 ASAE Power of A Summit Award, for its pioneering initiative that provides salad bars to schools to increase children's access to healthful and flavorful fruits and vegetables. More than 1,000 association professionals and industry partners were on hand last night (October 1) as the American Society of Association Executives (ASAE) formally presented the 2014 Power of A Summit Awards at the 15th Annual Summit Awards Dinner at the National Building Museum in Washington, DC.

ASAE honored United Fresh for enriching the lives of more than two million students in 3,500 schools who are making healthier lunch choices thanks to their efforts. The program allows school food service directors to request salad bars to empower children to increase their fruit and vegetable consumption. Donors from the produce industry, allied businesses and foundations contribute funds to the program. 

"Let's Move Salad Bars to Schools is a great example of the transformative impact associations have on society," said ASAE President and CEO John H. Graham IV, FASAE, CAE. "Congratulations to United for identifying a need and putting their resources to work in a way that benefits students and society at large."

The United Fresh Start Foundation has unified the produce industry, as well as helped others understand the changing landscape of school meal and snack programs. More than 250 produce companies, allied businesses and foundations support salad bars for schools. United Fresh members have also engaged local charities and community groups to support the program. 

"We are proud of the advances we've made in child nutrition with the salad bar initiative, and we remain committed to continuing this progress in the years ahead," said Tom Stenzel, president & CEO of United Fresh. "None of this is possible without the generous support from United's members and the produce industry. This award is for all of them as well."

ASAE's Power of A (association) Awards, the industry's highest honor, recognize the association community's valuable contributions on the local, national and global level. The Power of A Awards reward outstanding accomplishments of associations and industry professionals for their efforts to enrich lives, create a competitive workforce, prepare society for the future, drive innovation and make a better world.


Dole, Caito Foods and Martin's Super Markets Donate Salad Bars to Indiana Schools

Salad Bar donors, Dole, Caito Foods and Midwest retail partner Martin's Super Markets join students, school administrators and local Elkhart, Indiana officials in cutting the ribbon for the new salad bar at West Side Middle School.

Committed to increasing healthier options for students, Dole Food Company, Midwest retail partner Martin's Super Markets and Indianapolis-based produce distributor Caito Foods partnered  to donate salad bars to five public schools in Indiana, as part of the United Fresh Foundation's Let's Move Salad Bars to MIDWEST Schools campaign.   The announcement was made at a ribbon cutting ceremony at the West Side Middle School in Elkhart, Indiana.   According to Principal Kristie Stutsman, "This new salad bar supports our commitment to health education.  It enables us to provide more fresh fruits and vegetables so West Side students can make fresh meal choices every day."

Representatives from United Fresh, Dole, Martin's Super Markets and Caito Foods were joined by students who heard about the importance of eating more fresh fruits and vegetables, and then had the opportunity to make their own salads from the new salad bar.  Elkhart Community Schools Superintendent, the president of the local Chamber of Commerce and the Mayor were all in attendance to support the salad bar donations to their local schools.  In addition to two salad bars for the Elkhart Community Schools, the partnership also resulted in salad bars for the Fairfield Community Schools in Goshen, IN and the Southwest School Corporation in Sullivan, IN.


Tip Murphy Legacy Golf Tournament Benefits United Fresh Start Foundation

Team Chiquita: Jim Warken, Bill Piper, Dan Floyd and Brian Kocher hit the links to remember Chiquita colleague Tip Murphy at the 2014 United Fresh Foundation Tip Murphy Legacy Golf Tournament, which supports the Foundation's programs to increase children's access to fresh fruits and vegetables.

Tom Stenzel (United Fresh), Todd Carpenter (Unifrutti of America), Steve Ottum (Potandon Produce) and Brian O'Keefe (Unifrutti of America) at the 2014 United Fresh Foundation Tip Murphy Legacy Golf Tournament.

Industry colleagues, friends and family came out this week to Loveland, Ohio for the 2014 United Fresh Foundation Tip Murphy Legacy Golf Tournament.  The fundraising event, benefitting the United Fresh Start Foundation's programs to increase children's access to fresh fruits and vegetables, was by all accounts a success.   Total funds raised are still being tallied, but with more than ninety golfers and a successful raffle, the tournament's founders were pleased with this year's event. 

Longest drive Tony Harmon, Nathel International

1st Place: Chiquita and Grant Cty Foods  

2nd Place:  Farm Fresh and Nathel Intl

3rd Place: Kroger 

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. Earlier this year, the founders of the Tip Murphy Golf Tournament reached out to United Fresh to serve as the 'Host Partner' for the 2014 event.

The United Fresh Start 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.  United is a founding partner of the national Let's Move Salad Bars to Schools initiative, which has donated salad bars to more than 3,500 schools nationwide, benefitting 2 million children every day.

FDA Facility Registration Time Returns this Month

FDA requires every food facility that manufactures, processes, packs, or holds food(s) for consumption in the U.S. to renew their Food Facility Registration every two years, beginning in October of even numbered years.  This includes foreign facilities that export to the U.S.  If that description fits your operation, please remember to visit www.access.fda.gov between October 1 and December 31 to renew your registration. FDA encourages electronic submission because it is more efficient, and provides for immediate submission of the registration information.  For questions about facility registration, please contact FDA's Registration Help Desk at FURLS@fda.gov or call 1-800-216-7331.

Registration Now Open for the 2015 Produce Inspection Programs

United Fresh Produce Association, in partnership with the USDA-AMS, is offering three expert-led Produce Inspection Training courses in 2015. This unique program provides real, hands-on instruction from USDA Master Trainers for anyone involved in the produce supply chain.

This specialized training consists of two courses:

  • The 2-day Fundamentals of Produce Inspection course is a classroom-based program that covers grading, standards, tolerances, PACA, sampling procedures, and more.
  • The 3-day Commodity Labs course focuses on hands-on commodity inspections in the lab. Each Commodity Labs course includes inspection of the five most commonly requested commodities: Grapes, Lettuce, Potatoes, Strawberries, and Tomatoes, plus up to 7 additional commodities based on attendees' most common preferences.

 This course is designed for quality control managers, dock supervisors, warehouse managers, field inspectors, packing supervisors, operations managers, produce inspectors, produce buyers, inventory control managers, quality assurance managers, and produce receivers.


January 26–27           Fundamentals of Inspection*
January 28–30           Commodity Labs
January 26–30           Full Course

June 1–2                   Fundamentals of Inspection*
June 3–5                   Commodity Labs
June 1–5                   Full Course

September 21–22      Fundamentals of Inspection*
September 23–25      Commodity Labs
September 21–25      Full Course

*Prerequisite to Commodity Labs

Sign up today to become more knowledgeable about quality standards, inspection grading, USDA produce procedures and requirements, and much more!


Bernie Imming, Former United President, Passes Away

Bernard Joseph Imming, the former president and chief executive officer of the United Fresh Fruit & Vegetable Association, died Sept. 23 at the age of 94. His memorial service was held in Alexandria, VA, on Wednesday, October 1. The service was well-attended and included many current and former staff from United.

Bernie Imming began his produce industry career in 1948 working at the United Merchandising Institute in Kansas City, MO, teaching thousands of grocery store employees how to handle and promote fresh produce. He came to Washington, DC, in 1956 to serve as corporate secretary of the institute's parent organization, United Fresh Fruit & Vegetable Association.  He was named executive vice president of United in 1973 and two years later was named president and chief executive officer.

Mr. Imming spearheaded the creation of the United Nutrition Education Foundation and served as its first president. He retired in 1985 after 37 years of service to United and the produce industry.

"Bernie was a wonderful leader of our association and the produce industry," said Tom Stenzel, president and CEO. "I was fortunate to join the staff in 1993, and Bernie still served as a mentor to me. His regular phone chats and drop-bys to the office were times for me to pick his brain about industry issues, but really learn more about the culture that is an essential part of our industry's character. I was so pleased when Bernie could travel to New Orleans for our convention in 2011. It wasn't an easy trip for him, but I've never seen him happier than seeing old friends and rolling around the trade show floor in his wheelchair. We will miss him."

Mr. Imming served as a consultant and volunteer to associations and other organizations after he retired from United. He established The Association Consultancy, and in the ensuing 15 years served scores of state and national associations. He was past-president of the American Society of Association Executives (ASAE). In 1979, he was presented with the Key Award, the highest honor accorded an association executive by ASAE. He earned lifetime designation as a Certified Association Executive, and in 1985 was named Association Executive of the Year by the national professional newspaper, Association Trends.

He also served as a member of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Association Committee of 100 for 15 years.

"Bernie was an inspiration and produce industry leader his entire career, and helped make United the association it is today," added Stenzel.

New Member Welcome

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

  • International Farming Corporation, Raleigh, NC

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
Jan 26-30, 2015, USDA SCI Training & Development Center, Fredericksburg, VA

2015 Produce Executive Development Program
Mar 8-13, 2015, Cornell University, Ithaca, NY

Produce Inspection Training Program
Jun 1-5, 2015, USDA SCI Training & Development Center, Fredericksburg, VA

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