October 16, 2014
In Today's Issue:
Tour de Fresh Exceeds Fundraising Goal of $120,000

Members of the Tanimura & Antle team pose before hitting the road.
United's Jeff Oberman (left) and Dan Vaché rode in the Tour de Fresh.

Tour de Fresh, the first collaborative event to bring together leading fresh produce brands and industry influencers to benefit the United Fresh Start Foundation's Let's Move Salad Bars to Schools (LMSB2S) campaign, has exceeded the inaugural fundraising goal and raised $124,303, ensuring more than 40 schools will receive salad bars. The 2014 Tour de Fresh, a four-day bike ride that started on Monday in Carmel, CA and concluded today in Anaheim, attracted riders of all skill levels in support of more fresh produce in schools.

"At Tanimura & Antle, we believe in the Tour de Fresh mission and are dedicated to providing children with healthier eating options at school. Our riders created a weekly salad bar at our main office as part of the major fundraising efforts for this event and we have decided to continue these efforts as a company," said Caitlin Antle Wilson from Tanimura and Antle. "Our participation in this event has brought our company together for the overall need to increase the consumption of fresh fruits and vegetables everywhere. Tour de Fresh has taught us to walk (or ride) the walk and lead by example - the lunch time salad bar works in schools and it works at our office too!"

"We believe healthy eating options should be made readily available to all school age kids," said Cindy Jewell, director of marketing, California Giant Berry Farms. "We are very proud of our involvement in this worthy cause to address  the childhood obesity epidemic in the U.S. The salad bars will have an immediate and positive effect on students' health, and will greatly influence their ability to establish healthy eating habits now and in the future."

"We would like to thank all of the participants in the race, the press who have shined a spotlight on the startling situation our youth face, the companies that have donated their time and resources, as well as the public for their generous donations that allowed us to exceed our fundraising goals and provide our kids access to more fresh produce," said Brock Nemecek, rider and employee of DMA Solutions. 

The Tour de Fresh event takes place during National School Lunch Week when schools across the country are highlighting their healthier school meals and snacks to parents, community leaders and media.


United Fresh Celebrates Donation of Salad Bars to 10 St. Louis Public Schools

United Fresh joined with St. Louis Public Schools and The Sugar Association today to celebrate the donation of salad bars to 10 St. Louis schools. The donation by The Sugar Association, announced at Ashland Elementary School in northwest Saint Louis, is made in conjunction with the United Fresh Start Foundation, a founding partner of the national Let's Move Salad Bars to Schools campaign, which supports First Lady Michelle Obama's broader Let's Move! initiative to end childhood obesity in a generation. The salad bar donations will benefit 3,500 students, providing increased access to a variety of fresh fruits and vegetables, while empowering students to make healthy choices every day at lunch.

The ten schools receiving salad bars from this donation include: Ashland Elementary, Columbia Elementary, Dunbar Elementary, Fanning Middle School, Hamilton Elementary, Nance Elementary, Oak Hill Elementary, Sigel Elementary, Vashon High School and Yeatman-Liddell Middle School.

According to Lisa Brown, Principal at Ashland Elementary School, "Our students are thrilled to have the opportunity to select their own fruits and veggies from the new salad bar.  Our school participates in the USDA Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Program (FFVP), which provides an in-class fruit or vegetable snack during the mid-morning, and now the salad bar provides an additional opportunity to teach students about the importance of a healthy diet and eating fresh fruits and vegetables at every meal.  We are so thankful for this opportunity to encourage healthy habits for our students." 

"The salad bar here at Ashland Elementary is a visual symbol of this school's commitment to serving healthy meals, complete with a variety of fresh fruits and veggies, said Ray Gilmer, vice president, issues management and communications for United Fresh Produce Association. "All of the salad bars announced today will enable students to make their own fresh, healthy choices and create excitement about trying new fruits and veggies," added Gilmer.

The ten schools will use the salad bars every day during their lunch service to provide students greater access to a wide variety of fruits and vegetables, to engage parents and teachers about healthier meals at home and to create a healthier school food environment.  New USDA nutrition standards for school lunch require schools to dramatically increase the amount and variety of fruits and vegetable served to students each day, and salad bars are the easiest way for schools to meet these requirements.

Several Saint Louis Public Schools already have salad bars, and have had them for years, but this donation represents the first wave of salad bar equipment received through the Let's Move Salad Bars to Schools program.  The district is currently requesting additional salad bars to assist with serving more fresh fruits and vegetables.  According to Althea Albert-Santiago, Director of Food and Nutrition Services for the Saint Louis Public Schools, "Together with our foodservice management company, Southwest Foodservice Excellence, we have a goal to expand salad bars to additional schools. With the new federal nutrition standards, we are serving more fresh produce and the salad bars are helping encourage our students to select these options." 

Schools interested in receiving salad bars through the Let's Move Salad Bars to Schools program can visit www.saladbars2schools.org for additional details and information about submitting an application.  Organizations interested in supporting salad bars for schools can visit the website or contact Andrew Marshall, amarshall@unitedfresh.org, the United Fresh Start Foundation's Director of Foundation Programs and Partnerships.

National School Lunch week, October 13 – 17, 2014, is a celebration of the school lunch program, providing an opportunity for school districts across the country to engage with parents, community leaders and media about their efforts to serve healthy, great tasting school meals.


WIC Moms and Children Buying/Eating More Fresh Fruits and Vegetables

WIC families are buying more fresh fruits and vegetables and have increased their overall fruit and vegetable consumption as a result of the fruit and vegetable cash-value benefit added to WIC in 2009.  Purchasing patterns by WIC families show a strong preference for buying fresh fruits and vegetables; the most popular fruits and vegetables purchased are bananas, apples, grapes, greens, carrots and tomatoes.  Presentations this week at the Institute of Medicine (IOM) noted that 90 percent of WIC beneficiary families purchased fruit using their cash value benefit, 87 percent of which was fresh fruit. And, 60 percent of WIC families bought vegetables, 52 percent of which were fresh.

In 2009, fruits and vegetables were added to the WIC Program (Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children), which now benefits more than 8 million low-income pregnant women, their infants and young children.  Moms receive a $12/month cash-value benefit for fruits and vegetables and children receive an $8/month benefit.

Also, a new summary report The Impact of the Revised WIC Food Packages on Nutrition Outcomes and the Retail Food Environment by FRAC (Food Research and Action Center) notes that young children enrolled in WIC have increased their consumption of fruits and vegetables, and overweight and obesity rates among this group have declined modestly over the last 3 years.

The IOM has convened a new scientific committee to review and make evidence-based recommendations on revising the WIC Food package, including white potatoes.

For more than a decade, United Fresh has played a leadership role in advocating for fresh fruits and vegetables to be included in WIC and to increase the value of the fruit and vegetable benefit for moms and children.   

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


Register Today 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
January 28–30
Fundamentals of Inspection*
Commodity Labs
Full Course
June 1–2
June 3–5
June 1–5
Fundamentals of Inspection*
Commodity Labs
Full Course
September 21–22 September 23–25
September 21–25
Fundamentals of Inspection*
Commodity Labs
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!


Meet Jeff Cady of Tops Friendly Markets

As a youth growing up on a Northeast Ohio farm, Jeff always maintained a passion for agriculture and was drawn to the produce industry from an early age.  Getting his start back in the 80s at Giant Eagle, Jeff was "handed a knife and told to trim and wrap 20 cases of iceberg lettuce."  This began a career in retail that has seen Cady become an expert in produce merchandising, navigate industry trends and enjoy successive promotions with increased responsibility and recognition.

"Back in the 80s when I got my start in produce, the department was dominated by wrapped and packaged offerings. Times and display techniques have changed, but my time as a produce clerk and as the assistant produce manager were some of the most educational of my career," said Cady. Jeff used these positions to gain insight for produce merchandising strategies.  Eventually, Jeff made the move from Giant Eagle to Tops Markets where he became a valued representative who executed his merchandising skills in new store openings throughout Northeast Ohio in varied store formats.

Read more of Jeff's story, including how his early dream of becoming a math teacher led to a career in produce industry.  See other United Fresh member profiles on the United website.

New Member Welcome

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

  • The Sun Valley Group, Arcata, CA
  • 99 International, Inc., Alhambra, CA

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