October 23, 2014
In Today's Issue:
United Fresh to Honor Mike Cavallero with Lifetime Achievement Award

Michael Cavallero, retired president of North American Tropical Fresh Fruit for Dole Fresh Fruit Company, will be the 2015 honoree at the Produce Legends Dinner during the United Fresh Midwinter Leadership Forum January 13-15, at the La Quinta Resort and Club, in La Quinta, CA.

"Mike is a tremendously deserving honoree," said United Fresh Chairman Ron Carkoski, president and CEO, Four Seasons Family of Companies. Cavallero has served the fresh produce industry for more than 40 years, working his entire career with the Dole Food Company and its predecessor Castle & Cooke. Cavallero has also served on many industry boards and councils, including as a member of the Board of Directors of United Fresh and PMA, as well as Chairman of the Board of the International Banana Association.

United's Midwinter Leadership Forum brings together all of the association's volunteer leaders for council and board meetings, its annual United Fresh Start Foundation golf tournament to support children's increased access to fresh produce, and the Produce Legends Dinner honoring an individual for his or her lifetime achievement in the produce industry. Past honorees have included Joe Procacci, Frieda Caplan, Reggie Griffin and Bob Grimm. The 2015 Produce Legends Dinner will take place on Tuesday, January 13, following the Foundation golf tournament.

Cavallero began his career as a technical service representative in the Fresh Fruit Division of Castle & Cooke. Four years later, he was promoted to director of marketing services. In 1983, he was promoted to the Fresh Vegetable Division in Salinas, CA, with responsibility in central sales. After a stint in New York as Eastern Division sales manager, Cavallero returned to Salinas as vice president of sales for fresh vegetables. In 1992 he returned to the Fresh Fruit Division as vice president of sales and marketing for tropical products, and was promoted to president of North American Tropical Fresh Fruit in 2001, serving as an officer of the Dole Fresh Fruit Company. In 2013, he was awarded The Packer's Produce Man for All Seasons. He retired in 2014.

"Volunteer leaders and friends from throughout the fresh produce and supermarket industry are invited to participate with Mike in the Foundation Golf Tournament on Tuesday, January 13," said United Fresh President and CEO Tom Stenzel. "Many friends throughout the industry have enjoyed being Mike's guests at Dole golf tournaments over the years, so it's great to be able to turn the tables and honor him at this year's event. And, it's for a great cause increasing kids' access to fresh produce, which Mike has supported for so long."

The 2015 United Fresh Start Foundation Golf Tournament will be played on the renowned TPC Stadium Course at PGA West. Rated one of the "Top 100 Courses in the World" by GOLF Magazine and 4th toughest course in America in Golf Digest's "Top 50 Toughest Courses in America" (2007), this Pete Dye course offers one of the most enjoyable challenges in the game of golf. For those guests who do not play golf, United will arrange a tour on Tuesday of local fresh produce operations in the Palm Springs area.

On Wednesday morning following the Produce Legends Dinner, United Fresh will host a Keynote Leadership Breakfast for all volunteer leaders and dinner guests. After that event, United's boards and councils will begin their meetings, and guests are welcome to observe a meeting of their choice or to depart.

Registration for all events is available on the United Fresh website.


FDA Announces Public Meeting for FSMA Supplementary Rules

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has scheduled a public meeting to discuss proposed changes to four rules originally proposed in 2013 to implement the FDA Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA). FDA set the meeting for November 13, 8:30 a.m. – 5:00 p.m., Harvey W. Wiley Federal Bldg., Wiley Auditorium, 5100 Paint Branch Pkwy., College Park, MD.

The purpose of the meeting is to solicit oral stakeholder and public comments on the new content of the supplemental proposed rules and to inform the public about the rulemaking process (including how to submit comments, data, and other information to the rulemaking dockets), and to respond to questions about the revised proposed rules.

In response to the comments received on these foundational FSMA proposed rules, FDA issued supplemental notices of proposed rulemaking that propose changes and updates to four of the proposed FSMA rules: Current Good Manufacturing Practice and Hazard Analysis and Risk-Based Preventive Controls for Human Food (Preventive Controls of Human Food); Standards for the Growing, Harvesting, Packing, and Holding of Produce for Human Consumption (Produce Safety); Current Good Manufacturing Practice and Hazard Analysis and Risk-Based Preventive Controls for Food for Animals (Preventive Controls for Animal Food); and Foreign Supplier Verification Programs for Importers of Food for Humans and Animals (Foreign Supplier Verification Programs).

FDA encourages public meeting attendees to register online to attend the meeting in person and via live webcast, or contact: Courtney Treece, Planning Professionals Ltd., 704-258-4983, ctreece@planningprofessionals.com. Early registration is recommended because seating is limited.

For general questions about the meeting, contact: Juanita Yates, FDA, Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition, 240-402-1731, juanita.yates@fda.hhs.gov. You may also contact David Gombas, senior vice president, food safety & technology, 202-303-3400. See United's comments on the FSMA proposed rules and other FSMA-related information at www.UnitedFresh.org/FSMA.


United Fresh Urges Congressional Action on Methyl Bromide

In an October 20 letter to members of Congress, United Fresh and more than 80 other agricultural organizations urged lawmakers to pass legislation to address emergency pest situations that arise due to the phase out of methyl bromide. Under the Montreal Protocol, production and use methyl bromide has been phased out to address concerns about impact to the ozone layer. Methyl bromide is a fumigant used to control insects, nematodes, pathogens and weeds. It is also used to protect stored commodities and to prevent destructive foreign invasive pests from entering the U.S. on imported goods.

"In order to allow countries to address unexpected pest emergencies, the Montreal Protocol allows for production and use of up to 20 metric tons of methyl bromide per "emergency event" without prior international approval. This exemption has never been implemented in the U.S., despite the fact that some growers are facing dire pest problems," said the agricultural organizations in the letter, adding that the critical use exemption process can take more than two years.

"It is vital that the United States authorize the Montreal Protocol's 'emergency use' exemption for bona fide pest emergencies that can be verified by a State Department of Agriculture. Please direct USDA under the Plant Protection Act to implement the emergency use exemption when growers face significant crop losses and no methyl bromide alternatives are available at the time of the needed treatment," said the agricultural organizations.

For more information, please contact Julie Manes, director of government relations, 202-303-3400.


United Fresh Attends Campaign Event to Endorse Dan Newhouse for Congress

United Fresh staff were in Yakima, WA Wednesday to offer support and endorsement of Dan Newhouse, who is running in Washington's Fourth Congressional District. "We are proud to join a number of our pro-business partners from across the district in supporting Dan's efforts to represent this important congressional district to the fresh produce industry," said Robert Guenther, Senior Vice President of Public Policy, who attended Wednesday's campaign event in Yakima. "Dan's commitment to agriculture and pro-business solutions during his career as farmer, in the State Legislature, and as Director of Washington State Department of Agriculture, is the right type of individual we need in the nation's capital to rebuild our economy." Guenther added.

United Fresh has more than 70 member companies in the state of Washington, which is one of the most important fruit and vegetable producing states in the county with more than 8,000 farms and 360,000 acres of production valued at over $3.9 billion. "We will work hard over the next two weeks to strongly encourage our members in the Fourth Congressional District to vote for Dan Newhouse," Guenther said.


United Fresh Provides Drought Update to Chain Restaurant Executives

Vice President Trade Relations Jeff Oberman spoke to leading foodservice chain store executives during the Market Vision27th Annual Purchasing Conference this week in Orlando, FL. Oberman was a presenter during a session on the impact of the California drought and how this historic drought may impact product availability and pricing in the coming year. He was joined by speakers representing experts from dairy, grains and vegetable oil producers who also feel the effects of the drought on their respective commodities.

"This was a great opportunity to provide insight to the drought challenges faced by our industry in permanent and row crops throughout California production areas," said Oberman. He encouraged attendees to work closely with their current suppliers to gain specific crop estimates coming year and know that our industry will work tirelessly to ensure production and service through water management and legislative efforts. "This purchasing audience was very interested in United Fresh member programs for the foodservice sector including our Fresh Insights for Foodservice Quarterly Report and the Excellence in Foodservice Awards Program," he added. For more information, contact Jeff Oberman.

Caitlin Antle Wilson Participates in White House Rural Council

At the White House Rural Council Forum, Former Senator Blanche Lincoln (left), Deputy Secretary Krysta Harden and Caitlin Antle Wilson.

Caitlin Antle Wilson of United member Tanimua & Antle participated this week in a special "Dialogue on Women Leaders in Agriculture" at the White House to discuss the ways to support and mentor the next generation of women leaders in food and agriculture. The forum, hosted by Secretary Tom Vilsack and Deputy Secretary Krysta Harden, looked at the future of the U.S. agriculture system and the actions needed to ensure that we transfer knowledge, retain talent, and support the women leaders of tomorrow.

Discussion topics at the October 20 meeting included "Competing for Talent" and ways to recruit and promote women in leadership roles, a look at barriers that women in agriculture face, lessons from women who have held leadership positions, and the most important things needed to support the next generation of women leaders in agriculture.

"It was a pleasure and honor to have been included in the first ever White House Rural Council Discussion on Women in Agriculture," said Antle Wilson. "It is very telling that the leadership in DC recognizes not only the need for more Women in the agricultural sector, but that there is also a need to recruit more of the next generation of workers in our nation to our industry. The thoughts that were shared by private industry representatives and government officials alike were compelling and opened my eyes to what the future of our country needs!"

New Member Welcome

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

  • Aldershot Greenhouses Ltd., Ontario, Canada
  • Avery Imports, Batavia, NY
  • B+H Flowers Inc., Carpinteria, CA
  • Betallic, LLC, St. Louis, MO
  • Borgen Systems, Des Moines, IA
  • burton + BURTON, Bogart, GA
  • Compres + McCaffery, P.A., Bal Harbors Islands, FL
  • Continental Flowers, Miami, FL
  • Galleria Farms, Miami, FL
  • The Hiawatha Corporation, Shelton, WA
  • Homestead Growers Niagara, Inc., Ontario, Canada
  • Jet Ram Inc., St. Louis, MO
  • John Henry-Multi Packaging Solutions, Lansing, MI
  • Pine Island Nursery, Inc., Miami, FL
  • Rosa Flora Limited, Ontario, Canada
  • Russell's Bromeliads, Clermont, FL
  • Taiwan Orchid Growers Association, Tainan City, Taiwan
  • Triumph Plant Co., New City, NY
  • Winrock International, Arlington, VA

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:

Midwinter Leadership Forum
Jan 13-15, 2015, La Quinta Resort & Club, La Quinta, CA

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