October 30, 2014
In Today's Issue:
Fresh Insights for Foodservice Report Cites Trends Incorporating Fruits and Vegetables

Menu innovations using kabocha squash, beets and sweet potatoes are just some of the highlights of the Fall 2014 edition of Fresh Insights for Foodservice, a quarterly report from United Fresh showcasing the latest trends in fresh produce use for foodservice.

The Fall Fresh Insights also reports on the increased incorporation of fresh juices in menu items, with more restaurant operators thinking “outside the glass” by using fresh juices to enhance sweet and savory dishes.  Readers will also find news about how fresh produce is amplifying pasta and noodle dishes, as well as how convenience stores are turning to fresh produce to meet consumer demand for healthy and flavorful meals and snacks on the go.

“Convenience stores are increasingly looking to fresh produce to meet their current and potentially new consumers who are looking for healthy ‘on-the-go’ options,” said United’s Vice President of Trade Relations Jeff Oberman, liaison to United’s Retail-Foodservice Board. “As United Fresh looks to expand fresh produce sales through merchandising strategies and supply chain solutions through our partnership with the National Association of Convenience Stores, the fall issue of the Fresh Insights report further underscores the many ways that convenience stores are discovering the value of offering more fresh fruits and vegetable options.”

The concept for this new report was initiated by United's Retail-Foodservice Board as a resource for United members to gain a comprehensive look at how chefs and restaurants are incorporating fresh produce on their menus.  The report is developed by Datassential, a leading market research firm dedicated to the food Industry, using data from its extensive menu database, MenuTrends.

Fresh Insights for Foodservice is free to United Fresh members and $50 to non-members. To order the report today, visit United's website. If you have questions, please contact Jeff Oberman, United Fresh Vice President of Trade Relations, at 831-600-8922. For questions about the data or content in this report, contact Maeve Webster, Senior Director, Datassential at maeve@datassential.com.


Register Today for GLOBALG.A.P. Harmonized Standard Training

Registration is now open for a two-day training on the GLOBALG.A.P Harmonized Produce Safety Standard, November 19-20 in Gainesville, FL. The training is sponsored by Quality Certification Services (QCS), GLOBALG.A.P. North America, and United Fresh.

Whether your organization has yet decided to undertake this new scope or not, this training will only be held rarely, so we encourage you to consider attending.  If your organization has decided to offer audits to the HPSS scope, we encourage you to have as many auditors attend as possible.  For those who have already attended prior workshops for the Field Operations and Harvesting and Post-harvest Operations Harmonized Food Safety Standards (“Harmonized Standards”), this two-day workshop will use the same scenario-based training materials developed by the Produce GAPs Harmonization Initiative Calibration Committee, plus cover the riders required by GFSI and GLOBALG.A.P.  This workshop is also applicable to audit organizations that intend to offer audits/certifications to the Harmonized Standards outside of the GLOBALG.A.P program.

The Harmonized Standards were developed as an all-industry initiative, beginning in 2009, with a goal of reducing the audit burden on fresh produce growers and post-harvest raw agricultural commodity handling operations (packinghouses, cooling and storage operations) by replacing Good Agricultural Practices (GAP) food safety audit requirements with a single checklist applicable to any fresh produce commodity, any region in the U.S. and any size operation.  The Harmonized Standards were developed by reviewing and merging 13 of the most widely accepted GAP standards of the time, including GLOBALG.A.P.  Thousands of audits have already been performed to the Harmonized Standards.  The Harmonized Standards were the basis of the U.S. National Interpretation Guidelines approved by GLOBALG.A.P.  in 2011, and GLOBALG.A.P.  has agreed to adopt the Harmonized Standards verbatim in the HPSS, which will be managed under the GLOBALG.A.P.  PSS operating structure.  GLOBALG.A.P has submitted the standard to the Global Food Safety Initiative for benchmarking.

The training will be held at The Best Western Gateway Grand, 4200 NW 97th Blvd, Gainesville, FL 32606. The training will be from 8 am to 5 pm both days. To register, click here.


Auditor Training (First Company Attendee)          $100.00  
Every additional Company Attendee                       $50.00

To reserve a hotel room with our group rate, please call the hotel directly at 352-331-3336 or 877-464-2378 and reference the United Fresh group rate.

Please contact Erin Grether, 202-303-3402, for more information.


Play One of the World’s Top Courses at the United Fresh Start Foundation Golf Tournament

United Fresh invites you to join industry colleagues to play in the 2015 United Fresh Start Foundation Golf Tournament on the renowned TPC Stadium Course at PGA West, Palm Springs, Tuesday, January 13. 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. The annual United Fresh Start Foundation golf tournament benefits children’s increased access to fresh produce

Named "Stadium" thanks to Dye's innovative plan to sculpt spectator seating into the natural terrain, the course delivers multiple adrenaline rushes throughout the round. Host to PGA TOUR "Q-School" Finals every other year, PGA TOUR hopefuls must navigate the island green of hole #17, known as Alcatraz, as well as the menacing water-lined 18th.

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.

The tournament helps kick off United’s Midwinter Leadership Forum, January 13-15, which brings together all of the association’s volunteer leaders for council and board meetings, including the Produce Legends Dinner honoring an individual for his or her lifetime achievement in the produce industry. Michael Cavallero, retired president of North American Tropical Fresh Fruit for Dole Fresh Fruit Company, will be the 2015 honoree. 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.

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.


United Fresh Participates in 46th Annual FPAA Convention

From left, United’s John Toner met with executives at Sun Fed in Rio Rico, AZ: Danny Mandel, Mark Cassius, and Matt Mandel, who also serves as FPAA chairman.

John Toner, United Fresh vice president, convention and industry collaboration, ventured to Nogales, Arizona, to meet with United Fresh members and participate in the Annual Fresh Produce Association of the America’s Produce Convention and Golf Tournament.  During this event, Toner met with United Fresh members, attended luncheons sponsored by the National Mango Board, and attended educational sessions on key issues that focus on the import and distribution of Mexican produce. 

“This was a great opportunity for me to learn about the issues faced by our members in Nogales and gain insight on how to develop our convention programming in Chicago at United Fresh 2015 to maximize their success,” said Toner.  “During meetings with current and prospective exhibitors I received tremendous feedback that Chicago is a popular venue and the time of year is perfect as Nogales distributors and their Mexican grower base can take full advantage of education and strategic planning for the 2015 season.” 

For more information, contact John Toner, 202-303-3400.


DiSogra Speaks at GSAF’s “A Greater Vision: The Business of Healthy Eating”

Congressman Sam Farr and Dr. Lorelei DiSogra, Vice President, United Fresh Produce Association joins the Grower-Shipper Association Board of Directors, Luis De La Garza, Nikki Rodoni, Margaret D’Arrigo-Martin, Brad Barbeau and Linda McGlone, October 21, 2014 for the Greater Vision Summit. Photo by Richard Green.

Last week, Dr. Lorelei DiSogra, United Fresh’s VP Nutrition and Health, had the honor of speaking at “A Greater Vision 2014 The Business of Health Eating – Public Health and Agriculture: In It Together for Healthy Eating” at the California State University of Monterey Bay, in Seaside, CA. This annual event, sponsored by the Grower Shipper Association Foundation (GSAF) and the Central Coast AG Task Force, in partnership CSU Monterey Bay College of Business, examines how the systems of production agriculture and the promotion of public health can work together through nontraditional public policy, marketing and new production technologies.

In his keynote address, Congressman Sam Farr emphasized the importance of protecting the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010 from attacks to roll back healthier school meals. DiSogra highlighted the unique opportunity for collaboration and joint action focused on policy changes in schools that will have the greatest impact on both produce consumption and sales and that have resulted in creating new business opportunities for all sectors of the produce industry. She noted three major accomplishments of agriculture and public health working together to increase children’s fruit and vegetable consumption:

  • The Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Program which provides low income elementary students in 364 CA schools and 16 in Monterey County with a fresh fruit or vegetable snack every days at school
  • The Let’s Move Salad Bars to Schools Campaign which has donated salad bars to almost 900 CA schools and 42 in Monterey County making fresh fruits and vegetables available to tens of thousands of CA students every day.
  • Healthier School Meals which now include a wider variety and double the amount of fruits and vegetables every day for 32 million students translating into more than $1B/year in new produce sales to schools. 

Dr. Brad Barbeau, Professor of Economics and Entrepreneurship, CSU Monterey Bay, moderated “A Greater Vision 2014” which also included Gina Nucci, Mann Packing Company; Dr. Edward Moreno, Monterey County Health Officer; and Dr. Trish Sevene, CSU Monterey Bay.             

Fresh Brussels sprouts decorated the fun reception hosted by the GSAF the evening before the “A Greater Vision 2014” event where Dr. DiSogra thanked the GSAF and all of the CA Central Coast produce companies for their generous support and leadership for Let’s Move Salad Bars to Schools.

Updates on Case-Level Traceability and Proposed Canadian Regulations in Fall Issue of PTI FYI

Produce Traceability Initiative (PTI) Leadership Council members agree that industry-wide preparedness for receiving produce cases with GS1-128 barcodes encoded with standardized product identification and Batch/Lot Numbers at the distribution center level will need to be the focus area for PTI in 2015. The Leadership Council, representing 32 companies in the produce industry, held its semiannual meeting this month in conjunction with PMA’s Fresh Summit 2014 in Anaheim, CA, and affirmed the industry needs to continue to share learnings from implementations as the buyer community is preparing to upgrade systems and modify processes in anticipation of proposed rules for traceability under the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA).

Details on this story and these others are in the latest issue of the PTI FYI newsletter:

  • PTI Leadership Council Meeting Update: Focus on Industry-Wide Preparedness for Case-Level Traceability at Distribution Centers in 2015
  • Duda Farm Fresh Foods Reflects on PTI Implementation
  • Updated HPL Best Practice Documents
  • Two Best Practices in Spanish Now Available
  • Update on Proposed Canadian Produce Regulation

You can access this edition of PTI FYI on the PTI website in English, Spanish and French.

For more information, contact United’s Dan Vaché.

New Member Welcome

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

  • Burton + BURTON, Bogart, GA
  • Continental Flowers, Miami, FL
  • Micky’s Minis/N.G. Greenhouses, Inc.
  • Potter Inc., Bryan, OH
  • Prime Inc./Prime Floral
  • Red Rooster TM Sales, Fresno, CA
  • Temkin International, Inc., Miami, FL
  • USA Bouquet Company, LLC., Doral, 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:

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