UNITED FRESH'S BOARD ANNOUNCES ITS 2013 PRIORITIES
Feb. 6, 2013
Source: United Fresh Produce Association news release
The United Fresh Produce Association Board of Directors met in Tucson last week for the annual Winter Leadership Meetings to set priorities for 2013 and to address several key issues facing the produce industry.
More than 250 industry leaders participated in meetings of the Food Safety & Technology Council, Nutrition & Health Council, Supply Chain Logistics Council, Center for Global Produce Sustainability Advisory Board, Member Relations Task Force, United Foundation Board, United's four Market Segment Boards, and United's Consolidated Board of Directors.
The Board of Directors adopted government relations priorities for the coming year that focus on four major areas:
· Leadership on Food Safety Law Implementation
· Passing Legislation to Reform Immigration Policy and Secure a new Guest Worker Program
· Writing and Passing the 2013 Farm Bill
· Shaping Nutrition Policy and USDA Regulations
"Our most important task as Board members is to direct the resources invested by our members to those most critical needs facing our industry," said United Fresh Chairman David Krause, President, Paramount Citrus.
New Expert Advisory Councils Announced
The Board also announced the formation of two new expert advisory councils, which will bring together industry experts from across the supply chain to address important priorities for member companies.
The Produce Marketing & Merchandising Council will focus on the needs of marketing professionals within the membership, addressing priority issues to enhance the sales and profitability of our industry.
With an overall goal to better understand and serve the end consumer who chooses fresh produce at retail stores or restaurants, the new council will bring together marketing and merchandising experts from grower-shippers, processors, wholesalers and retail and foodservice companies.
The Council will work to develop United programs that drive value in consumer marketing, branding, advertising, social media, product promotion, point-of-sale strategies, retail partnership programs, and other merchandising components. Roger Pepperl, marketing director at Stemilt Growers, will be the first chairman of the council.
Additionally, the Board approved formation of the Finance & Business Management Council, which will bring together C-suite finance, business and HR leaders to address critical issues in their areas of responsibility.
The Council will address financial and strategic business planning, family business and estate transfer, financing and investment, human resources issues such as insurance and health care, and other critical business functions. The first chairman will be Scott Danner, COO of Liberty Fruit Co.
United is now seeking member volunteers to serve on one of the two new councils. Interested members should contact Victoria Backer at firstname.lastname@example.org or 202-303-3408.
"These councils provide a unique opportunity for experts from our member companies to work together on common issues. By bringing professionals together in each of these sectors, members can learn from each other and subsequently develop new programs that serve our broad industry," Krause said. "Our Board is committed to developing these types of new and strategically targeted opportunities for United Fresh members."
Biotechnology Task Force Formed
With growing attention to the subject of biotechnology in the food supply, the Board approved formation of a new task force charged with helping the Board understand industry views and set clear and transparent policy for the association.
United's ongoing policy related to production methods for fruits and vegetables is "technology neutral," supporting the industry's ability to use both conventional and organic production as well as the use of any new technology such as genetically modified varieties that are approved by the government. However, issues surrounding potential labeling and marketing of biotech varieties require greater attention to help develop a clear and consistent approach.
Lorri Koster Appointed as Acting Secretary-Treasurer
Also during the meeting, Lorri Koster, CEO & Chairman at Mann Packing Co., was named as the Board's acting Secretary-Treasurer, replacing Joe Huston who left Board service at this meeting due to a change in business position. "Lorri is a highly-respected leader in the industry, and we are pleased to have her serve in this new leadership capacity," said Chairman Krause.
Frieda Caplan Honored with United's Lifetime Achievement Award
Prior to United's business meetings, Frieda Rapoport Caplan was honored at United's annual Produce Legends Dinner on January 28. Hundreds of produce industry colleagues celebrated the presentation of the Lifetime Achievement Award to Frieda, which recognized her for her exceptional contributions to the fresh produce industry.
In 1962, Caplan established Frieda's Finest/Produce Specialties, Inc. on the Los Angeles Wholesale Produce Market. At that time, Caplan was one of the first women to own and operate a U.S. produce business. She has since introduced countless specialty produce items with her pioneering marketing savvy and signature purple branding. See photo highlights from the event here!