Attendees of the United Fresh Produce Association’s annual convention and expo in San Diego cast their votes Wednesday and recognized this year’s New Product Awards in five categories. More than 30 fresh fruit and vegetable innovations competed in the categories of Best New Food Safety Solution, Best New Fruit Product, Best New Packaging, Best New Packing/Processing Equipment and Best New Vegetable Product.
The 2013 New Product Award winners are:
• Best New Food Safety Solution: FoodLink Item, Food Link.
• Best New Fruit Product: Lil Snappers, Sunkist Growers Inc.
• Best New Packaging Product: Sunset Display Ready Box, Mastronardi Produce.
• Best New Packing/Processing Equipment: RayFly Optical Sorter, Raytec Vision, SPA.
• Best New Vegetable Product: Pumpkin Pie Baking Kit, AMF Farms/Bay Baby Produce.
“These winning products have been selected by United attendees as outstanding representations of the new approaches, ideas and processes that are driving the fresh fruit and vegetable industry forward, and we applaud them for their product development,” said John Toner, United Fresh’s VP of convention and industry relations. “From its very beginnings, the United show has been the undisputed home of innovation for the produce industry, and these awards continue to showcase the best and brightest minds in the produce business.”
The finalists in each category were on display in the United Fresh membership booth on the trade show floor, and the winners were selected from votes cast by show attendees.
United Fresh launches Recall Ready Program
United Fresh this week launched the Recall Ready Program to help produce industry companies prepare for recalls as well as provide professional assistance for managing recall events. Ron Midyett, CEO of Apio and incoming chairman of United Fresh, announced the new program at United Fresh 2013 in San Diego.
“The Recall Ready Program is all about meeting the needs of our members in regards to one of our industry’s most critical priorities—food safety. If any of you don’t have an up-to-date recall plan, or haven’t been through recall training, I strongly urge you to consider this program,” said Midyett.
Recall Ready is designed to give companies peace of mind, and the confidence that they are prepared in advance and have the resources to respond to any recall situation. The program is a partnership between United Fresh and the legal and communications experts at OFW Law and Watson Green, who are counted among the food industry’s leading crisis counseling firms, according to a United Fresh news release.
Companies can choose program service options that include a recall plan review, creation of a custom recall plan and mock recall training. These program plans, with fees ranging from $5,000 to $15,000, help produce companies prepare for recalls and to learn how to deal with the surprises that can arise during recalls.
Additionally, once companies have completed one of these services to be prepared for a recall, they can engage United’s Rapid Recall Response Team to provide assistance from United and outside experts from the first moments of a recall crisis. The plan offers a 24/7 recall hotline and eight hours total consultation from United and Watson Green. The plan includes discounts on legal and communications services, if needed, beyond the initial consultation period.
“For minimizing the impact of a recall on your business, there’s nothing more important than having a plan and making sure your team is prepared to execute that recall plan,” said Dr. David Gombas, SVP of food safety and technology at United Fresh.
United will begin providing service under the Recall Ready Program in June. Members attending United Fresh 2013 in San Diego were able to register onsite for the program and receive a 10 percent discount.