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    Segment-Specific Learning, New Products, Live Broadcast Highlight United Fresh 2010

    An increased number of educational programs, a night of industry luminaries and a groundbreaking Webcast from the trade show floor were among the key highlights of the United Fresh 2010 convention and expo that wrapped last week in Las Vegas.

    An increased number of educational programs, a night of industry luminaries and a groundbreaking Webcast from the trade show floor were among the key highlights of the United Fresh 2010 convention and expo that wrapped last week in Las Vegas.

    With educational and development programs focused on each of the association’s four market segment boards, the annual event hosted by the Washington-based United Fresh Produce Association (United Fresh) was among the most successful trade events so far this year.

    “We wanted to ensure that attendees to this year’s show were provided with education and development offerings that truly benefited their particular businesses,” said United Fresh SVP/member services Victoria Backer. “The customized, market segment-specific programming that we’ve had this week has pointed each attendee to multiple events and sessions that will help his or her business grow in both the short and long terms.”

    Among the other highlights of the event, 10 winners in United’s Retail Produce Manager Awards Program took part in the produce industry’s first-ever live Webcast from a trade show floor. The panel discussion, “Winning Retail Strategies: Secrets of the Retail Manager Award Winners,” was broadcast live via the Internet on United’s latest multimedia offering, http://www.UnitedFresh.TV. The Webcast is now available on the multimedia microsite housed on United Fresh’s home page, along with a number of other video highlights from this year’s show.

    “This broadcast represents an unprecedented leap for United Fresh,” said Ray Gilmer, VP/communications. “No longer is the trade show confined to the conference room and expo hall; it’s beamed directly to the desktop. UnitedFresh.TV allows the association to extend the value of events like the annual convention far beyond show floor.”

    The award theme continued in United’s membership booth with the presentation of the New Product award winners. “New product development is one of the primary reasons we host a trade show, along with the educational programs at our annual convention,” said Tom Stenzel, United Fresh president/CEO. “Our goal is to drive innovation and adoption of new technologies to help boost value to the consumer and profitability to the industry.”

    This year’s new product award winners — which Stenzel said “recognizes the ability of companies to bring that innovation and new technology to market year in and year out” — includes:

    —Best New Packaging: Fresh Express Artisanal Salads, Chiquita Brands
    —Best New Food Safety Solution: VoiceCode, YottaMark
    —Best New Processing Equipment: FogTunnel Produce Treatment System, AgSolutions, Inc.
    —Best New Fruit Product: Chiquita Fresh & Ready Avocados, Chiquita Brands
    —Best New Packing/Processing Equipment: Ulta Bagger (Girbagger) Bagging Machine, Giro Pack
    —Best New Vegetable Product: Bistro Seasonal Salads, Italiano & Waldorf, Ready Pac Foods, Inc.

    “New and improved products stimulate the growth and profitability of our industry,” added John Toner, United Fresh’s VP/convention and industry relations. “The awards honor the results of years of R&D and the foresight of companies in bringing new innovation to the marketplace.”

    Next year’s United Fresh convention and expo will be held in New Orleans from May 2 through May 5 at the Ernest N. Morial Convention Center.

    For more information, visit www.unitedfresh.org.

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