ALEXANDRIA, Va. -- As Robert Moore, the long-time president of the Washington-based International Banana Association, prepares to officially retire on April 30, the United Fresh Fruit & Vegetable Association, based here, is ready to take over management of the organization.
"[This agreement] strengthens the banana industry's focus on general commodity issues and commodity marketing for bananas on a worldwide basis," said Tom Stenzel, UFFVA president."We're going to be spending a lot more attention on [banana] industry issues in trying to provide better service, quality and volume in moving product to retailers."
When IBA president Moore retires this week, he will be replaced by Tim Debus, director, industry coalitions for UFFVA. Until officially elected, Debus will head up management duties for IBA.
Although under UFFVA jurisdiction, the IBA will remain a separate entity, continuing to operate as an independent trade organization. Its board will continue to regulate everyday policy issues and actions.
The IBA board is currently chaired by Fred Heptinstall, executive vice president of Chiquita Banana North America. The chairman-elect is Bryce Edmonson, vice president of sales and marketing for Del Monte Fresh produce, who will become chairman next year.
According to Stenzel, bananas are the single greatest mover in the grocery store. He said they are the number one volume item in supermarkets, representing over 1% of all grocery sales.
The UFFVA, a trade organization founded more than 95 years ago, represents producers and distributors of commercial quantities of fresh fruits and vegetables.