ALEXANDRIA, Va. -- The United Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Association here has added two new divisions, one for produce processing and another for international trade.
The processing division will focus on all sectors of the produce processing business, including source and regional fresh-cut processors, wholesalers and distributors who wash, cut, repack or modify raw produce; retailers and food service operators who process in-house, and companies that buy fresh produce as ingredients or commodities for meals, mixes and other combinations.
Sarah Delea, director of public affairs for United, said the new divisions do not represent duplication of services that already exist among other produce industry trade groups such as the International Fresh-Cut Produce Association, formerly the National Association of Fresh Produce Processors, also based here.
"We won't just focus on fresh-cut, or any one aspect of processing," she said. "The new division will focus on all aspects of processing." For example, she said, those who process potatoes into dehydrated flakes will fall into the processing category.
David Webster, director of sales and marketing for Coronet Foods, based in Lafayette Hill, Pa., will serve as interim chairman during 1995.
The international trade division was a policy-advising committee at United. Two of the division goals, according to United, are creating and implementing educational programs on exporting and importing fresh produce and providing United members with services that enhance their ability to successfully conduct international business.
Alberto G. Maldonado, general manager of G.A.C. Produce Co., Nogales, Ariz., and a United board member, will serve as the division's interim chairman during 1995.
"Through this new division, we can develop educational programs that keep the international community abreast of changes in international markets, as well as help members market products worldwide," said Maldonado.
United has also made several changes to facilitate member involvement in different divisions. The association has lowered the rate for member companies to participate in additional divisions. The rate has been lowered from $175 to $50, beyond regular member dues, to allow companies to join additional divisions.
Also, United is inviting representatives from each division to come together and discuss annual priorities for the association, and to prepare a program and budget to present to the board.
The association is also allowing companies on the Chairman's Roundtable to participate in as many divisions as they like.
The association has also announced new staffing responsibilities to accommodate the new divisions. Teresa Daniels, director of industry programs, will oversee the new processing division as part of her responsibilities for the customer-oriented divisions. She also oversees United's retail and food service divisions.
Molly Machamer, director of industry relations, is responsible for the produce/supplier-oriented divisions, including grower/shipper, distribution, brokers and wholesale divisions. Sheena Kuruvilla, formerly manager of international affairs, will now assume the role of manager of international trade and industry relations. She will oversee the new international trade division.