The United Fresh Produce Association is currently accepting nominations for the 2018 Retail Produce Manager Awards Program. Sponsored by Westlake Village, Calif.-based Dole Food Co. and now in their 14th year, the awards honor 25 outstanding retail produce managers for their innovative merchandising, produce-related community outreach, increased store sales and recognition among company peers.
“The ability to creatively merchandise the product, interact with the customers, and oversee the growth of not only the product, but the people within the department, is paramount,” said Jeff Cady, director of produce/floral at Williamsville, N.Y.-based Tops Markets LLC and vice chairman of the United Fresh Retail-Foodservice Board. “Produce is a vital part of our day-to-day business, and being able to undertake this and manage it successfully is something we truly appreciate and want to recognize in these individuals.”
“This is Dole’s fourth year as title sponsor of the United Fresh Produce Manager of the Year Award, and we could not be more proud to be a part of this important recognition program,” noted Tim Stejskal, general manager and SVP of sales for Dole Fresh Vegetables. “These men and women do so much to promote the increased consumption of fresh fruits and vegetables, and this gives us an opportunity to recognize that contribution and genuinely say thank you.”
The 25 award winners, accompanied by their corporate produce directors, will get free airfare, hotel accommodations and registration to United Fresh 2018, slated for June 25-27 in Chicago. On Wednesday, June 27, five grand-prize winners will receive an additional $1,000 cash prize.
Since the program’s inception, more than 300 produce managers from 100-plus retail banners have received awards. Nomination forms are available online and must be received by Friday, Jan. 12, 2018.
Washington, D.C.-based United Fresh serves companies in the global fresh and fresh-cut produce industry, among them growers, shippers, fresh-cut processors, wholesalers, distributors, retailers, foodservice operators, industry suppliers and allied associations.