United Fresh Adds Environmental/Sustainability Veep

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United Fresh Adds Environmental/Sustainability Veep

Rob Neenan, VP of government affairs for the Sacramento-based California League of Food Processors, will join United Fresh Produce Association in the newly created position of VP/environmental affairs and sustainability.

“Rob will be an excellent leader to help develop and grow our foundation’s new Center for Global Produce Sustainability, which was established last year through a founding grant from Bayer CropScience,” said United Fresh president and CEO Tom Stenzel. “Rob shares our vision of sustainability as a tool to help growers and the entire produce supply chain reduce costs and increase efficiencies. Sustainability is most often defined as the intersection of environmental responsibility, social acceptability and economic viability.”

Neenan has held his current position since 2005, in which capacity he is responsible for analyzing environmental, energy, food safety and other issues affecting the fruit and vegetable processing industry in California. He also organized the league’s member committee on sustainability, developing resources and strategies for addressing climate change and other challenges.

Previously, he served as director of trade services at the Fresno-based California Grape and Tree Fruit League from 1997 to 2005, during which time he was responsible for USDA and CDFA fresh fruit inspection standards, state and federal marketing regulations, and FDA labeling requirements. He also managed the industry program to export stone fruit to Mexico in compliance with Mexican import phytosanitary regulations, coordinated trade negotiations with the U.S. and Mexican governments, and provided compliance information to farmers and pest control advisers.

Prior to his California career, Neenan served as an economist in USDA’s Agricultural Marketing Services division in Washington, D.C., from 1987 to 1997. He holds a bachelor’s degree in Agricultural Economics from Cornell University, and a master’s in Agricultural Business from California State University, Fresno.

Neenan joins United Fresh March 1, and will be based in its Washington offices.