Now through Jan. 24, the United Fresh Produce Association is accepting nominations for its 2019 Retail Produce Manager Awards program in honor of those who have demonstrated exemplary efforts in driving sales and consumer consumption of fresh fruits and vegetables.
In its 15th year, the annual program recognizes 25 U.S. and Canadian retail produce managers for their innovation in merchandising, produce-centric community outreach, increased store sales and appreciation among company peers.
“The ability to creatively merchandise product, interact with customers and oversee the growth of not only the department’s offerings but also the people within the department is paramount,” said Jeff Cady, director of produce and floral for Tops Friendly Markets and chairman of the United Fresh Retail-Foodservice Board, in a statement. “Fresh produce is a vital part of our day-to-day business, and being able manage it successfully is invaluable and truly appreciated throughout the industry.”
The program this year is sponsored by Dole Food Co., one of the world’s largest producers and marketers of fresh fruit and vegetables, marking the company’s fifth year as title sponsor.
“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 a platform to express our sincere thanks on behalf of our company and our industry,” Johan Linden, president and CEO of Dole, said in a statement.
The 25 award winners, as well as their corporate produce directors, will receive complimentary airfare, hotel accommodation and registration to United Fresh 2019, taking place June 10-12 in Chicago. Last year, Meijer, Albertsons and Kroger were among the list of retail honorees. Since its inception, the program has honored more than 300 produce managers from more than 100 different retail banners.