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Let’s Unite in Chicago: What to Expect at United Fresh 2018
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Let’s Unite in Chicago: What to Expect at United Fresh 2018

If you’re like me, you’re starting the countdown to this year’s United Fresh Conference and Expo. One of the reasons I value this event is for the opportunity it gives us to come together as an industry—with many perspectives—to solve the pressing issues and challenges that impact us all.

Advocating for our future

With five shows on one floor, there’s certainly plenty to discover and learn. As a United Fresh board member, I’m heading to the conference with a focus on the important conversations that will happen surrounding industry-relevant legislature and the ways we’ll shape our cohesive voice.

From policies relating to nutrition, the national workforce, trade laws, food safety, and transportation regulation, there’s a lot on our plate. Here are a few of the topics I’m expecting to engage in:

  • Food safety: Aiming to proactively ensure the safe transport of the food supply in the United States, the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) changed many of the ways in which food is regulated.
  • Farm labor and immigration: A strong, reliable workforce keeps farms operating—now and in the future. Reforming broken immigration systems can help build the workforce needed to keep our economy thriving.
  • Nutrition: To increase access to and consumption of fresh fruits and vegetables to everyone, nutrition policies—like SNAP—were created.
  • Global trade: The North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) impacts the industry’s ability to sell produce at national and global levels.
  • Transportation: From the recent full enforcement of the ELD mandate to tight capacity, there are plenty of considerations when it comes to moving temperature-sensitive goods through the supply chain. This year, above others, it’s important that you meet your customers’ product expectations and work with a company that will provide reliable transportation through third party logistics.

Final thoughts

It’s been said before, but it’s worth repeating: We are all part of an important industry, full of driven, passionate people who do incredible things. The more we connect with each other and collaborate together, the stronger we—as colleagues, companies, and an industry—are collectively. The United Fresh Convention and Expo is a place where leaders emerge, grow, and make an impact; it provides a platform to celebrate accomplishments; and it helps creates a unified voice to push policy and move forward as an industry. I’m looking forward to connecting with you in Chicago!

Will you be attending United Fresh 2018? We’d love to set aside time to talk. Book a meeting with Robinson Fresh produce and logistics experts to discuss fresh food solutions that can help grow your business. Visit us at booth 2025, and chat with our florals experts at booth 4551.

Michael Castagnetto

Michael Castagnetto - Vice President of Global Sourcing

Michael Castagnetto is the Robinson Fresh Vice President of Global Sourcing. He has built and sustained relationships with growers, suppliers and customers with a goal of helping them build, develop and evolve their supply chains. Michael uses his almost 20 years of experience and knowledge to open up global perishable supply chains and continue to build relationships with those in the fresh produce industry. His specialty is complex supply chains with a focus on fresh produce and integration of logistics to drive growth for my customers.
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