United Fresh Produce Association's CEO Tom Stenzel Addresses the Industry Regarding COVID-19
WASHINGTON, DC - As concerns regarding COVID-19 continue to develop, the fresh produce industry is taking the necessary steps to ensure everyone’s safety. Associations such as the United Fresh Produce Association have stepped up to act as a resource for the produce community. United Fresh President and CEO Tom Stenzel recently released a statement regarding what the association has done to support the industry throughout this trying time.
“United Fresh Produce Association is in almost constant touch with the nation’s public health and government leaders to bring you the resources and information you need to serve both our consumers and your employees,” Stenzel began. “We also are working closely with allied food associations in every industry sector, and of course, our produce allies.”
Stenzel went on to explain that the association has now formatted its Coronavirus/COVID-19 webpage resources into two segments: A consumer-facing page where consumers and employees can address their questions, and a second industry-facing page where United Fresh will outline information critical to keeping our supply chain moving. He emphasized yesterday that United Fresh will be updating these pages on a near-constant basis with information that may be helpful, so be sure to check back frequently.
“While there are tremendous losses in some sectors and overwhelming demands in others, our goal must be to continue bringing our healthy fresh fruits and vegetables to people through whatever channels we can,” Stenzel added.
In addition to those resources, United Fresh has created a new LinkedIn Group where industry members can share specific needs, offer assistance to others, and ask questions to fellow operators.
“We are now working with partner associations in the retail and foodservice sectors to help connect companies that may have needs for produce and/or refrigerated transportation, and availability. If you are a foodservice distributor with excess inventory due to restaurants shutting down, please post that information on the LinkedIn site," Stenzel said. "We also recommend you directly contact retailers in your region to offer your services. We are trying to restock stores with great fresh produce as fast as we can."
He concluded with a list of updates to inform the industry, noting actions recently made by the White House, the USDA, the FDA, and more.
"We are also working with the White House and Congress on what financial relief may be forthcoming for sectors that have been devastated by this crisis. For now, we urge all companies to carefully track your losses and keep strong financial records," Stenzel noted.
At AndNowUKnow, we maintain the commitment to serve our industry as we continue to face challenges and overcome them.