“Since United Fresh and USDA-AMS developed this program in 2002, we’ve trained over 700 industry professionals,” said Victoria Backer, United Fresh senior vice president, member services, foundation. “It’s clear this program is a valuable training tool for the industry, providing a comprehensive review of key USDA inspection procedures and standards.”
“We are pleased to continue our partnership with United Fresh to offer this training in 2011,” said Robert Keeney, Deputy Administrator, Fruit and Vegetable Programs, USDA-AMS. “This unique course has been designed to provide practical information and lessons that the private sector can apply directly to their businesses today.”
Three Produce Inspection Training Programs will be offered in 2011 at the USDA Fresh Products Branch National Inspectors’ Training and Development Center in Fredericksburg, Va.: January 10-14, May 16-20, and September 12-16.
The program is offered in two specialized courses: Fundamentals of Produce Inspection and Commodity Labs. Upon completion of both courses, attendees receive a certificate of recognition from United Fresh and the USDA.
The first of the two courses, Fundamentals of Produce Inspection, is a prerequisite of the Commodity Labs course and focuses on topics such as inspection essentials, PACA, sampling procedures, and general market principles. The three-day Commodity Labs course takes place in the lab and applies the principals learned in the fundamentals course to real product inspections. Each Commodity Labs course will include the five most commonly requested commodities: grapes, lettuces, potatoes, strawberries and tomatoes, and will be customized with additional commodities based on the attendees’ most common preferences (up to 12 in total).
The following course options are available in the coming year:
January 10-11, 2011 Fundamentals of Inspection
January 12-14, 2011 Commodity Labs
January 10-14, 2011 Both Courses
May 16-17, 2011 Fundamentals of Inspection
May 18-20, 2011 Commodity Labs
May 16-20, 2011 Both Courses
September 12-13, 2011 Fundamentals of Inspection
September 14-16, 2011 Commodity Labs
September 12-16, 2011 Both Courses
Class size is limited and attendees are admitted on a first-come, first-served basis. The registration fee for United Fresh members interested in the introductory course is $895, while the advanced course is $1225. If both courses are taken together, members may register at the discounted rate of $1925. If three or more colleagues from the same member company register for both courses, each will receive a $100 discount on the registration rate. For non-members, the prices are $1095, $1425 and $2325, respectively. Seminar registration fees include training seminars and all course materials.
Attendees may register for the training seminars on the United Fresh website at www.unitedfresh.org or by contacting Julie Jacocks, education manager, at 202-303-3400 ext. 405 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Founded in 1998, the United Fresh Foundation is a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit organization committed to meeting the public’s needs for an abundant supply of healthy, safe and affordable fresh fruits and vegetables. The Foundation is dedicated to increasing the availability of fresh fruits and vegetables to children as a critical step in combating childhood obesity and launching a lifetime of healthy choices. To assist industry members in meeting these goals, the Foundation offers educational programs, leadership development, public outreach, and industry training through four different Centers — Center for Leadership Excellence, Center for Nutrition and Health, Center for Food Safety and Quality, and Center for Global Produce Sustainability. For more information, visit www.unitedfresh.org or call 202-303-3400