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October 2, 2008
Four More Courses Planned to Meet Demand in 2008 and 2009

Washington, DC The United Fresh Produce Associations popular Produce Inspection Training Program is back for four more courses, including one installment in 2008 and three in 2009. These hands-on training sessions are designed to help produce industry receivers, handlers, buyers, shippers and sellers understand the fundamentals of the produce inspection process.

Developed by the United Fresh Research & Education Foundation in partnership with the U.S. Department of Agriculture, Agriculture Marketing Service (USDA-AMS), the Produce Inspection Training Program offers a comprehensive overview of USDA inspection procedures and standards through lab training courses, classroom lectures and discussion sessions with USDA trainers.

All seminars are taught by expert USDA personnel and held at the USDA Fresh Products Branch National Inspectors Training and Development Center in Fredericksburg, Va.


"The Fresh Products Branch is pleased to continue training the produce industry This course enables us to maintain a good rapport between federal inspectors and the fresh produce industry, which helps create a stronger supply chain." - Robert Keeney, Deputy Administrator, Fruit and Vegetable Programs, USDA-AMS

Upcoming courses will be held November 3-7, 2008 and January 26-30, June 1-5 and September 21-25, 2009. Industry professionals who are looking to gain a better understanding of this intricate process can sign up now.

The Produce Inspection Training Program is divided into two specialized courses: Introductory Produce Inspection and Advanced Produce Inspection. The two-day introductory course is a prerequisite of the advanced course and focuses on inspection fundamentals, general market principles, PACA and an introduction to the FV 300 Inspection Certificate.

The three-day advanced course is an intense training program focusing on the different types of inspections (quality, condition, size, etc.,) sampling procedures, marketing orders and import requirements, advanced FV 300 training and commodity-specific instruction tailored to meet participants preferences indicated in a pre-program survey. Each advanced course will include the five most commonly requested commodities: Grapes, Lettuces, Potatoes, Strawberries, and Tomatoes. In addition to these five, each course will be customized with up to 10 additional commodities based on the attendees' most common preferences.


"My people at the Kroger distribution center make decisions on product shipping to over 265 stores, so the procurement staff needs quality training. This course provides them a solid review of the inspection process and principles." - Bob Ashcraft, Distribution Quality Assurance Manager, The Kroger Co. and 2007 program participant

Since its inception in 2007, more than 540 industry professionals have participated in the program, with attendees consistently giving the course high marks in program evaluations.

The following course options are available:

November 3-4, 2008

Introduction to Produce Inspection (2 days)

November 5-7, 2008

Advanced Produce Inspection Training (3 days)

January 26-27, 2009

Introduction to Produce Inspection (2 days)

January 28-30, 2009

Advanced Produce Inspection Training (3 days)

June 1-2, 2009

Introduction to Produce Inspection (2 days)

June 3-5, 2009

Advanced Produce Inspection Training (3 days)

September 21-22, 2009

Introduction to Produce Inspection (2 days)

September 23-25, 2009

Advanced Produce Inspection Training (3 days)

Attendees may register for the training seminars online, or by downloading the registration form. For more information, contact Julie Jacocks, Education Manager, at (202) 303-3400 ext 405. Class size is limited and on a first-come, first-served registration basis. For United Fresh members, the registration fee for the introductory course is $875; the advanced course is $1195. If both courses are taken together, members may register at the discounted rate of $1875. For non-members, the prices are $1075, 1395 and $2275, respectively. Seminar registration fees include training seminars and all course materials.

Past Inspection Program Company Participants:


Diversified Entities

Live Oaks Farms

Alpine Fresh


Mann Packing Co.

Baldor Specialty Foods

Food Lion

McEntire Produce

Baloian Farms

Four Seasons Produce


BC Hot House Foods Inc.

Frank Gargiulo & Son

Missa Bay LLC

Blue Book Services


Naturipe Berry Growers

Caito Foods Service

Gordon Food Service

Naturipe Farms

California Giant


Nunhems USA

Capitol City Produce

Indianapolis Fruit Co.

Paragon Monteverde


The Kroger

The Oppenheimer Group

The Class Produce Group


Potandon Produce

Dillon Stores

L & M Companies

Produce Packaging

Progressive Produce

Strube Celery & Vegetable Co.

University of Puerto Rico

Publix Super Markets


Verdelli Farms


Sysco Corporation

W. Newell & Co.


Target Corporation

Whole Foods Market


Unifrutti of America

Wild Oats Markets

Smith's Marketplace

Worldwide Company

United Fresh Produce Association
1901 Pennsylvania Ave. NW
Suite 1100
Washington, DC 20006
Tel: 202 303 3400
Fax: 202 303 3433