Foodservice directors from more than 30 school districts across California will be honored guests at this year’s United Fresh produce marketers convention in San Diego, thanks to the sponsorship support of Grimmway Farms and Duda Farm Fresh Foods. Collectively, the foodservice directors, include those from the Bakersfield, Los Angeles, Monterey and Sacramento districts, purchase fresh fruits and vegetables for more than 2,000 schools, serving nearly 1.3 million students each day.
“We are proud to facilitate the connection between school buyers and produce suppliers to provide more healthy options for students,” says United Fresh CEO Tom Stenzel. “Schools are a notable growth opportunity for the produce industry, as many schools are doubling the amounts of fresh fruits and vegetables served each day in accordance with new school meal standards.”
The school FSDs will be special guests at the May 15 Opening General Session Breakfast with keynote speaker Walter Robb, who is Whole Foods Co-CEO. The group will then be recognized for their leadership in using salad bars to increase student’s fresh fruit and vegetable consumption at the press event to celebrate the donation of salad bars to 350 schools through Let’s Move Salad Bars to California Schools. Following the event, the school foodservice directors will walk the show floor to network with produce suppliers.
Several of the FSDs will also share their perspectives at an education session, “Opportunities to Drive Produce Sales to Schools,” in the Fresh Marketplace Learning Center on the show floor, taking place May 15 in the afternoon. The session will highlight how foodservice directors are using fresh fruits and vegetables to create healthier school food environments, what they need from produce suppliers, and how produce companies can develop collaborative partnerships to boost sales and consumption.