United Fresh, USDA partner for produce inspection training courses


WASHINGTON, D.C. — The United Fresh Foundation, through the Center for Food Safety & Quality, has announced the 2011 dates for its Produce Inspection Training program.


These hands-on training sessions, executed in partnership with the USDA’s Agricultural Marketing Service, are designed to help produce industry members better understand the produce inspection process.

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.: Jan. 10-14, May 16-20, and Sept. 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 total).

The following course options are available in the coming year:

• Jan. 10-11 Fundamentals of Inspection

• Jan. 12-14 Commodity Labs

• Jan. 10-14, both courses

• May 16-17 Fundamentals of Inspection

• May 18-20 Commodity Labs

• May 16-20 both courses

• Sept. 12-13 Fundamentals of Inspection

• Sept. 14-16 Commodity Labs

• September 12-16 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 at 202-303-3400 ext. 405 or jjacocks@unitedfresh.org.


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  1. An excellent alternative to using United Fresh is International Produce Training (http://www.ipt.us.com). Unlike some of the USDA sponsored training programs, IPT came to our location and trained us. It was a two day session with in-class training the first day and hands-on training the second day. I’d recommend it especially if traveling or scheduling is an issue with you and your staff. I believe the rates were actually cheaper too.


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