Melding several documents into one best management practices guide for the entire North American produce transportation supply chain is a difficult task.
Just ask David Dever, chairman of the North American Produce Transportation Working Group, who led the effort.
David Dever, Sun World International Lance Jungmeyer, president of the Fresh Produce Association of the Americas, Nogales, Ariz., was one of the 25 transportation working group members.
Throughout the process, he said Dever used his quiet leadership skills to bring together a diverse membership.
“He’s a very thoughtful leader who is able to corral a bunch of different personalities in a room and come up with a single vision and give marching orders,” Jungmeyer said. “A lot of people had different ideas about what constituted good handling practices.”
Once the guide was finished, he said Dever helped promote it throughout the industry.
“Dave also put a lot of thought into how do you communicate this new initiative to the industry and was really progressive about getting it on the Web,” Jungmeyer said.
The guide is even getting notice from outside of North America, and Jungmeyer said he’d heard of a request for it to be translated into Russian.
“I think the guide they came up with is being looked at as a world model,” he said.
With a basic framework in place, Dever said the working group can now tackle simultaneously drafting a best management practices guide for rail and one for ocean transportation.
In discussing the best management guide, Dever said he really couldn’t take credit for the document’s completion and instead praised group members.
“Whenever you have an initiative like this where people are passionate, it’s not really me who does the work — the group does it,” said Dever, who also is president and chief executive officer of Bakersfield, Calif.-based Sun World International. “We brought together really good people who were passionate about the issues. You have to have passion for wanting to take on these challenges and seeing them through to the end.”
Matt McInerney, executive vice president of Irvine, Calif.-based Western Growers, who’s known Dever for more than 20 years, said his modesty is typical.
“There’s a reason all of these prestigious companies want Dave as part of their team,” McInerney said. “He’s well respected for his intellect and vision within the industry and has a tremendous work ethic.”