Emanuel Lazoupolos ( File photo )

The United Fresh Produce Association is honoring Emanuel Lazopoulos with its Lifetime Achievement Award in January.

Lazopoulos, former senior vice president of Del Monte Fresh Produce, will receive the honor at United Fresh’s 2020 FreshStart Conference’s gala dinner on Jan. 15 at the Loews Ventana Canyon Resort in Tucson, Ariz.

He started at Del Monte in 2003 as vice president of value-added/fresh-cut, and was promoted to senior vice president of North America 18 months later, according to a United Fresh news release.

Lazopoulos was instrumental in growing the company’s North American business, expanding fresh-cut operations, growth in banana, pineapple and avocado sales and Del Monte’s acquisition of Mann Packing, which became official in early 2018, according to the release.

“Emanuel has been the consummate professional role model in the produce industry, not only in advancing Del Monte during his tenure there, but serving as a leader throughout his career to move the industry forward,” Tom Stenzel, United Fresh president and CEO, said in the release. “We are delighted to celebrate Emanuel’s decades of impact, and I encourage the industry to help us honor him at the FreshStart Conference in January.”

Lazopoulos began his career at Castle & Cooke (which became Dole) in Philadelphia in 1979, and was promoted to Eastern Division sales manager for Dole Fresh Vegetables, then national sales manager and vice president of sales, according to the release. After a short period with Salyer American, Lazopoulos helped establish Banacol and DNA Plant Technology operations through Fresh World Farms.

Later, he was one of three founding members of NewStar Fresh Foods, Salinas, Calif., where he was managing director.

Lazopoulos has been involved in many industry organizations, including:

  • United Fresh: chairman of the board;
  • Produce Marketing Association: Retail Board member; and
  • The Produce for Better Health Foundation: board of directors member.

For more information on the FreshStart conference and related events, visit the United Fresh website.

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