( Courtesy United Fresh Produce Association )

The United Fresh Produce Association is seeking applications for its 2020 Retail Produce Manager Awards Program, the annual recognition program that culminates in a celebration at the association’s show.

Nominations for the 25 slots in the program are due by Jan. 15, and forms are available on the United Fresh website

The awards program, sponsored by Dole Food Co. for the sixth year, is in its sixteenth year, and has honored more than 325 produce managers from more 100 retail banners, according to a news release.

“These men and women do so much to promote the increased consumption of fresh fruits and vegetables, and this program gives us a platform to express our sincere thanks on behalf of our company and our industry,” Johan Linden, CEO of Dole Food Co., said in the release.

The 25 winners and the corporate produce directors at their company receive airfare, hotel accommodations and registration to the United Fresh 2020 Convention & Expo, June 16-19 in San  Diego.

“The ability to creatively merchandise product, interact with customers, and oversee the growth of not only the department’s offerings, but also the people within the department, is paramount,” Jeff Cady, director of produce & floral at Tops Friendly Markets and chairman of the United Fresh Retail-Foodservice Board, said in the release. “Fresh produce is a vital part of our day-to-day business and being able to manage it successfully is invaluable and truly appreciated throughout the industry.”

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