The United Fresh Produce Association will present its Lifetime Achievement Award to Bruce McEvoy at the 2017 Produce Legends Dinner, January 10 at the Royal Sonesta New Orleans in New Orleans, LA. All proceeds from the dinner support the United Fresh Start Foundation and its mission to increase children’s access to fresh produce.
“Bruce’s career has been pivotal in advancing the produce industry on a global scale,” said Tony Freytag, Crunch Pak Senior Vice President of Sales & Marketing and Chairman of the United Fresh Board of Directors. “From his early work at the U.S. Department of Agriculture in international trade to his career spanning some of the most iconic companies in the produce industry, Bruce has been instrumental in driving growth for our industry.”
The annual Produce Legends Dinner honors individuals for their lifetime achievement in the produce industry while supporting the critical mission of the United Fresh Start Foundation. Bruce joins a distinguished group of past honorees including Rick and Tonya Antle, Mike Cavallero, Joe Procacci, Frieda Rapoport Caplan, Reggie Griffin, and Bob Grimm.
“This dinner both honors a great individual and supports a great cause,” said United Fresh President & CEO Tom Stenzel. “Friends of Bruce from around the world will want to join in his honor, while making a commitment to increasing kids access to fresh produce. From donating thousands of salad bars to needy schools to training foodservice directors on handling fresh produce to maintain quality, the United Fresh Start Foundation is making a difference just as Bruce has made such a difference in his career.”
Bruce’s career in produce spans the globe, originating with the USDA Foreign Agriculture Service in Europe and Thailand, eventually assigned to the U.S. Embassy in London where he focused on export expansion.
Bruce went on to join Sunkist where he led its European subsidiary and established license programs for juices and soft drinks in the Middle East and a beverage plant in Sicily, Italy. The company had an active barter trade program with the East Bloc countries that helped to support a summer charter service. Bruce also managed the California Citrus Quality Council in Europe, a constant challenge to maintain market access.
In 1984 Bruce was transferred to Sunkist’s headquarters in Southern California where he managed sales and marketing for the Products Division and the global use of the Sunkist trademark. The Asian markets were now a priority.
In 1989, he moved to DuPont’s Biotech division to help commercialize innovative products from two new companies – Fresh World Farms and Intermountain Canola – both of which he served as president.
In 1994, Bruce joined Seald Sweet International as the company president, where he successfully helped transform the regional Florida citrus cooperative into a global produce company. Bruce retired as company president in 2004, but still serves Seald Sweet and its parent company Greenyard as a government relations consultant.
Bruce recently celebrated 50 years working in the produce industry. In those five decades, he has received numerous accolades for his work, including the Special Achievement Award for Produce Export Expansion from the Secretary of Agriculture; a Special Achievement Award from the Foreign Agricultural Service for his work developing the concept of an Agriculture Trade Office in major export markets; The Packer Man of Year in 2000; and The Packer’s first list of 25 Leaders in the Produce Industry. He was also appointed by the Secretary of Agriculture to the Industry Biotechnology Committee. Bruce served on the United Fresh Board of Directors for seven years and was Chairman during the 1999/2000 transition year. He used his term as Chairman to work with a highly motivated team on strategic planning. As Chairman of the Hunt’s Point Committee, Bruce’s efforts ultimately resulted in a settlement of $150 million with USDA. Also of note, his efforts on the Farm Worker Relief Program following the 1994 Hurricanes were able generate almost $1,500,000 for those who were homeless.
Bruce and his wife Ann have been married for 44 years and have two sons. In addition to dedicating his time to the produce industry, Bruce serves as the board chair of his local Alzheimer/Parkinson’s Association chapter, a disease he was diagnosed with in 2008. He has since become a tireless champion, advocating on Capitol Hill for legislation to increase research funding.
The 2017 Produce Legends Dinner will take place on Tuesday, January 10. Tickets to the dinner can be purchased online at www.unitedfreshstart.org
. In addition, donations to the Foundation in Bruce’s honor are tax-deductible and can be made online. For questions about the dinner, contact Angela Tiwari at 202-303-3416. For information about the United Fresh Start Foundation and honoring Bruce through contributions or dinner sponsorships, contact Steven Titlebaum, CFRE at 202-303-3420.