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LAS VEGAS, NV -- Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush kicked off the United Fresh Produce Association's 2010 convention and expo Tuesday afternoon, April 20, at the Sands Expo & Convention Center, here.

In his address to the produce industry during Tuesday's general session at United Fresh 2010, Mr. Bush reminded the assembled attendees of the work left to do to guide the industry out of the recent economic doldrums into a more prosperous environment.

Outlining each of a five-point plan for economic recovery, Mr. Bush emphasized the importance of a sound and practical tax code, including the role of such a code in the success of small businesses, which comprise a significant portion of the produce industry. Also, he touched on the recent movement to tax based on communal good and include incentives for beneficial and healthful products.

"We ought to be taxing the things we want less of … and place lesser taxes on the things that we need more of," he said.

In addition to taxes, the former governor strongly underscored the importance of sound and meaningful immigration reform, pointing to its critical role in the produce industry and receiving boisterous applause from audience members.

"We need to have a progressive immigration system in our country," said Mr. Bush. "Immigration is a source of our greatness."

United Fresh also launched the second version of its smartphone application for BlackBerry devices. Similar to its counterpart for the iPhone, the BlackBerry app allows United convention attendees to customize their show experience for one of the four United Fresh Market Segment Boards: Grower-Shipper, Retail-Foodservice, Fresh-Cut Processor or Wholesaler-Distributor. Users may download the application at www.unitedfresh.org/mobile/blackberry.php. Users with iPhones may still download the iPhone app by accessing the Apple iTunes store and searching for "United Fresh." Once the United Fresh 2010 icon appears, users must click "Get App" to download the application to their iPhone.

On Wednesday, the convention was set to continue with a breakfast general session address by New York City SchoolFood officials Eric Goldstein and Chef Jorge Collazo, who were set to speak about the challenges and successes of feeding 1.1 million students each school day in the nation's largest school district, as well as the importance of school salad bars in that effort.

Following the address, attendees were set to hear from Michael Taylor, the Food & Drug Administration’s deputy commissioner for foods, during the later general session. Mr. Taylor planned to discuss the pressing topic of food safety in The Future of Food Safety Legislation & Produce Regulation.

Also on Wednesday, United's Salad Bar in Every School campaign, in cooperation with The Vollrath Co. and the Cambro Manufacturing Co., were set to donate salad bars to two schools in Pahrump, NV, followed by the association's annual reception honoring women in produce.