(Oct. 15) NEW ORLEANS — Besides creating retail success through category management and earning accolades for his devotion to commodity boards and industry associations, Steve Junqueiro can add something else to his resume: winning The Packer’s 2002 Produce Marketer of the Year.

Junqueiro, the director of produce and floral for Modesto, Calif.-based Save Mart Supermarkets, accepted the award from Robb Bertels, publisher of The Packer, on Oct. 14 at Fresh Summit.

NICE PERSON, SHREWD BUSINESSMAN

“Our honoree is known as one of the nicest people in the industry, but he is also known as a shrewd businessman and marketer,” Bertels told a luncheon audience before presenting Junqueiro with the award.

Junqueiro thanked his parents, his wife and children and his predecessor at Save Mart as well as Save Mart’s current staff. He also thanked the growers and suppliers he works with as well as PMA and said that the combination of everyone made it easy for him to be recognized.

“You’ve heard me say many times that this is a great time to be in the produce business, and it is becoming more evident every year,” Junqueiro said.

Junqueiro has been with Save Mart for 28 years, working his way up from produce clerk to produce manager, produce merchandiser, produce operations supervisor and, for the last nine years, director of produce and floral.

DEVOTION TO INDUSTRY

Bruce Peterson, vice president and general merchandise manager for perishables of Wal-Mart Stores Inc., Bentonville, Ark., said Junqueiro’s work and his devotion to the produce industry made him truly deserving of the award.

Besides helping make Save Mart succeed in markets where other chains don’t, Junqueiro has been active on many retail advisory boards and association committees, the Newark, Del.-based Produce Marketing Association board of directors and the Wilmington, Del.-based Produce for Better Health Foundation board of directors.

He also has been involved in the international produce industry by assisting the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Foreign Agriculture Service on projects in Thailand, the Philippines, Malaysia, Vietnam and India. Junqueiro served as chairman of the 1998 PMA convention and as chairman of PMA’s Retail Produce Solutions Conference in 2001. He is chairman of the PMA retail board of directors.