(Jan. 24) With about 10% of its members residing outside the borders of the U.S., the United Fresh Produce Association is forming an International Advisory Council.

The council will help United Fresh understand the opportunities and challenges for all members in the global arena, according to a Jan. 18 member newsletter.

Chaired by board member David Barney, business development manager at Bakkavor in the United Kingdom, the council plans to have its first meeting concurrent with the Fruit Logistica and FreshConex trade show and Congress in Berlin, Feb. 6-9.

United Fresh is ready to serve a growing international membership, said chairman Emanuel Lazopoulos, senior vice president of North American sales, marketing and product management at Del Monte Fresh Produce, Coral Gables, Fla.

“With the merger of the International Fresh-cut Produce Association and the United Fresh Fruit & Vegetable Association last year, we brought together members in 27 countries that now constitute 10% of our membership from outside the United States,” he said in a statement released by United Fresh.

In addition to European outreach activities, the association had its board of directors meeting in San Jose, Costa Rica, Jan. 24-26.