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United Fresh To Recognize Industry Leaders With 2018 United FreshTEC and United FreshMKT Achievement Awards

Friday, April 06, 2018

United Fresh To Recognize Industry Leaders With 2018 United FreshTEC and United FreshMKT Achievement Awards

Mary Coppola

WASHINGTON, D.C. (April 6, 2018) – The United Fresh Produce Association will present its 2018 United FreshTEC and United FreshMKT Achievement Awards to two leaders who have made their mark on the fresh produce industry.

Receiving the United FreshTEC Achievement Award for outstanding technical achievements is Dr. Edward Harwood, PhD, AeroFarms, whose leadership has helped advance the fresh produce industry through innovation in indoor growing technologies.

Receiving the United FreshMKT Achievement Award for outstanding marketing achievements is Mason Arnold, Cece’s™ Veggie Noodle Co., for his significant innovations in the marketing and merchandising of fresh produce.

United FreshTEC Achievement Award to Edward Harwood, PhD

Edward Harwood, PhD is the Co-Founder and Chief Science Officer of AeroFarms, a leading clean-technology champion, building and operating state-of-the art indoor vertical farms in major cities around the world. Helping set new culinary standards for freshness and flavor, AeroFarms has been recognized as one of Fast Company’s Most Innovative Companies, Global Cleantech 100,’s Top 25 Disruptive Companies, Winner of the World Technology Award for Most Impactful Environmental Company, and Finalist for The Circular Awards of The World Economic Forum. AeroFarms is a Certified B Corporation and part of the Ellen MacArthur Foundation Circular Economy 100.

Dr. Harwood has over 40 years of agricultural and engineering experience in dairy and

horticulture industries, and is a thought leader in the world of indoor agriculture with several patents in the field. Prior to AeroFarms, Dr. Harwood was an Associate Professor at Cornell University, one of the top agriculture schools in the world, as well as the Associate Director of Cornell Cooperative Extension, where he was responsible for identifying cutting-edge technologies. He has a B.S. in Microbiology and B.S. and M.S. in Animal Science from Colorado State University and Ph.D. in Dairy Science minoring in Artificial Intelligence from University of Wisconsin-Madison.

“Ed’s commitment and contributions to the advancements in indoor agriculture have significantly impacted our industry,” said United Fresh President & CEO Tom Stenzel. “His expertise and years of research and development in the field of indoor growing have produced technological advancements that indoor growers will be adopting for decades to come. We’re proud to honor Dr. Harwood with the United FreshTEC Achievement Award.”

United FreshMKT Achievement Award to Mason Arnold

Mason Arnold is a serial entrepreneur with fresh food, organics and sustainability always at the core. His latest venture, Cece’s™ Veggie Noodle Co., disrupted the produce department by pioneering the first pre-packaged, USDA certified organic spiralized vegetables. Founded in 2015, Cece’s™ has enjoyed substantial growth as the first company to create high-quality fresh pasta out of organic vegetables.

Mason used his background as a chemical engineer to invent a proprietary spiralizing process that delivers optimal noodle experience. Under Mason’s leadership, the company has continued to innovate beyond the noodle, expanding its product line to offer organic riced vegetables and vegetable-centered meal kits. By eliminating common barriers to cooking with fresh vegetables, Cece’s™ is bringing a new consumer into the produce department.

Mason and his businesses have received 25 different awards such as ‘Best Local Food Company’ 9 years in a row in the Austin Chronicle, and business innovation awards by PC Magazine, Dell, and more. Mason has received national attention for his companies including feature stories in New York Times, Business Week, Entrepreneur magazine, Wall Street Journal, MSNBC, radio appearances on NPR’s On Point, and others. Mason also is an avid mentor and has served on numerous non-profit boards.

“Mason’s ingenuity and creative approach to disrupting the merchandising of fresh fruits and vegetables has created new opportunities throughout the industry,” said United Fresh President & CEO Tom Stenzel. “A true entrepreneur, his innovative produce development, unique approach to marketing and merchandising and foresight to stay one step ahead of the curve are what set Mason apart from his peers. We’re proud to honor him with the United FreshMKT Achievement Award.”


Both Dr. Harwood and Mason Arnold will be recognized on Monday afternoon, June 25 at the United FreshTEC and United FreshMKT Conferences, respectively, in Chicago. Registration is available online at





About United Fresh Produce Association

Founded in 1904, the United Fresh Produce Association brings together companies across every segment of the fresh produce supply chain, including growers, shippers, fresh cut processors, wholesalers, distributors, retailers, foodservice operators, industry suppliers and allied associations. We empower industry leaders to shape sound government policy. We deliver the resources and expertise companies need to succeed in managing complex business and technical issues. We provide the training and development individuals need to advance their careers in produce. Through these endeavors, we unite our industry with a common purpose – to build long-term value for our members and grow produce consumption.

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