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Pundit’s Mailbag — Nobel Prize Commentary And Poetry

Jim Prevor’s Perishable Pundit, October 23, 2009

Jim Allen, President of the New York Apple Association, has often spoken out on the pages of the Pundit, especially on the issue of immigration reform. You can see some of his pieces here:

Pundit Mailbag — AgJOBS Bill Needs More Support

Pundit’s Mailbag — More On PMA/United Merger

Pundit’s Mailbag — One-Voice Plea On PMA/United Merger Issue

Pundit’s Mailbag — NY Apple Fights To Protect Healthy Reputation

So we were pleased that our “tongue-in-cheek” piece, Pundit Up For Nobel Prize, brought a note from the distinguished Mr. Allen:

I too would support awarding you the Nobel Prize for Literature and especially for your last scaled down version of the ‘War and Peace’ story about the Ten Riskiest Foods list by the CSPI.

Just to identify additional evidence of your talents, I would also include your excellent editorial and assessment of the new Wal-Mart business plan to “purchase?’’ apples.

I also agree with the comment made by plaintiff’s attorney Bill Marler, to remember NEVER to provoke you, or words to that effect.

But Pundit, here is the problem that will prevent you from being awarded the prestigious award: Experiences, accomplishments and tenure in your profession. It would appear that you have way too much of all of that to be eligible.

Now if we had nominated you a mere month or so after you took office, oops, I mean, after you started The Perishable Pundit, then you may have qualified. As they say, “Sorry Charlie, you may have good taste, but you are over qualified!”

— Jim Allen
President
New York Apple Association, Inc.
Fishers, New York

We appreciate the kind words, but if we were ever tempted to think we had seen it all, this desk at Pundit Central is a constant source of surprise as when, also in response to our article, Pundit Up For Nobel Prize, we received a piece of verse from the mother country:

The Perishable Pundit
Cannot win the Nobel Prize
He’s been in office far too long
He is too old and wise.

The Perishable Pundit
Cannot win any reward
Because he tells it as it is
(Puts nonsense to the sword).

To the Perishable Pundit,
No accolades accrue
From expressing his opinions
(Telling others what to do).

The Perishable Pundit’s
Commentary shows
That being in this industry
Sure has its share of woes.

So you won’t win any prizes,
Won’t be honoured,
Won’t be knighted.
Just keep on pushing out the facts
And we’ll all be delighted.

— Alick Glass

Alick Glass is the founder of Glass Associates Limited. The Pundit was a boy when the Pundit Poppa was selling to the old Glass Glover Company. We wondered if it was the same and sent a note inquiring, to which we received this response:

It’s the same Glass. Just a wee bit older. With my late father Harry and my brother Gerald, we were Glass Glover, and my brother and I remember the old Prevor Mayrsohn days and the old characters.

I really enjoy your regular communications, and was inspired to put my comments in rhyme.

I am still active in business (we major on Washington Red and Pink imports to the UK). Most folks think I’m dead already, but the industry was kind enough to confer on me the Lifetime Achievement Award this year — great tribute (trouble is you’ve got to be old to earn it. Only Obama gets the Nobel Prize Rookie Award!).

— Alick Glass
Founder
Glass Associates Limited

We had spoken on organics at the Re:fresh conference a couple of years ago. This May, they presented Alick with the award, and the Fresh Produce Journal in the UK explained the award this way:

Lifetime Achievement accolade for Alick Glass

Alick Glass, founder of Glass Associates Limited and industry representative, was recognised for outstanding services to the fresh produce sector when he won the Florette Lifetime Achievement Award at Re:fresh on Thursday.

Glass has had a 54-year, illustrious career in the industry and, at 72, is still going strong, running the multi-million pound Glass Associates Limited which he established in 1991 to focus on the North American apple business. Glass Associates and its Black Oval Growers subsidiary is currently Europe’s largest handler of Washington Apples, under Glass’s full-time direction.

Glass began work for Harry Glass Ltd and was with the company when it expanded to include operations in the port of Leith, Glasgow and Liverpool. Glass Glover Group plc became only the third UK fresh produce company to go public with a listing on the London Stock Exchange.

Glass had, by this time, relocated to London and had identified the enormous potential of fresh produce sales through a supermarket sector that was fragmented and still in its infancy. From his Langley Court office in old Covent Garden market, supported by his father Harry and brother Gerald in Scotland, he built Glass Glover into one of Europe’s largest fresh produce organisations, and one of the largest panellists of the international Fruit Marketing Boards: New Zealand, Cape, Outspan, Jaffa and Agrexco.

Glass Glover had also formed Fresha Fruit et Cie, in Carpentras, to consolidate its major share of the French apple business. While in the UK the group ranked second in tomato production centred in Garrion Bridge in the Clyde Valley, and at the Drax Power Station in Yorkshire, and was also involved in brassica production in the Thames Valley and in Spain.

Glass has represented the industry as chairman or committee member in negotiations with the ministry of agriculture, at House of Lords Select Committee meetings, and in Brussels. He was a founder member of the Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Information Bureau and of CIMO (now part of Eucofel) and, in more recent times, it was Glass who led the fight for the removal of fresh produce from the Community retaliatory sanction list against US imports.

Following the privatisation of Glass Glover Group via a £55m management buy-out in 1988, Glass, acting as consultant to Mersey Docks and Harbour Company, masterminded and invested in the development of the Sheerness Produce Terminal and its inland Spade Lane facility.

As we understand it, Aleck attributes his successful fruit trade career to two excellent teachers, his father Harry and his brother Gerald, and the idea of retirement hasn’t even crossed his mind.

Mark Newton of Florette presented Glass with the award

Photo courtesy of Fresh Produce Journal

One supposes that winning a Nobel Prize is nice and it does come with a big check. Money aside, though, winning a Nobel in medicine or physics or another hard science means you have won the esteem of your peers.

Winning the Nobel Peace Prize means you’ve won the esteem of five obscure Norwegian legislators.

We somehow think that having one’s peers in the industry recognize your achievements is a deeper and more meaningful accolade.

So we add our congratulations to Alick for his award. We also extend our expression of thanks for the poem. That such an esteemed industry member from across the pond took the time to compose this verse touches us deeply.

Many thanks to both Jim Allen and Alick Glass for their kind letters.

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