PRESS RELEASE After nearly three decades of leadership, Jim Lemke, president of Robinson Fresh, a division of C.H. Robinson, announces plans to retire in 2019. Lemke will focus his remaining time at Robinson Fresh on ensuring a smooth leadership transition.
Lemke’s leadership has contributed to the growth of both Robinson Fresh and the produce industry overall. His passion for innovation has driven change, while exhibiting a commitment to serving the customer. Robinson Fresh has been led by Lemke since 2003 and he has worked to expand the division’s services globally. As a result, Robinson Fresh now sells fresh produce and manages its supply and distribution in over 40 countries.
Lemke has been recognized for his efforts in the produce industry through a number of awards and accolades including Produce Business’s “40-under-Forty,” The Packer’s 2008 “Produce Man of the Year,” and The Packer’s “Packer 25.” He has been a strong advocate for change in the fresh produce industry, from food safety modernization to federal nutrition funding and numerous other regulatory and commercial initiatives.
He has played an active role in working to drive productivity and increase produce consumption through serving on the first USDA industry advisory committee, chairing the United Fresh Produce Association Board and on the Food Marketing Institute’s Fresh Executive Committee. He has also served on numerous other committees for the Produce Marketing Association and the Produce for Better Health Foundation.
Lemke was the founding chairperson of the United Fresh Start Foundation, which was created to provide children with greater access to fresh fruits and vegetables. He currently serves on the board of directors for Second Harvest Heartland.
C.H. Robinson is grateful for his many years of service, and the Company celebrates his deep involvement in and dedication to both the produce and transportation industries.