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WASHINGTON, D.C. -- Leaders of the food industry convened here to discuss strategies to keep food safety issues top of mind with consumers at the inaugural meeting of the Partnership for Food Safety Education's (PFSE) Corporate Advisory Committee.
The advisory committee -- comprised of corporate leaders in retail, manufacturing, and foodservice operations throughout the food supply chain -- will use its expertise in consumer messaging to offer strategic counsel for PFSE to increase consumer awareness of the FightBAC! campaign and core food safety messages. During the session, the advisory committee discussed several strategies to use the food industry and its corporate partners as a vehicle to deliver PFSE's consumer messages.
"PFSE has always been a collaborative effort of food industry associations, consumer groups, and our government liaisons," said Produce Marketing Association president Bryan Silbermann, PFSE incoming chairman. "The new corporate advisory committee broadens that collaboration to include experts from food companies who can further extend the reach of the Fight BAC! Campaign, and help PFSE involve corporate America in the campaign. Developing a strong corporate engagement strategy will help us with financial and in-kind resources to achieve our mission -- educating consumers about safe food handling," Silbermann said.
"I was particularly pleased with the strong participation demonstrated by our diverse set of corporate executives," Silbermann added. "They were energized by the opportunities they have to help PFSE become more successful and more visible. This great group of people is a welcome addition to the PFSE structure."
Advisory committee members include chairman Bruce Peterson, s.v.p. of Wal-Mart Stores Inc., as well as senior-level executives from Brinker International; Cargill; Clorox; Darden Restaurants; Dole Food Co.; Giant; Porter Novelli; Sara Lee; Supermarket Guru; Supervalu Companies; and Tyson Foods. Committee members serve a two-year term and will meet in person twice a year.
After attending the inaugural advisory committee meeting PFSE executive director Shelley Feist said, "This group hit the ground running, generating strong ideas about Partnership programs and publicity. Adding this group as an adviser to the board is a great way for us to tap into the corporate world and benefit from their enthusiasm and expertise. We want to be able to reach consumers through a variety of channels -- those we already have and now through businesses that operate in the food industry."
The Partnership for Food Safety Education unites industry associations, government agencies and consumer and public health groups in a unique public-private partnership committed to reducing foodborne illness through ongoing education about safe food handling practices.