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    PMA Gov. Affairs Meeting Focuses on Food Safety

    Consumption, trade, and labor also factor heavily at first-ever committee meeting

    Produce Marketing Association’s (PMA) volunteer-led Government Affairs Committee met for the first time earlier this month in Washington, D.C., to guide the association’s work on key industry issues including consumption, trade, and labor, with an emphasis on food safety. Among its first actions, the committee directed PMA staff to focus their 2011 efforts on driving public policy to increase consumption of fresh fruits and vegetables.

    Committee members’ recommendations will be presented to the PMA board of directors for action when it meets on Jan. 25-28.

    “Government Affairs Committee members understand how government can affect their businesses, so the timing of this first meeting proved particularly notable and valuable given recent passage the Food Safety Modernization Act,” said Mike O’Brien, Schnuck Markets’ VP of produce and floral, committee chair and PMA’s board chairman. “PMA will actively participate in development of the new law’s implementing regulations, and the committee’s input will ensure PMA members’ interests in improving public health and consumer confidence in the safety of our foods are heard.”

    “We also reaffirmed PMA’s approach to government relations, that is, providing industry expertise to government and promoting consensus building,” said O’Brien. “Today’s legislative and regulatory environment requires a new approach to interacting with government, and PMA is providing the model.”

    PMA’s Government Affairs Committee, as well as a host of other committees, resulted from a new volunteer leadership model PMA implemented in spring 2010. The new model – designed to unite PMA’s membership across all segments of the supply chain to work on topics of common interest – expanded opportunities for members to get involved in guiding their association by serving on boards, committees and task forces. In turn, with more member input PMA is better positioned to ensure the business solutions it creates and provides to members answer their most pressing business needs.

    PMA’s government relations and public affairs team represents the entire produce supply chain, from field to fork, and is committed to providing PMA members with counsel on key government relations issues and keeping them informed with critical compliance information.

    For more information on all of PMA’s government relations issues, visit PMA’s website.

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