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Recognizing that ensuring consumer confidence in produce is key to increasing consumption, the Produce Marketing Association (PMA) has donated $900,000 to the Center for Produce Safety (CPS) over the next two years. The contribution will enable the center to apply all other funds directly to research.
PMA President and CEO Bryan Silbermann made the donation on behalf of the trade group in San Diego this week at the start of a CPS meeting attended by industry and government leaders and food safety researchers.
“Our executive committee decided that PMA’s ongoing investment in CPS really is a show of faith in the future of our industry and simply the right thing to do,” noted Rich Dachman, PMA’s chairman of the board and SVP of national sales at Houston-based Sysco Corp. "We helped create CPS five years ago to bring together government, industry and researchers so we could find answers to big questions about produce safety. Today, PMA and its members make a significant statement that we are moving ahead on the road to continuous improvement in our food safety knowledge and practices.”
Over the past four years, CPS has funded more than 50 research projects with grants of more than $9.2 million from government, along with organizations throughout the produce supply chain. This most recent donation brings PMA’s total contribution to CPS to more than $3 million.
“This gift could not come at a more opportune time for industry and demonstrates the leadership of PMA members,” said Bonnie Fernandez-Fenaroli, executive director of CPS, which was established at the University of California, Davis by public and private partnership. “Ensuring the health and safety of the consumer can only be enhanced through continued research and process improvements to mitigate any potential produce safety issues that may occur in the future.”