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Center for Produce Safety well positioned for future

The Center for Produce Safety in Davis, CA, received strong support by its board of directors to continue funding research and bring the industry together to address current food safety issues. The vote of confidence was registered following a review of the CPS strategic plan at the organization's board meeting in June.

"The success of the Center for Produce Safety can be directly attributed to those who have volunteered time and resources to support a collaborative research effort," Steve Patricio, president of Westside Produce and chairman of the CPS board, said in a statement following the meeting. "As we look to the future at CPS, it will take time, talent and monetary support to continue those efforts. The CPS board remains vigilant in directing funds to maximize food-safety knowledge.

"We heard clearly at the 2013 symposium that CPS research is making a difference," Patricio continued. "While the body of knowledge continues to grow, there remain a number of produce-safety issues that must be addressed."

In planning for the future, Patricio has appointed Jim Gorny, vice president of food safety for the Produce Marketing Association, as chair of the CPS Technical Committee. Bob Whitaker, who has served as chair of the technical committee since the center's inception, will continue as a member of the CPS Technical Committee and board of directors and will hold an important role in the implementation of the CPS strategic plan.

"PMA is committed to expanding the industry's knowledge on food safety and is honored to support the involvement of its staff at the Center for Produce Safety," Bryan Silbermann, president of the PMA, said in a press release. "The center's collaborative process has proven to be an effective and important tool for the produce industry."

Tim York, president of Markon Cooperative and past chairman of CPS, led the strategic planning process.

"We have run a very lean program at CPS and have had great success," York said in the press release. "Through the strategic planning process, it was apparent that the success of the symposium and the implementation of research findings indicated a need for the industry to expand its outreach efforts and secure additional funds to continue critical research. It will take a supply chain effort to fund the future endeavors of CPS."