Industry Call for Produce Safety Research Funding

Jim Rogers Fruits & Vegetables, Funding

Center for Produce Safety

A food safety group is seeking funding to improve produce safety research and already has a third of the funds raised.

The Center for Produce Safety (CPS) has started a new capital fundraising campaign. The funds will secure research into produce safety for the next five years. CPS Board Chair Vic Smith expressed the need to continue research while the U.S. struggles with COVID-19 impacts.  “The need to safeguard fresh produce has not paused for the pandemic, so neither can we,” Smith stated in a press release. “If anything, the food safety demands on our industry have increased, as how and where we eat has changed with these times.”

The Center for Produce Safety is a non-profit group that aims to enhance food safety through science-based information and partnerships. Their mission is to “Fund the Science, Find Solutions and Fuel the Change.” 

The fresh produce industry continues to battle outbreaks including high-profile leafy green cases over the last several years. CPS past-chair and Wegmans Food Markets’ senior vice president of perishable merchandising Dave Corsi said “The number of outbreaks associated with leafy greens and other fresh produce reminds us why CPS exists: to generate practical science to increase the safety of all our commodities,” CPS past-chair and Wegmans Food Markets’ senior vice president of perishable merchandising Dave Corsi said. “The center succeeds only with the support of this industry. Now we need leaders from across our supply chain to step up and give generously.”

CPS is seeking $15 million for the campaign and the produce industry has already responded promisingly. $5 million has been donated by over 30 groups including associations such as Western Growers, the California Avocado Commission and the California Fresh Fruit Association, and companies such as Taylor Farms, JV Smith, Dole, and Tanimura & Antle. You can find more about the campaign including how to donate at centerforproducesafety.org

About the Author

Taylor Hillman

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AgNet Media Operations Manager and Farm News Director for AgNet West.