Western Growers is helping to further the efforts of the Center for Produce Safety (CPS) by donating $1 million as part of the current fundraising campaign. CPS quietly began the fundraising effort in late 2020, officially unveiling it in late January 2021. So far, CPS is already one-third of the way to the overall goal of raising $15 million. The donations will be used to support food safety research to be shared with government agencies and industry stakeholders.
“We have been committed from the very beginning to the Center for Produce Safety,” said Dave Puglia, Western Growers President and CEO. “The real objective here is to take research that goes beyond the theoretical that has actual, practical impact in the way we farm, in the way we harvest, the way we process and package to reduce risk. That’s why we feel it’s such a good investment.”
CPS is engaged in a variety of research projects, aimed at developing valuable food safety solutions for the produce industry. Over the next five years, money raised through the current fundraising campaign will fuel produce-specific food safety research that is important to industry members. “It’s a very closely-knit group of research scientists applying their practical work in fields and our processing plants to improve our performance and reduce the risk of food safety outbreak,” Puglia explained.
Western Growers also contributed $1 million during CPS’s previous fundraising campaign back in 2015. For the latest fundraising effort, Taylor Farms has also reached the Diamond level by donating $1 million to CPS. Puglia said that CPS’s research objectives are for the good of the entire industry, and it is important to continue to show support for those efforts.
“I’d like to see as many of us in agriculture contribute as possible. The more funds that the Center has, the faster we can go,” Puglia noted. “As expectations for food safety continue to increase among the public and among federal agencies, we have an obligation to meet that expectation.”
Listen to Puglia’s interview below.