The fresh produce industry is responsible for supplying a safe food supply to the world’s consumers. Government expects ever-safer food, and companies continue to invest millions of dollars creating and implementing food safety initiatives. The goal is always to produce results – at the speed of industry – that respond to timely issues that can affect food safety.
The Center for Produce Safety (CPS) is a collaborative partnership that leverages the combined expertise of industry, government and the scientific and academic communities to focus on providing research needed to continually enhance food safety. This level of collaboration allows CPS to fill the knowledge gaps on produce food safety.
CPS is an industry-wide partnership. Industry-wide problems require industry-wide brainpower. CPS brings together leaders from industry, government and the scientific and academic communities to identify the most pressing research needs, fund the most promising investigations and advance real-world solutions. We are largely a volunteer-run organization, with just three paid staff and minimal overhead. In 2014, CPS funded research projects in 9 states, from California to Massachusetts, from Michigan to Colorado. CPS was launched as a public-private partnership and is now international in scope with projects in 5 countries around the globe. CPS has compiled an impressive seven-year body of work, awarding $16.4 million and funding 100 one- to two-year research projects at 30 universities and organizations.
First, last and always, it’s about the research. CPS provides our industry with credible, independent, science-based research that is applicable across the produce supply chain. Our Technical Committee provides the necessary scrutiny and tight controls needed to ensure funded research projects are practical, measurable and translatable. Issues range from employee hygiene to wash water sanitation, to the use of soil amendments and composting, to addressing the management of domestic animals near farms and irrigation sources.
Education completes the loop. CPS does more than fund research. It’s critical that we disseminate the results of that research and ensure that new knowledge is put to use across the supply chain. Our annual symposium — augmented by year-round seminars, webinars and reports — equips industry leaders to implement actionable steps to ensure positive food safety outcomes. CPS provides knowledge of industry processes, applications, varieties and conditions to academia and the research community to better target and direct research that will have immediate application in the produce industry. Our educational efforts extend to regulatory agencies as we partner with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, the U.S. Department of Agriculture, the Centers for Disease Control and others to shape food safety guidelines.
CPS is a partnership that is creating targeted research; streamlining costs and maximizing research output by combining industry, government and academic resources; and translating research into action – all to enhance food safety and protect your business.
As an industry leader, we ask you to consider a financial pledge to the Center for Produce Safety. Your monetary gift is an investment in your business and your industry.
The Center for Produce Safety (CPS) is a 501(c)(3), U.S. tax-exempt, charitable organization focused exclusively on providing the produce industry and government with open access to the actionable information needed to continually enhance the safety of produce.