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Request for Proposals, 2010 - Up to $3M Available

March 1, 2010
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Davis, Calif., March 1, 2010 – The Center for Produce Safety at UC Davis (CPS) today announced a request for research proposals (RFP) to address both general and commodity‐specific research questions related to fresh produce safety.

Over the past two years, CPS has developed a model for prioritizing and funding produce safety research by collaborating with public agencies and private businesses committed to advancing produce safety. Based on positive response to this model among producers, regulators and researchers, the latest RFP again seeks to address critical risk management issues across the produce supply chain—while maximizing the impact of discrete research budgets.

“Thanks to its committed partners, CPS continues to expand its reach,” commented Tim York, president of Markon Cooperative and chairman of the CPS Advisory Board. “As our research portfolio demonstrates, we are tackling more questions—impacting more commodities and growing regions.”

As in 2009, industry partners with overlapping research needs had the opportunity to match funds provided by state and federal agencies. The new RFP’s public sponsors are: California Department of Food and Agriculture – Specialty Crop Block Grant Program (CDFA‐SCBGP); University of California Agricultural and Natural Resources (UC‐ANR) with funding from the United States Department of Agriculture, National Institute of Food and Agriculture (USDA‐NIFA); and Washington State Department of Agriculture – Specialty Crop Block Grant Program (WSDA‐SCBGP).

The RFP seeks to fund two broad categories of research: general safety questions addressing a broad range of practices (cultivation, harvest, cooling and testing), as well as commodity‐specific questions.

“Whether the projects addresses specific crops or regions, or general questions with broad implications, CPS seeks to fund research that will help producers do a better job of assessing food safety risks and developing science‐based management practices,” said Bob Whitaker, chief science and technology officer of the Produce Marketing Association and chairman of the CPS Technical Committee.

Current partners include:
Almond Board of California,
Cantaloupe Advisory Board / California Melon Research Board,
California Leafy Greens Research Program,
California Pistachio Research Board,
California Walnut Commission,
Florida Specialty Crop Foundation,
Florida Tomato Committee,
Taylor Farms,
Washington Tree Fruit Research Commission,

The RFP’s general research priorities were identified in industry risk assessments and prioritized by the CPS Technical Committee, an independent advisory board including experts from industry, academia, government and NGOs. The specific research priorities were co‐developed with industry partners.

The full RFP is available at the Center for Produce Safety Web site at Proposals should be submitted by April 30, 2010, through the CPS Grant System Web site at (The grant system is also accessible from the CPS Web site.) All qualified research professionals are eligible to apply for CPS funding.

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