Davis, CA, USA, October 19, 2011 – Four private companies and two commodity groups chose Fresh Summit to announce their pledges to the Center for Produce Safety (CPS) Campaign for Research. This funding will support CPS’s competitive research grant programs. Taylor Farms helped jump start the CPS research program in 2008 with a $2 million contribution. Taylor Farms will contribute an additional $250,000 to support CPS research, joined by Driscoll's®, Markon Cooperative, and Tanimura & Antle each pledging $100,000.
New contributions to the CPS Partners in Research program (PIR) were also announced. This program is designed for organizations to provide matching funds for commodity-specific research. Bart Fisher, a member of the California Melon Research Board and California Cantaloupe Advisory Board, announced the PIR contribution of $200,000. Fisher stated, “Commodity programs have a history of funding research. We know the benefit of collaborations and look forward to continued collaborations with our customers to provide safe produce.”
Bryan Silbermann, Produce Marketing Association president, announced the donations during his State of the Industry address. Silbermann noted, “CPS’s first four years have been filled with remarkable accomplishments: collaborative work by government, industry and academia to define produce safety research priorities; targeted and actionable research aimed at finding answers to thorny questions; and communication back to industry to drive adoption of best practices. That’s why PMA is proud to have invested over $2.5 million of its members’ cash and millions more in staff time and expertise to underwrite the ongoing costs of the center’s operation. Today, we’re proud to stand alongside these other leading organizations now committing themselves to ensure a sustainable financial model for the essential research and education that still lies ahead.”
Since the industry wide Campaign for Research began with the Wegman Family Charitable Foundation’s $250,000 donation at the CPS Produce Research Symposium in Orlando, Florida, $1 million has been pledged for new research. “The significance of combining talents from multiple companies throughout the marketing chain to collaborate on research at CPS alongside the academic and regulatory agencies is enormous,” stated CPS Chairman Steve Patricio. “It is collaboration that is our industry’s strength as we seek answers to produce safety questions.”
About California Cantaloupe Advisory Board
The Cantaloupe Advisory Board was formed in 1988 by cantaloupe shippers, largely to control the quality of marketed cantaloupes. The Board, composed of seven shippers and a public member, has since worked to develop research-backed safety standards for growing and shipping cantaloupes, as well as mandating a trace-back system for the protection of the consumer.
About California Melon Research Board
The California Melon Research Board was formed in 1972 by melon growers to provide research with respect to varietal development, production, harvesting and transportation from field to processing points on any, or all varieties of melons, with the exception of watermelons. For more information visit www.cmrb.org.
Driscoll's is a fourth generation family owned company that has been involved in berry farming for over 100 years. As the leading provider of fresh and organic berries, Driscoll’s works with independent farmers to produce the highest quality berries in the world in an effort to continually delight all berry consumers. Driscoll's is the preferred berry partner of some of America’s leading chefs and culinary institutions. For more information visit www.driscolls.com.
About Markon Cooperative
Founded in 1985, Markon Cooperative was the first produce-purchasing agent for foodservice. Today, it procures, delivers, and markets fresh produce for nine of the leading independent foodservice distributors in North America. Markon members collectively account for more than $22 billion in annual sales. For more information visit www.markon.com.
About Tanimura and Antle
Tanimura & Antle is an industry leader whose commitment to premium quality produce has remained strong since its formation in 1982. The Tanimura & Antle families brought together their individual industry experiences and knowledge to create a produce company that has become unrivaled in its quality products, innovation and dedication to growers, customers, consumers and employees. Today, as one of the largest independent lettuce growers in the United States, Tanimura & Antle farms more than 30,000 acres of rich, fertile farmland and ships a full line of premium fresh produce products throughout North America, Europe and Asia. For more information visit www.taproduce.com.
About Taylor Farms
Taylor Farms was founded in 1995, with the mission of becoming America’s favorite salad maker. We have partnered with the finest growers in North America to provide the finest quality salads and fresh cut vegetables for their retail, food service and deli consumers. We constantly innovate with new products, improved production methods and unparalleled food safety measures to continue to earn our customers trust and help them grow in their business. As North American’s take greater interest in enjoying healthier lifestyles, we will continue to offer more convenient, delicious tasting choices in more points of access for consumers. Taylor Farms making fresh healthy and delicious. For more information, please visit www.taylorfarms.com.
About Center for Produce Safety
Established by public and private partnership at the University of California, Davis, CPS funds original research; has created a searchable database of global produce safety research; and develops information transfer programs. Initial funding for CPS was provided by the California Department of Food and Agriculture, the University of California, Produce Marketing Association and Taylor Farms.