Castellini Group of Companies and Fresh Innovations/J-V Farms stepped up to join the growing list of contributors to the Center for Produce Safety (CPS) Campaign for Research. These funds will support CPS's competitive research grant programs. Both companies have pledged $100,000.
"Our group of companies believes this contribution is a very important investment in the future of our business. The Center for Produce Safety is one of the best opportunities we have to provide timely, relevant research to guide our industry in providing the safest fresh produce for our families and customers," said Victor Smith, CEO of Fresh Innovations, LLC.
The Campaign for Research was launched with the Wegman Family Charitable Foundation's $250,000 donation in June 2011 at the CPS Produce Research Symposium in Orlando, Florida. Since then, over $1 million has been pledged by the produce industry for new research. "The entire produce industry - from the supply side to the retail and foodservice side - is certainly stepping up to support the research that is needed," stated CPS Chairman Steve Patricio. "This teamwork will help us all as we seek answers to produce safety questions."
The Center for Produce Safety will issue a request for proposals (RFP) on February 1, 2012. The call will identify core food safety research needs as well as commodity specific research priorities identified through the CPS Partner in Research Program.
About Castellini Group of Companies
Castellini Group of Companies combine to form one of the largest distributors of fresh produce in the United States, with more than 2,500 fruits, vegetables and floral items including a complete line of value added, organic, specialty and locally grown products for the retail and foodservice markets. For more information visit www.castellinicompany.com.
About Fresh Innovations /J-V Farms/Fresh Innovations
Fresh Innovations and J-V Farms are part of a group of companies owned by the Smith family in Yuma, AZ. They produce fresh leafy greens on over 14,000 acres in Southwest Arizona and North Baja, Mexico, and offer both conventional and organic commodities. For more information visit www.freshinnovations.net.
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.