May 8, 2012, Davis, CA – Three companies have donated a total of $200,000 to the Center for Produce Safety. International Paper, a global paper and packaging company, pledged $100,000. “International Paper is a large supplier of corrugated packaging for customers in the fresh produce industry, where food safety is of critical importance,” said Peter Heist, area vice president, International Paper. “Supporting this valuable research is just one more way that International Paper can add value to our customers by helping to ensure the delivery of safe, fresh, high-quality produce to consumers.”
H-E-B and Duda Farm Fresh Foods each pledged $50,000. “H-E-B recognizes that produce is a part of a healthy diet and is committed to offering high quality product each and every day. We are also committed to safe food and are proud to support CPS in its research efforts focused in this area,” stated Hugh Topper, vice president of Fresh. Sam Duda, vice president, Duda Farm Fresh Foods, noted, “Duda is proud to be a part of CPS and believes that food safety research is critical to the current and future health of our industry. We believe the scientific research funded by CPS is crucial to enhance food safety and we are thrilled to make a contribution toward this goal.”
The gifts will support CPS’s competitive research grant programs. The center funds produce-general and commodity-specific research to address the fresh produce industry’s food safety research needs. With the help of its public and private sector research partners, CPS has compiled an impressive three-year body of work, awarding nearly $9 million and funding 59 one and two year research projects at 19 universities and organizations. This year an additional $3 million is available to fund projects that will be evaluated through CPS’s 2012 request for proposals.
“The produce supply chain has stepped up, once again, to show that collective effort can result in success. These three companies representing retail, production and industry suppliers demonstrate that food safety is taken seriously by the fresh produce industry,” remarked Stephen Patricio, chair of the CPS Advisory Board. “The Center for Produce Safety is designed for industry wide collaboration to identify knowledge gaps in produce food safety and find the mechanisms to fill those gaps. Funding targeted research projects is a key component of the CPS program. The vote of confidence for CPS given by these pledges is greatly appreciated.”
About International Paper
International Paper (NYSE: IP) is a global paper and packaging company with manufacturing operations in North America, Europe, Latin America, Russia, Asia and North Africa. Its businesses include uncoated papers and industrial and consumer packaging, complemented by xpedx, the company's North American distribution company. Headquartered in Memphis, Tennessee, the company employs approximately 70,000 people following the acquisition of Temple-Inland Inc. and is strategically located in more than
24 countries serving customers worldwide. International Paper net sales for 2011 were $26 billion. Temple-Inland Inc., which was acquired in February 2012, had 2011 net sales of $4 billion. For more information about International Paper, its products and stewardship efforts, visit internationalpaper.com.
H-E-B, renowned for its innovation and community service and with sales of more than $18 billion, operates over 330 stores in Texas and Mexico. The company is recognized for its fresh food, quality products, convenient services, and a commitment to environmental responsibility and sustainability. It strives to provide the best customer experience at everyday low prices. Based in San Antonio, Texas, H-E-B employs more than 76,000 partners and serves millions of customers in more than 150 communities. For more information, visit www.heb.com .
About Duda Farm Fresh Foods
Duda Farm Fresh Foods is a major grower, shipper and marketer of fresh citrus and fresh and fresh-cut vegetables with primary locations in Florida, California, Arizona, Georgia, Texas and Michigan. Duda Farm Fresh Foods is a wholly-owned subsidiary of DUDA, a family-owned, diversified land company headquartered in Oviedo, Florida. For more information, visit www.dudafresh.com .
The Center for Produce Safety is focused exclusively on providing the produce industry and government with open access to the actionable information needed to continually enhance the safety of produce. 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 is developing industry training and outreach 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. For more information, visit https://www.centerforproducesafety.org.