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Center for Produce Safety Announces 2014 Call for Research Proposals

January 15, 2014
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Davis, California, January 15, 2014 - The Center for Produce Safety today announced its 2014 request for food safety research proposals. The center and its public and industry research partners are making $3 million available to fund general and commodity-specific research aimed at addressing the fresh produce industry's food safety research needs.

The general research priorities in the Request for Proposals (RFP) were identified and prioritized by the CPS Technical Committee, an independent advisory board that includes experts from industry, academia, government and nongovernmental organizations. "This request for proposals builds on previously funded CPS research and provides a clear roadmap to generate the information needed to develop science and risk-based best practices and policies to enhance produce safety across the supply chain," said Dr. Jim Gorny, vice president of food safety and technology, Produce Marketing Association, and chair of the CPS Technical Committee. "I especially look forward to working with the numerous CPS partners in research as we review the proposals. Their active participation throughout the process has and continues to be critical in assuring the success of CPS funded research."  

The 2014 RFP seeks to fund both general produce food safety questions and commodity-specific questions. Core (general produce) research priorities endeavor to better understand risk potential and to develop more effective food safety management tools. Factors affecting human pathogen persistence, routes of produce contamination, agricultural water, and harvest and postharvest water are among the core research areas listed. A complete list of research priorities is posted on the home page of the CPS website,

CPS and its partners sponsor research projects designed to fill basic knowledge gaps in specific areas of food safety practices for fruit, vegetable, and tree nut production, as well as harvest and post-harvest handling. Jim McFerson, manager, Washington Tree Fruit Commission stated, “The CPS is a magnificent example of the power of partnerships. By working across states, across commodity groups, and across shared research priorities, we leverage funding and technical expertise to deliver science-based solutions to our diverse produce industries.” CPS has compiled an impressive four-year body of work, awarding nearly $13.6 million and funding 85 one and two-year research projects at 27 universities and organizations.

To view the full RFP, visit the CPS website at Proposals are due by March 14, 2014, 5 p.m. PST, and should be submitted through the CPS Grant System website at All qualified research professionals are eligible to apply for CPS funding.

2014 RFP Partners

The California Department of Food and Agriculture serves the citizens of California by promoting and protecting a safe, healthy food supply, and enhancing local and global agricultural trade, through efficient management, innovation and sound science, with a commitment to environmental stewardship.

The Idaho State Department of Agriculture (ISDA) serves consumers and agriculture by safeguarding the public, plants, animals, and the environment through education and regulation. ISDA’s Market Development Division aims to promote Idaho’s food and agriculture industry by expanding opportunities in domestic and foreign markets, fostering industry growth and profitability.

The Oregon Department of Agriculture serves the people by ensuring food safety and providing consumer protection; protecting the natural resource base for present and future generations of farmers and ranchers; and promoting economic development and expansion of market opportunities for Oregon agricultural products.

The Washington State Department of Agriculture serves the people of Washington by supporting the agricultural community and promoting consumer and environmental protection. Its staff carries out a broad spectrum of activities that support the producers, distributors, and consumers of Washington's food and agricultural products.

The Almond Board of California (ABC) was established in 1950 by growers and handlers and serves to promote almonds through its research-based approach to all aspects of farming, production, and marketing.  In order to ensure credibility of California almonds throughout the world, food safety research and educational outreach to growers and handlers remains a vital part of the activities of the ABC.

The California 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, works 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.

The California Leafy Greens Research Board funds university and USDA research projects in the areas of genetics, pest management, water quality, and food safety. The program also provides opportunities for researchers to interact with leafy greens handlers and growers. This helps producers to stay on top of the latest research findings and helps researchers in identifying objectives that will contribute to the continued success of the leafy greens industry in California.

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 all varieties of melons, with the exception of watermelons.

The California Pistachio Research Program is a California State Marketing Order, authorized by a grower referendum in December 2007, operating under the oversight of the California Department of Food and Agriculture. Mandatory assessments paid by pistachio producers are used to fund research on pistachio propagation, production, harvesting, handling and preparation for market as well as provide educational opportunities and materials for pistachio growers.

The National Mango Board (NMB) marketing program targets consumers along with retailers, foodservice, nutritionists and other key audiences with information about selection, ripening, cutting, varieties, nutrition and great recipes. The research program helps the entire mango supply chain deliver a quality product to the U.S. consumer, with research to help educate growers, shippers, packers, importers, retailers and others. The NMB research program also investigates the phytonutrient properties of mangos and conducts studies about their potential health benefits. The NMB industry relations program reaches out to the mango industry to share the NMB's results and resources and to learn more about what the industry needs.

The Washington Tree Fruit Research Commission was established to promote and carry on research and administer specific industry service programs which benefit the planting, production, harvesting, handling, processing or shipment of tree fruit from the state.

About CPS

Center for Produce Safety

The Center for Produce Safety (CPS) 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, initial funding for CPS was provided by the California Department of Food and Agriculture, the University of California, Produce Marketing Association and Taylor Farms. Ongoing administrative costs are covered by the Produce Marketing Association, enabling industry and public funds to go exclusively to research.


Bonnie Fernandez-Fenaroli, Executive Director, (530) 757-5777,

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