The International Fresh Produce Association's Foundation for Fresh Produce (FFP) and Produce for Better Health Foundation (PBH) announced they will combine their non-profit organizations to advance fruit and vegetable consumption in America and create the largest global community of advocates for produce, according to a press release this week.
PBH will become a part of the Foundation for Fresh Produce on Jan. 1.
“Combining our two organizations allows us to leverage the PBH recognized and trusted consumer channels and scale some Foundation for Fresh Produce initiatives. Under the Foundation for Fresh Produce, we will be able to galvanize our efforts around the mission of driving consumption to alleviate the many public health and personal wellness challenges that stem from nutrition insecurity,” said Martha Hilton, vice president of produce and floral at Wegmans and chair of the Foundation for Fresh Produce, in a statement. “With so much misinformation, the opportunity to communicate the benefits of fruits and vegetables is paramount.”
The FFP and PBH will be able to deliver even greater impact and value to produce industry members, said the release, and will be offering “streamlined, cohesive investment opportunities and a research-based, consumer-focused platform that can ignite consumption behavior change.”
“Bringing these two 501(c)(3)s together not only allows us to further scale proven initiatives to pursue our shared mission, but it also allows us to achieve a unified and powerful voice,” said CarrieAnn Arias, vice president of marketing at Naturipe Farms, LLC and chair of the PBH board of trustees, in a statement. “Today, where public health is at the center of some of our greatest challenges, the advocacy needed to improve nutrition security requires resources and strategic partnerships. Bringing these organizations together is the ultimate collaboration and will position our industry to take on a significant role in increasing consumption of fruits and vegetables.”
The Foundation for Fresh Produce focuses on “improving the appeal of fruits and vegetables as a part of consumers’ diets,” and PBH inspires daily consumption of fruits and vegetables with “ways to create new fruit and vegetable consumption behaviors.” PBH announced that they will hold their Retail & Foodservice Immersion Event in conjunction with IFPA’s Global Produce & Floral Show in Orlando, Florida, in October. The Foundation for Fresh Produce will host The Race for a Healthier World 5k at the Orlando event.
“The produce industry has the potential to provide solutions to many of the greatest challenges we face, especially those around nutrition and hunger,” said Bruce Taylor, CEO of Taylor Farms and chair of the International Fresh Produce Association (IFPA) board of directors, in a statement. “Combining the efforts and assets of these two organizations will continue to bolster our efforts to help the world see the importance of investing in health over healthcare, by driving consumption of fruits and vegetables and tapping into the power of our industry to help change the trajectory of human health.”
The IFPA became official less than a year ago following the union of the former Produce Marketing Association and United Fresh. The group will debut its Global Produce & Floral Show in Orlando Oct. 27-29. The show will welcome produce and floral industry leaders and subject matter experts in food safety, technology and more.
“Despite the challenges we’re seeing with inflation and the economy, fresh produce remains a key differentiation point in your operations. While produce is selling fewer pounds than in 2019 (-0.8%), units are up by 2.1% — demonstrating the demand for the product is strong,” said IFPA chief strategy officer Lauren Scott in a recent WGB interview. “This shift to smaller pack sizes and other innovations are all part of what the buying community will see in Orlando for the Global Produce & Floral Show.”