The International Fresh Produce Association (IFPA)—the global trade association representing the entire fresh produce and floral supply chains and the union of the former Produce Marketing Association (PMA) and United Fresh—has officially launched. The IFPA is now the largest industry association representing the interests, individuals and organizations across the global supply chain, of all sizes and specialties.
The association is also positioned to serve as a resource and partner for the media, policymakers and change leaders who are invested in the solutions the industry has the power to provide, the organization said.
“The challenges we are facing today span the entire consumption continuum from food insecurity on one end to food waste on the other,” said IFPA co-CEO Cathy Burns in a statement. “From changing climate patterns to shifting geo-political environments, we understand that the stakes have never been so high not only for the livelihood of our industry—but for the world. The fresh produce industry offers solutions to almost every major global health and economic challenge, and we are looking forward to welcoming others to join our efforts.”
IFPA is a new association formed under the leadership of the two previous leading fresh produce and floral associations—Washington, D.C.-based United Fresh Produce Association and PMA of Newark, Del.—and not simply a combination of the two entities. “IFPA is transformational,” the newly launched organization said.
IFPA will serve to advocate nationally and globally for the fresh supply chains through government advocacy and leadership, especially in the North American market. The association will also continue to grow connections within the industry and between the industry and the world for the better outcomes of both, added IFPA. It further aims to guide the industry and its partners through the IFPA team and volunteer leaders.
“Our association is not only for our members, but it is also driven by the engaged leadership of our volunteer leaders as well,” said IFPA co-CEO Tom Stenzel. “We were thrilled to receive over 1,000 applications from volunteers across the industry, a sign of support for our association, but also an indication of the enthusiasm and urgency that our industry feels about the role we have to play in today’s global environment. We exist to create a vibrant future, not just for our industry, but for all.”
The association will be led by Burns and Stenzel, along with a team of experts from food safety and technology to retail and engagement. Additionally, the association will be guided by the industry volunteer leaders on the board and the executive committee.
The IFPA executive committee is led by IFPA Chairman Bruce Taylor, CEO of Taylor Farms. Laura Himes, divisional merchandise manager for produce at Walmart, serves as chair-elect and Patrick Vizzone, head of food, beverage and agribusiness at ANZ Banking, is secretary-treasurer.
Past chairs include United Fresh Chairman Danny Dumas, president of Courchesne Larose USA Inc., and PMA Chairman Dwight Ferguson, president and CEO of the California Agricultural Leadership Foundation. Martha Hilton, VP of produce and floral merchandising for Wegmans Food Markets, serves as the first IFPA Foundation chair.