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Food Safety Workshops to Cover Topics Vital for Today’s Marketplace

The Tomato Magazine
October 2007

NEWARK, Del. – As part of its ongoing efforts to help produce industry members to address challenges to the industry’s food safety record, the Produce Marketing Association (PMA) will offer
a series of workshops on food safety topics for attendees of the largest U.S.-based annual gathering of the industry, the 2007 Fresh Summit International Convention and Exposition. Fresh Summit will be held Oct. 12-15 at the George R. Brown Conference Center, Houston, Texas.

The industry education workshops are part of a multimillion dollar, multifaceted food safety program that was adopted by PMA’s board at the 2006 Fresh Summit after a series of deadly foodborne illness outbreaks and product recalls were linked to U.S.-grown leafy greens. PMA’s program includes industry training and outreach, consumer communications and scientific research including $2 million to help establish the Center for Produce Safety at University of California at Davis.

“We are committed to doing whatever it takes to protect public health and rebuild consumer confi dence in the delicious, healthful products our members grow and market,” said PMA Vice President of Government Relations and Public Affairs Kathy Means. “These Fresh Summit workshops are but one example of our efforts to give our industry the tools it needs for this modern reality.”

The following workshops will be offered at Fresh Summit. Pre-registration ends Sept. 28; after that date, interested persons can register on-site in Houston.

Traceability: A Choice or a Necessity? This session, held Friday, Oct. 12, 2:45-4:00 p.m., provides attendees with an understanding of full supply chain traceability and how it works within the Best Practices Framework established last year by PMA and Canadian Produce Marketing Association. The workshop provides an opportunity to understand the benefi ts and effectiveness of a traceability program, and how to implement one. This workshop is designed to be applicable throughout the produce supply chain.

Food Safety: Change Is in the Air, Everywhere: A must-attend for everyone in the produce industry, this presentation will keep you ahead of the curve by informing you of updates, changes and breaking news related to food safety. PMA Senior Vice President of Industry Products and Services Lorna Christie and PMA Vice President of Government Relations and Public Affairs Kathy Means will offer details on the latest information available on food safety and cover the areas of greatest importance for the industry supply chain. The session takes place on Saturday, Oct. 13, from 9:35-10:50

Inside the Minds of Retailers and Consumers: This 90-minute session from 9:15-10:45 a.m. on Sunday, Oct. 14, will focus on how two different audiences --retailers and consumers--really perceive organics and food safety in the produce department. Ed McLaughlin, Debra Perosio, Ph.D., and Kristen Park of Cornell University’s Food Industry Management Programs will share the results of a recently conducted survey aimed at determining how well key produce executives really know their shoppers. After hearing results of the study, a retail panel will react to the findings.

Put New Food Safety Technologies to Work for You: Learn more at innovative emerging technologies that address today’s prominent food safety issues and concerns. PMA Vice President of Industry Technology and Standards Gary Fleming will be joined by UC Davis Center for Consumer Research Director Christine Bruhn, UC Davis Postharvest Technology Research and Information Center Executive Director Dr. James Gorny and Dr. Moon S. Kim, Ph.D., research biophysicist/project leader at the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Agriculture Research Service, to present this workshop held Sunday, Oct. 14, 9:15-10:45 a.m. Along with new technologies that are currently available, this informative session, moderated by U.S. Foodservice Vice President of Food Safety and Quality Assurance Jorge Hernandez, will also reveal those that are in the development stage. Updates and changes to other technologies--particularly irradiation--will also be discussed.

For more information about the 2007 Fresh Summit International Convention & Exposition, visit www.pma.com/freshsummit.

About Produce Marketing Association (PMA)
Founded in 1949, the Produce Marketing Association is the leading trade association serving more than 2,100 companies representing every segment of the global produce and floral supply chain. Members rely on PMA year round for the business solutions they need to increase sales and consumption, build strong professional relationships, and expand their business opportunities. For more information, visit www.pma.com.

© 2007 Columbia Publishing

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