The Produce Marketing Association and United Fresh Produce Association have agreed in principle to create a new global trade association combining their resources and expertise. According to information released today, the new organization plans to enhance member services, increase advocacy before government and the public, help members grow their businesses and drive consumption of fresh produce and demand for floral products as a vital cornerstone of public health.
The two associations will continue to operate independently through 2021, and the new organization will begin operations Jan. 1, 2022. A new name has not been determined yet.
Members and staffs of both organizations have long recognized the potential synergies that might be achieved by combining efforts. However, that requires a mutual commitment to the priorities important to both associations and a blending of organizations that would truly result in greater value to the membership. Current CEOs Cathy Burns with PMA and Tom Stenzel with United Fresh share that commitment, and both boards have endorsed the agreement.
Burns and Stenzel will work together through 2021 to build out the new association and will then serve as co-CEOs through 2022, launching the new organization together. Following that time, Burns will become sole CEO.
Burns and Stenzel will report to a new board of directors that will blend current directors from each association and new directors committed to the success of the new association. During 2021, Burns and Stenzel will work to create a staff team to lead the new organization, as well as multiple volunteer leadership opportunities.
The new association will bring together the strengths and resources of both United Fresh and PMA, while streamlining communication and service to the fresh produce and floral industries. The new association also will be better positioned to drive increased produce consumption and floral demand. Valued programs offered by one or the other associations today will continue in the new organization, and new programs will be developed.
Throughout 2021, members will continue to enjoy the full complement of benefits and services of the associations to which their company currently belongs. If a membership is paid annually on a calendar year January-December, those interested may renew their membership in the new association as of Jan. 1, 2022. If a membership renews at a different anniversary date, staff will follow up to determine a plan to shift to a calendar year cycle as part of the transition process.