Produce Marketing Association CEO Cathy Burns and Tom Stenzel, CEO of United Fresh Produce Association, announced several updates on the future merger of the associations during a press conference Oct. 28.
The organizations announced earlier this year their intent to create a new global trade association that combines their resources and expertise. The new association will be called the International Fresh Produce Association.
Burns and Stenzel, who are IFPA’s co-CEOs, were joined by industry leaders to share updates about the new produce and floral association.
Both United Fresh and PMA will continue to operate as independent organizations through 2021. They are supporting each other in their ongoing operations, while finalizing plans for the new association.
The IFPA will represent fresh produce and floral needs and speak with a more unified voice; demonstrate its relevance to the world at large; advocate for member interests and foster a new understanding of fresh produce and floral.
The IFPA will be the largest and most diverse international association serving the fresh produce and floral supply chain. It will integrate world-facing advocacy with industry-facing support.
Burns and Stenzel will continue to work together through 2021 to build out the new association, and will then serve as co-CEOs through 2022, launching the new organization together. After that, 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.
Floral Marketing Alliance
The IFPA will begin operations on Jan. 1. It was also shared that as the association launches, so will a new initiative – the Floral Marketing Alliance.
During the briefing, IFPA Executive Committee member Dwight Ferguson talked about the alliance. The floral community has been growing for decades, and International Fresh Produce Association sees floral as a critical component and community of the association.
“International Fresh Produce Association will be the association for the floral marketing community that has been growing since the 1970s,” said Ferguson, president and CEO of the California Agricultural Leadership Foundation.
“In launching the Floral Marketing Alliance, we are furthering our commitment to the floral community and formalizing our role as an association representing our floral members across the supply chain by actively partnering with organizations who promote the consumption of mass-market floral.”
In November, the primary contacts for existing members of United Fresh and/or PMA will receive a form asking them to commit to membership in the new association and outlining the dues for 2022.
All memberships will run on a January-December cycle. Members of PMA that previously had a different anniversary renewal date will be credited for any pre-paid months.
The association is committed to including a wide array of industry leaders throughout a broad volunteer leadership structure.
Visit the volunteer page to submit interest in serving as a volunteer leader. All volunteer leaders will need to be employed by a company that is a member in good standing of IFPA as of January.
The new organization will be led by a board of directors and multiple volunteer leadership groups representing industry market sectors, global regions and subject matter expertise.
Questions concerning the newly formed The Foundation for Fresh Produce also were addressed.
The foundation’s focus will be to improve access to fresh fruits and vegetables. The programs and efforts of the foundation will complement the work of the new association without duplication.
The overall vision will be to grow a healthier world through improved access to fresh fruits and vegetables and increased consumption of fresh produce with the support of the produce industry.
The United Fresh Start Foundation will continue to operate during the transition process as well.
Floral members are encouraged to mark their calendars for at least four events in the coming year. These include:
• Jan. 7 – Floral buyer sourcing meetings;
• March 29 – The Floral Conference, Anaheim, California;
• May 24 – The Floral Conference, Miami, Florida; and
• Oct. 27-29 – The Global Produce and Floral Show, Orlando, Florida.
The above information can be found on the PMA website. To learn more about IFPA, click here.
Content Creator Eric Pereira contributed to this article.