International Fresh Produce Association makes its debut
January 2022 marks the start of the new International Fresh Produce Association (IFPA), the global trade association representing the fresh produce and floral supply chains. The association represents 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 media, policymakers and change leaders invested in the solutions the industry has the power to provide.
“The challenges we face today span the entire consumption continuum from food insecurity on one end to food waste on the other,” said IFPA co-CEO Cathy Burns. “From changing climate patterns to shifting geo-political environments, 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 look forward to welcoming others to join our efforts.”
IFPA is a new association formed under the leadership of the two previous fresh produce and floral associations, United Fresh Produce Association and Produce Marketing Association. The new organization is not simply a combination of these two organizations, IFPA is transformational.
IFPA will advocate nationally and globally for the fresh supply chains through government advocacy and leadership especially in the North American Market. The association will also grow connections within the industry and between the industry and the world for the better outcomes of both. They will also guide the industry and partners with expertise on the IFPA team and through volunteer leaders.
“Our association is driven by the engaged leadership of our volunteer leaders as well,” said IFPA co-CEO, Tom Stenzel. “We were thrilled to receive more than 1,000 applications from volunteers across the industry, a sign of support for our association, but also an indication of the enthusiasm and urgency our industry feels about our role in today’s global environment.”
The association is led by co-CEOs Burns and Stenzel, along with experts from food safety and technology to retail and engagement. Additionally, the association is guided by 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, serves as 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, vice-president, produce and floral merchandising at Wegmans Food Markets, serves as the first IFPA Foundation chair.