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What you need to know about the merged PMA/United: Event calendar, directors, core strategies

IFPA Announces Winners of Root Cause Analysis Award

The wait is over. The Produce Marketing Association and United Fresh Produce Association unveiled their merged identity during a news conference Oct. 28: The International Fresh Produce Association.

PMA and United plan to continue operating through the end of 2021, with the new association taking over January 1, with Cathy Burns and Tom Stenzel as co-CEOs. Stenzel previously announced plans to retire at the end of 2022.

The new association is rooted in Seven Strategies:

  • Serve all sectors of the global fresh produce and floral supply chains, growing our global membership and participation.
  • Providing expertise and business solutions in food safety, new technology, supply chain management, sustainability, leadership and talent development, business operations, marketing and more.
  • Conduct government advocacy and leadership to build and maintain a positive business climate in the United States and the North American market.
  • Bringing all sectors of our diverse supply chain together to better understand our interconnections and support efficiency and profitability throughout the chain.
  • Engage with global bodies and allied organizations to promote free and fair trade, international harmonization of standards, and worldwide growth in consumption.
  • Enhance business-to-business sales and marketing connections across the produce and floral supply chains.
  • Demand creation to inspire consumers to embrace produce and floral products as essential parts of their lives, while increasing profitable sales of members’ products.

IFPA had a few announcements right out of the gate, including a new foundation to succeed the United Fresh Start Foundation and Center for Growing Talent by PMA, The Foundation for Fresh Produce.

The association also released its first calendar of events, heavy on international events, though leaders said regional and niche events are expected to be added throughout the year. Notable changes include just one large expo, The Global Produce and Floral Show, replacing PMA’s Fresh Summit.

Date Location Event
January 18 -19 San Francisco, CA  Executive Leadership Summit
8-Feb Berlin, Germany Executive Leadership Summit
March Washington, DC Washington  Spring Fly-In
March 27 -April 1 Ithaca, NY Executive Leadership Development Program at Cornell University
29-Mar Anaheim, CA The Floral Conference
April 10 – 12 Santa Ana Pueblo, NM Women’s Fresh Perspectives Conference
May 16 – 18 San Diego, CA The BrandStorm Conference
May 17 – 19 Guadalajara, Mexico The Mexico Conference
24-May Miami, FL  The Floral Conference
June 6 – 8 Brisbane, AU Hort Connections
July 28 – 29 Monterey, CA The Foodservice Conference
August 17 – 18 Cape Town, South Africa The Southern Africa Conference
31-Aug Sao Paulo, Brazil The Brazil Conference
September 26 – 28 Washington, DC The Washington Conference
October 27 – 29 Orlando, FL The Global Produce and Floral Show

IFPA also is led by the following volunteer leaders:

Executive Committee

  • Chair: Bruce Taylor, CEO, Taylor Farms
  • Chair-Elect Laura Himes, DMM Produce, Walmart
  • Secretary Treasurer Patrick Vizzone, head of food, beverage and agribusiness, ANZ Banking
  • Past Chair(s): Danny Dumas, president of Courchesne Larose USA Inc. and Dwight Ferguson, president and CEO, California Agricultural Leadership Foundation
  • Foundation Chair: Martha Hilton, vice president produce and floral merchandising, Wegman’s

Directors Representing Market Segments  

  • Grower-Shipper: Jeff Huckaby, CEO, Grimmway Enterprises Inc.
  • Foodservice: Melissa Ackerman, president and operations director, Produce Alliance
  • Fresh-Cut Processor: Raina Nelson, president U.S., Westfalia Fruit Marketing USA LLC
  • Wholesaler-Distributor: Tom Brugato, president, Pacific Coast Fruit Co.
  • Retail:     Pending

Directors representing Industry Expertise  

  • Finance & Business Management: Michael Castagnetto, president, Robinson Fresh
  • Food Safety: Cheryl Enlow, vice president of QA and food safety, Renaissance Food Group
  • Supply Chain Logistics: Drew Zabrocki, general manager, value chain insights and interoperability, Semios
  • Marketing & Merchandising: Abby Prior, senior vice president of sales and marketing, Bright Farms
  • Sustainability: Nikki Cossio, founder and CEO, Measure to Improve LLC.
  • Technology: James Rogers, CEO, Apeel Sciences

U.S. Government Relations Director: Brian Kocher, president and CEO, Castellini Cos.

Directors Representing Global Markets:  

  • Australia-New Zealand: Katie De Villers, head of sales, One Harvest
  • Brazil: Gilson Lucato, commercial director, Citricola Lucato
  • Chile: Cristian Ureta, CEO, Exser
  • Mexico: Ernesto Cardona, president and operations director, Australtrading
  • South Africa: Trevor Dukes, CEO, The Fruit Farm Group
  • China: Liu Mau Wah, chairman of the group, Joy Wing Mau Group

Directors Representing Floral:  

  • Carlos Oramas, CEO, Gems Group, Inc.
  • Debora Steier, vice president of floral, Albertsons Cos.

In addition to these leaders, the new association’s Board also includes at-large directors:  

  • Amelie Aust, owner, board vice chair, Fall Creek Farm & Nursery
  • Erik Brown, executive leader – procurement, produce, Whole Food
  • Adriëlle Dankier, chief commercial officer, Nature’s Pride
  • Inci Dannenberg, head of vegetable seeds global strategic marketing, Bayer
  • Karen Fernald, senior vice president category, merchandising pricing, Food Lion
  • Jose Antonio Gomez, CEO, Camposol
  • Candice Herndon, president, North America, IFCO Systems N.A.
  • Jamey Higham, president and CEO, Idaho Potato Commission
  • Jacob Krempel, vice president, Procurement, HelloFresh
  • Zak Lafitte, president, Wonderful Citrus
  • Dan Mathieson, CEO, Zespri International, LTD.
  • Amy McClellan, vice president, fresh merchandising, SpartanNash
  • Nelson Montoya, president, Fresh Fruit, Dole Food Co.
  • Julie Olivarria, vice president, produce, Sysco Corp.
  • Mark Powers, president, Northwest Horticultural Council
  • Michael Simonetta, CEO, Perfection Fresh
  • Brie Reiter Smith, vice president of product leadership, Driscoll’s
  • Debbie Raton Walker, vice president, purchasing and analytics, Darden
  • Dorn Wenniger, senior vice president of produce, UNFI

Read more about the merged association here: 


Pamela Riemenschneider is the Retail Editor for Blue Book Services