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CPS Research Symposium will answer industry’s “what now?

CPS Research Symposium Final Banner

WOODLAND, Calif. – Produce safety research doesn’t have to be complicated. Center for Produce Safety’s BB #:339618 2023 Research Symposium will focus on making its research learnings relatable to industry when the event convenes June 20-21 in Atlanta’s Buckhead neighborhood.

“Center for Produce Safety is about ‘fueling change’, our mission statement ends intentionally with those two words,” said CPS board chair Joe Pezzini, who is Taylor Farms’ senior director of agricultural operations. “Each year, the knowledge transfer needed to fuel that change begins with our Research Symposium.”

Day 1 of this year’s in-person symposium will begin with a “Research 101” general session to teach even the least science-y attendees how to analyze and apply CPS research findings like a pro. A blue-ribbon panel of researchers and industry produce-safety leaders will explain in lay terms how to evaluate CPS research reports, then decide what learnings might apply to real-world businesses. Attendees will take away easy to follow how-tos.

That research codebreaking session will prepare attendees to evaluate the science reports that will follow over the event’s two days – 14 finished projects, and 26 ongoing ones. That will include findings from CPS’s latest rapid response research project, on the potential food safety issues presented by flooding. (CPS can deploy rapid response research when breaking produce-safety questions require fast answers outside of CPS’s annual research funding cycle.)

Final research reports will be followed by breakout sessions to help attendees understand and apply what they’ve learned to their operations.  Attendees will learn how to apply learnings involving other commodities or regions, and how to benefit from research findings even when additional study may be needed.  

“While the science we’ll hear is groundbreaking, the symposium’s value doesn’t end with researchers’ reports,” stressed Pezzini. “These breakout discussions will deliver real ROI we can take home to our businesses.”

Day 2 will open with an exploratory panel discussion, “Using the lessons from our past to create a better produce safety future.” Panelists will include food safety attorney Bill Marler, SmartWash Solutions’ Jim Brennan and McEntire Produce’s Alexandra Belias.

“Get ready for an honest, unvarnished discussion. Fresh produce food safety has such potential, and the silos are coming down,” said Pezzini. “We all have a role to play.”

Each day will conclude with a wrap-up of the day’s learnings led by an influential moderator. Day 1 will also feature a welcoming reception where attendees can meet and talk more with CPS-funded researchers – and their student research assistants, who soon will be looking to begin their careers.

“The symposium’s networking is as powerful as the education,” Pezzini said. “From the executive suite to the food safety manager, from growers to processors, this event is designed to meet your needs and help you grow your produce safety capabilities.”

Register early and save

For more information about and to register for this year’s event, and to book lodging at the beautiful Grand Hyatt Atlanta in Buckhead, visit CPS’s website at Register by May 31 to save.

Thanks to our event sponsors

2023 Research Symposium Platinum Sponsors are Western Growers and International Fresh Produce Association. Gold Sponsors are Northwest Horticultural Council, SmartWash Solutions, and Costco Wholesale. View a complete list of Silver Sponsors on CPS’s event web page.

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About Center for Produce Safety

The 501(c)(3) nonprofit Center for Produce Safety (CPS) focuses exclusively on funding science, finding solutions and fueling change in fresh produce food safety. The center is a unique partnership, bringing together leaders from industry, government, and the scientific and academic communities. CPS funds credible, independent research worldwide, then transfers that knowledge and tools to industry and other stakeholders through an annual Research Symposium, its website, webinars, trade press guest columns and other outreach. Since it was founded in 2007, Center for Produce Safety has invested more than $36 million to fund produce-specific safety research. For more information, visit