Washington, D.C. – Produce distributors will now have an even stronger advocacy trade association to tackle challenges unique to the middle of the supply chain.
The Produce Distributors Association (PDA) BB #:396824 – originally founded in 1989 as NAPAR (National Association of Perishable Agricultural Receivers) and headquartered in Washington, D.C. – is the first and only organization of its kind that solely advocates for fresh produce distributors.
Initially an east coast-based organization made up of terminal market members, a key goal of the reborn organization is to build national membership with broad representation by the next generation in the evolution of produce distribution.
“We want to remake NAPAR and have started with a simplified name change,” says Mathew D’Arrigo, PDA board chair and owner of D’Arrigo New York, Inc., in Bronx, NY. “Our first goal is to cast a much wider net over the industry. When we move from terminal market membership to the population of any produce distributor in America, numbers go up 20, 30, and 40-fold and so does industry representation. This then leads to a second goal: To develop lobbying expertise and an agenda of topics of concern that specifically affect produce distributors.”
D’Arrigo says the PDA will give a strong and active political voice and a much-needed seat at the table in Washington, D.C. “A third goal is for PDA to serve as a watchdog, as an insurance policy. Our representation in Washington will be our eyes and ears, reporting back to the membership on current topics and those lurking in the future, so we can get a proactive head start on these issues,” adds D’Arrigo.
Current issues include making sure produce distributors are treated fairly by the revised FSMA 204 regulations and assuring that any revisions in requirements for distributors of organic fruits and vegetables are reasonable.
“The mission of PDA is to assure that we as produce distributors are treated fairly, kept in the loop on important issues, and have a seat at the table when decisions are made by Congress and regulatory agencies,” says Alan Siger, PDA president and past president and CEO of Consumers Produce Co., Inc., in Pitsburgh, PA, for over four decades.