Progressive Grocer - September 2011 - (Page 145)

PMA Perspectives Practical Implications of Food Safety Research Three produce pros discuss the results from the second annual Center for Produce Safety Research Symposium. P MA founded Center for Produce Safety (CPS) in 2007, along with the University of California at Davis, the California Department of Food and Agriculture, and Taylor Farms. PMA will have provided nearly $2.6 million by the end of 2011 to fund the center’s operations for its first four years. The association also Dave Corsi contributes in kind the work of Dr. Bob Whitaker, PMA’s chief science and technology officer, who chairs the center’s Technical Committee and is a member of its Executive Committee. Here, Whitaker talks with two produce industry leaders, Dave Corsi, VP of produce for Rochester, N.Y.-based Wegmans Food Markets and past chairman of PMA’s board of directors, and Joe Pezzini, COO of Castroville, Calif.-based Ocean Mist Farms and chair of PMA’s Produce Safety, Science and Technology Committee, about the recently held Produce Research Symposium and the implications of the research results. Whitaker: The second annual CPS Research Symposium was held in Orlando, Fla., on June 28, 2011, and presented 16 CPS-funded research programs from seven institutions. A food safety-focused audience from across the fresh produce supply chain participated in crossdisciplinary discussions of the research findings’ real-world value. The symposium demonstrated a profound and critical return on the investment the industry and PMA have made in this arena. Dave, why was the symposium so successful? Corsi: Food safety continues to be our most pressing issue. The symposium represents a truly unique opportunity to address priority research for the industry and translate it into best practices. The inclusive nature of this forum — uniting retailers, foodservice operators, growers, regulators, Dr. Bob Whitaker Joe Pezzini world-class scientists and everyone in between — ensured viewpoints from all segments. Whitaker: And let me add, the specific nature of these research projects yielded some great information the industry has been lacking. But, like beauty, the research value is in the eyes of the beholder. It’s now up to individual companies to find out what the research said and incorporate it into best practices. Dave, why does this research matter to retailers, and how difficult is it for retailers and other industry companies to understand what was presented at the symposium? Corsi: Retailers are the last link in the food safety chain before the consumer. All our efforts to ensure the safety of the food we handle are moot if we don’t have a safe product to start with. Issues affecting the entire production and distribution system certainly matter to us. The practical discussion woven into the symposium resulted in easily digestible information. Companies can review the projects by accessing reports from the symposium, abstracts of these research programs, and peer reviews on the CPS or PMA websites, or At Wegmans, we partner with a wide scale of farming operations, large and small. The research can be valuable to any size of operation, and we can assist in spreading the word on the latest research findings. Whitaker: While we encourage people to look at the September 2011 | | 145

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Progressive Grocer - September 2011

Progressive Grocer - September 2011
Table of Contents
New Era for Old World
Inside the Market Basket
Perfect Partners
Still Pink
Progressive Grocer Independent: Lasting Impressions
Breakfast Retailing Handbook: Breakfast Across the Store
Breakfast Foods/Frozen Waffles, Pancakes and French Toast
Cereal, Energy and Snack Bars, Q4 2010-Q1 2011
Fresh Priorities
Innovation in Focus
Goodness Grazing
Practical Implications of Food Safety Research
Gleaming Opportunities
Putting the Shine On
Seasonal Excitement
What Price Beauty?
Progressive Grocer Tech: Sourcing Savings
Bright Ideas
Supplier Side News
Editors’ Picks for Innovative Products

Progressive Grocer - September 2011