Thursday 3rd May 2012, 09:09 Central Time
PMA and UFPA react to speculation
Joint statement calls for patience as reports claim a proposal to merge the US associations will soon be voted upon
A joint task force between the United Fresh Produce Association (UFPA) and the Produce Marketing Association (PMA), which is looking at the potential for a merger of the two national fresh produce trade organisations in the US, has released a statement in response to what it calls 'incorrect reports' of a potential conclusion to talks.
Task force leaders Steffanie Smith and Mike O'Brien claimed that both boards were continuing discussions about 'the best way to serve our members', adding that 'no final decisions have been made', dismissing recent published reports which claimed an agreement was close.
"While we appreciate that there is interest in our discussions, we respectively request a chance to complete our work in confidence," the joint statement read. "We will report to and engage in dialogue with all our members as they have the final decision."
Earlier, The Produce News claimed that 'multiple anonymous sources' had said the merger proposal had been presented to board representatives of both associations, and that a vote had been slated for 4 June.
The publication reported that the new, merged entity would be called United Fresh Produce Marketing Association, with two offices initially in Washington DC and Wilmington, a board consisting of 'an equal number of current sitting members of each board, and a smaller committee comprising a similar structure to the board that would determine the makeup of the senior management.