For fresh produce marketing in Australia and New Zealand
John Hey



Friday 29th October 2021, 17:16 Melbourne

International Fresh Produce Association unveils board

PMA and United Fresh reveal name and leadership of new association

International Fresh Produce Association unveils board

Co-CEOs of the International Fresh Produce Association, Cathy Burns (left) and Tom Stenzel (right)

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Produce Marketing Association (PMA) and United Fresh leaders have provided a series of updates on their newly formed organisation, which has been named the International Fresh Produce Association. 

PMA and United Fresh, the two national produce associations in the US, announced plans to join forces in March this year, and the International Fresh Produce Association is set to launch on 1 January 2022.

Co-CEOs of the new association, Cathy Burns and Tom Stenzel, were joined by executive committee members in a Zoom announcement on 28 October to share details of the organisation, including the board of directors. 

Selecting and recruiting the board of directors was one of the first responsibilities of the newly announced executive committee.

“I’m excited to have the opportunity to lead and collaborate with this board of directors,” said Bruce Taylor, chair of the new organisation and CEO of Taylor Farms.

“This group, in partnership with staff, will help set the strategic tone and direction as we deliver against the seven strategic priorities shared when the new organisation was announced in March. I can’t wait to get started.”

Building on a combined history of strong volunteer leadership, the board of directors will work in partnership with an experienced team at the new association to provide guidance and expertise for industry members across the fresh produce and floral supply chains.

“In assembling this board of directors, we sought to strike a balance of those individuals who had strong prior experience from serving on United and PMA volunteer groups as well as emerging leaders who will bring new perspectives and insights to drive the new organisation forward and create solutions to address industry challenges,” said Danny Dumas, UFPA chair and president, of Courchesne Larose USA.

When the new association was announced, PMA and United Fresh also shared the strategic commitments of the new association launching in January 2022. Developed by board leaders from both associations, these priorities include a commitment to all sectors of the fresh produce and floral supply chains; a commitment to growing demand and profitability; and a commitment to global engagement.

“Because the new organisation will reflect global fresh produce and floral communities, the new board is organised to represent the many businesses we’ll serve in coming years as we work together to help our members prosper,” said Dwight Ferguson, PMA chair and president and CEO of the California Agricultural Leadership Foundation.

The new association board of directors includes:

Grower-shipper: Jeff Huckaby, CEO, Grimmway Enterprises

Foodservice: Melissa Ackerman, president and operations director, Produce Alliance 
Fresh-Cut Processor: Raina Nelson, president US, Westfalia Fruit Marketing

Wholesaler-distributor: Tom Brugato, president, Pacific Coast Fruit Company 
Retail: pending 

Directors representing industry expertise:

Finance & business management: Michael Castagnetto, president, Robinson Fresh
Food Safety: Cheryl Enlow, VP of QA and food safety, Renaissance Food Group 
Supply chain logistics: Drew Zabrocki, general manager, value chain insights & interoperability, Semios  
Marketing & merchandising: Abby Prior, SVP of sales & marketing, Bright Farms 
Sustainability: Nikki Cossio, founder & CEO, Measure to Improve 
Technology: James Rogers, CEO, Apeel Sciences  

US government relations director:  

Brian Kocher, president and CEO, Castellini Companies  

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, Joy Wing Mau Group

Directors representing floral:
Carlos Oramas, CEO, Gems Group
Debora Steier, Vice President of Floral, Albertsons Companies  

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 of procurement, produce, Whole Food
Adriëlle Dankier, chief commercial officer, Nature’s Pride
Inci Dannenberg, head of vegetable seeds, global strategic marketing, Bayer
Karen Fernald, SVP category, merchandising pricing, Food Lion
Jose Antonio Gomez, CEO, Camposol 
Candice Herndon, president, North America, IFCO Systems
Jamey Higham, president and CEO, Idaho Potato Commission
Jacob Krempel, vice-president of procurement, HelloFresh
Zak Lafitte, president, Wonderful Citrus
Dan Mathieson, CEO, Zespri International

Amy McClellan, vice-president of fresh merchandising, SpartanNash 

Nelson Montoya, president of fresh Fruit, Dole Food Company
Julie Olivarria, vice-president of produce, Sysco Corporation
Mark Powers, president, Northwest Horticultural Council 
Michael Simonetta, CEO, Perfection Fresh  
Brie Reiter Smith, VP of product leadership, Driscoll’s
Debbie Raton Walker, vice-president of purchasing and analytics, Darden
Dorn Wenniger, senior vice-president of produce, UNFI

As previously announced, the executive committee for the new organisation includes: 

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


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