United Fresh Produce Association Announces Registration Open for Class Three of Produce Safety Immersion Program; Jennifer McEntire and Natalie Dyenson Comment
WASHINGTON, DC - Education is the key to a better future, and we know this well in the fresh produce industry. United Fresh Produce Association is aiming to improve food safety in the sector as it opens the application period for its Class Three of the Produce Safety Immersion Program. The program is sponsored by Calavo Growers and Renaissance Food Group at the gold level, and Ecolab at the silver level, and will allow the next generation to build their technical capacity, critical thinking skills, and leadership attributes.
“Through the first two years of this unique program, we have successfully supported the career development of dozens of produce safety professionals throughout the industry, and it’s been a joy to watch them grow,” said Dr. Jennifer McEntire, Senior Vice President, Food Safety and Technology, United Fresh. “Class Three Fellows will engage in a variety of in-person and virtual networking and education opportunities to build their professional network, interpret and apply technical information, and ultimately better serve the industry and consumers.”
According to a press release, the program offers a balance of face-to-face meetings, trainings, tailored webinars, networking, and professional development sessions with industry leaders, as well as an ongoing mentorship program. Four talented produce safety professionals will serve as mentors to the program fellows and will support the professional growth and development of the cohort.
“As a mentor for the Program’s Class Two, I have seen firsthand the immense impact United Fresh’s engaging program has on up-and-coming produce safety professionals,” said Natalie Dyenson, Vice President, Food Safety and Quality, Dole Food Company. “As produce safety continues to evolve, professional development opportunities like this will be crucial to prepare for the scientific, technological, regulatory, and market changes of the future.
Class Three will be faced with produce safety topics such as outbreak investigations, traceability, environmental monitoring, statistics of sampling, food law, and more. Early-to-mid career professionals with less than five years of experience in produce safety are encouraged to apply for Class Three, which will launch in January 2022. Applications will be evaluated by past mentors and program alumni, based on their backgrounds, roles in the industry, career aspirations, and recommendations.
United Fresh is also hosting an informational webinar about the Produce Safety Immersion Program on October 19 at 2 p.m. ET/11 a.m. PT. Dr. McEntire will discuss the impact of the program, the tentative 2022 schedule, and application instructions. Alumni and current program members will be sharing their experiences as well. Registration for the webinar is available here, and the application deadline is October 31.
So, who’s ready to talk produce safety?