Southeast Produce Council Releases Statement in Support of Produce Marketing Association and United Fresh Produce Association Merger
MILLEN, GA - Support for for the recent merger between Produce Marketing Association (PMA) and United Fresh Produce Association continues to come in. Last week, we reported that the move to consolidate to create a new global trade association was backed by both of the associations’ member bases. Now, Southeast Produce Council’s (SEPC) Executive Committee has expressed its full support of the decision.
“As I listen to our members, the overall response to the proposed merger is tremendously positive for our industry,” said SEPC President and Chief Executive Officer. “I think it will allow the strengths of each association to have a greater reach, focus, and impact for the combined membership. I also believe it will allow regional associations, like the SEPC, to help drive the consumption of fresh fruits and vegetables with our non-competing networking events. We are excited to work together to create a healthier world.”
SEPC applauds both associations for joining forces in order to prioritize value for their member groups, a press release explained.
The association is eager to work with the new unified association to ensure that traditions are honored, events are non-competitive, and foundations are protected.
SEPC Chairman of the Board Harold Paivatrinta also chimed in, stating, “We congratulate the PMA and United Fresh leadership teams on their merger. The foresight and courage of Cathy Burns and Tom Stenzel to reignite discussions resulting in the successful merger of our industry’s two largest associations was undoubtedly one of the most significant achievements we’ve seen to date. The new association will add tremendous value to its members and provide comprehensive and well-rounded programs to all stakeholders.”
Raina Nelson, SEPC’s Vice Chair, also provided a comment on the associations’ decision to join forces.
“I am very excited and optimistic about the merger between PMA and United Fresh. Trade associations have the responsibility to work together to expand sustainable business and drive consumption of fresh fruits and vegetables for a healthier world. We believe the best relationships are symbiotic, and the SEPC looks forward to future collaboration with the new global trade association,” said Nelson.
Adding to the vast amount of support shown to United Fresh and PMA, SEPC Secretary Tim Graas also offered insight on how this merger could impact the industry moving forward.
“The merger between United Fresh and PMA can only enhance an already awesome, yet ever-changing, industry," he said. "The combined resources will position the new organization very well for the future to tackle, head-on, the challenges on the horizon. I am sure the combined organizations will make the overall industry stronger, and I look forward to what the future holds.”
Since its inception in 1999, SEPC’s mission has remained to promote the consumption of fresh fruits and vegetables specifically in the 10 Southeastern states it represents, and the unified new trade association will advance that mission.
"The merger of the PMA and United Fresh will add value to its members and to the industry, increasing the consumption of fresh fruits and vegetables along with education and awareness of all the great things produce has to offer,” said Treasurer Mike Roberts. “A very exciting time in our industry, and I look forward to seeing what this merger can accomplish in the years to come.”
The merger is expected to have several valuable impacts on the industry as they combine their strengths to tackle pressing industry challenges.
“The homogenization of United Fresh and PMA should strengthen public policy, fresh agricultural advocacy, and the global marketing of the fresh produce and floral business. Each brings their own unique strengths together to support their combined global reach goals,” said Bobby Creel, a valued member of SEPC’s Board of Governors. “The SEPC applauds their merger decision—as we continue to vigorously support our core ideology of growing consumption of fresh fruits and vegetables in the 10 Southeastern U.S. states that we steadfastly represent.”
With many industry greats backing this pivotal merger, AndNowUKnow will continue to report on the new association’s growth moving forward.