United Fresh Produce Association and Produce Marketing Association Reveal Positive Member Vote on New Organization
WASHINGTON DC & NEWARK, DE - As we reported earlier this week, United Fresh Produce Association and Produce Marketing Association (PMA) were holding member votes to seek approval to move forward with the merging of the two organizations. After the votes were held, each association has reported full confidence in the initiative by its member bases. With approval in hand, the associations are now moving forward with devising a new membership blueprint, including rates and leadership structures.
“Both Tom and I are thrilled with the overwhelming support from members of both associations regarding the new organization we’ll launch together next year,” said PMA CEO Cathy Burns. “We’re excited that our members will immediately be able to experience how we are Better Together as we look to provide even greater value and leverage an even stronger voice on the issues our members and our industry care most about.”
The member votes were the final steps needed in approval to dissolve each organization as its own entity at the end of the year in order to incorporate a new association beginning January 1, 2022.
According to a press release, the organization will represent the entire global produce and floral supply chains, with CEOs Cathy Burns and Tom Stenzel serving as Co-CEOs for the year. Following that period, Burns will become sole CEO.
“Ever since we broached the subject with our respective boards, we have been encouraged by the industry’s support for the new association,” said Michael Muzyk, President, Baldor Specialty Foods, Inc., and United Fresh Chairman.
Following the approval of the initiative, both PMA and United Fresh have indicated that the next priority will be to create the organization’s new structure to best serve the industry’s goals and needs. Members can expect an update on the staff team, volunteer leadership structure, and business plans for 2022 within the coming months.
“We strongly believe that this is the right move for our industry, but it is critical that our members share this vision,” added Dwight Ferguson, President and CEO, California Agricultural Leadership Foundation, and PMA Chairman. “The confidence seen by the membership via this vote is a critical milestone in this journey and we’re looking forward to spending the next several months building the strongest organization for our members, our industry, and the world that depends on us for sustenance and joy.”
Based on the positive member vote, both associations will now honor the membership status of the other organization when it comes to registering for events and programs. United Fresh members can receive the PMA member rate when registering for PMA events and vice versa.
“As new partners coming together at year-end, we encourage companies that are members of one or the other associations to begin experiencing the benefits of both,” said United Fresh President and CEO Tom Stenzel. “We strongly encourage members of both organizations to participate in the United Fresh Reimagine Connections event this June, and the PMA Foodservice Conference in July.”
With United Fresh and PMA continuing to create the new organizational structure, AndNowUKnow will bring you the latest updates as they become available.