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Cornerstone Government Affairs and Hunt Shipmen to Represent PMA

Cornerstone Government Affairs and Hunt Shipmen to Represent PMA

The following was copied verbatim from a press release:

Anaheim, Calif. — During the annual State of the Industry Address at Produce Marketing Association’s (PMA) Fresh Summit in Anaheim, California, the association’s President Cathy Burns announced that Cornerstone Government Affairs, a Washington, D.C.-based public affairs firm, with the leadership of Hunt Shipman, will represent the association’s members on global industry issues. As a result of PMA’s new strategic plan announced late last year, the association is strengthening and restructuring its approach to addressing those issues that are most critical to the global produce industry like food safety, trade and consumption. This new focus, termed Issues Leadership, encompasses elements of government relations, public affairs and public relations to provide the industry with a solutions-based approach to shaping issues. Shipman and his team will provide critical expertise and communications approaches to bring value to PMA members.

“Our member leaders were very judicious in defining our Issues Leadership strategy and we couldn’t have found a better organization to guide our work as we implement that strategy,” says Burns. “The entire team at Cornerstone, led by Hunt Shipman, brings decades of experience to the conversation, with an extensive knowledge and passion for agriculture. I’m very confident that their addition to our team will have a great impact on our industry and the issues we face on a global level.”

Cornerstone Government Affairs is a market leader in the agriculture space and specializes in food and agricultural issues. In addition, the firm also has a large health practice with a strong emphasis on public health issues.

“We’re excited to put our team’s experience and expertise to work on behalf of the largest trade association for the produce and floral industries and the members they represent. This weekend’s show will provide us with a great opportunity to get to know more of PMA’s members and discuss firsthand the issues they face,” said Shipman.

With over two decades of experience in Washington, D.C., Shipman has held a variety of positions in government and the private sector. Prior to joining Cornerstone, he was a senior executive for the Food Products Association, where he led the association’s government affairs and communications programs. From 2001 to 2003, Hunt was Deputy Under Secretary for Farm and Foreign Agricultural Services and served as the acting Deputy Under Secretary for Marketing and Regulatory Programs at the United States Department of Agriculture and was the Department of Agriculture’s principal negotiator with Congress for the 2002 Farm Bill. Hunt also served as the staff director of the Senate Agriculture Committee, Professional Staff Member at the Senate Appropriations Committee, and on the personal staff of Senator Thad Cochran.

“The newly redefined approach to Issues Leadership includes a comprehensive toolkit,” says Tim Riley, president of The Giumarra Companies, and immediate past chair of PMA. “It’s a holistic approach that goes far beyond lobbying government organizations and focuses on developing relationships to create workable solutions. The tools we have will be used to address issues that were identified by industry members of the Issues Leadership task force. A set of filters was used to determine what issues were important to lead, based on the expertise of PMA staff and its volunteer leaders. We also developed a strategic role for PMA that sets out to support allied organizations where their expertise is better suited.”

PMA’s issues of focus, identified by the Issues Leadership Taskforce, include:

  • Food Safety Modernization Act
  • Outbreak investigations
  • Research funding for produce
  • Nutrition
  • Technology
  • Sustainability
  • Global trade
  • Information and data standards
  • Crisis management

Members of the PMA Issues Leadership task force which defined PMA’s areas of focus were:

  • Maureen Torrey Marshall, Torrey Farms, chair
  • Dave Corsi, Wegmans Food Markets, Inc.
  • Mike Hollister, Driscoll’s
  • Kent Shoemaker, Lipman Produce
  • Vic Smith, JV Smith Companies
  • Mike Stuart, Florida Fruit & Vegetable Association
  • Jin Ju Wilder,Valley Fruit & Produce Company
  • Lee Woodham, FreshPoint, Inc,
  • Jan DeLyser, California Avocado Commission


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