Jan 26, 2022
IFPA announces Class Three of  Produce Safety Immersion Program  

International Fresh Produce Association (IFPA) announced Jan. 26 the Class Three Fellows of the Produce Safety Immersion Program, sponsored by Calavo Growers/Renaissance Food Group at the gold level, and Ecolab as a silver sponsor.

The 11 fellows will begin their journey virtually during a kickoff meeting later this month, and continue their year-long program with in-person and virtual meetings.

“We’re thrilled to welcome class three of the Produce Safety Immersion Program as they begin their journey as produce safety professionals,” Jennifer McEntire, chief food safety and regulatory officer at International Fresh Produce Association, said in a news release. “I’ve been so encouraged to see the personal and professional growth of members of the first two cohorts. We successfully combined elements of the previous classes and are excited to take what we learned to effectively build the technical capacity, critical thinking skills, and leadership attributes of this next class through a hybrid virtual and in-person format.”

The program combines a variety of approaches, including formal webinars, in-person trainings and site visits, informal networking, technical seminars, group work, individual projects, and problem-solving exercises, combined with mentorship. Four highly-skilled produce safety professionals will serve as mentors to the program fellows.

  Class Three Fellows include:

Mandy Chan, Driscoll’s Inc.

Annie Church, Farmer’s Fridge

Sarah Cope, North Carolina Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services

Quinn Cotter, Calavo Growers Inc.

Margaret Dominguez, Soli Organic Inc.

Hector Garza, Texas International Produce Association

Neal Mays, Safe Foods Corp.

Roberto Othon, SunFed

Sarah Salley, GreenGate Fresh, LLLP

Haley Stockton, Highland Ag Solutions

Early-to-mid career professionals with less than five years’ experience in produce safety were evaluated by members of the Produce Safety Immersion Program alumni and former or current Program mentors based on their backgrounds, roles in the industry, career aspirations, and recommendations. These budding produce safety professionals will be coached by the following mentors:

  • Donna Lynn Browne, Director of Food Safety & Social Responsibility, Naturipe Farms LLC
  • Chris Summers, Vice President of Food Safety, Mission Produce Inc.
  • Sergio Nieto-Montenegro, President, Food Safety Consulting & Training Solutions LLC
  • Brianne Froelich, Director of Science & Technology, Renaissance Food Group LLC

Several industry experts shared their knowledge and experiences with classes one and two, and we invite other interested members to reach out if they would like to support class three in this fashion. For more information about the program, contact Katie McGowan, IFPA’s Manager, Food Safety Programs, at 202-303-3402 or [email protected].

The International Fresh Produce Association (IFPA) is the largest and most diverse international association serving the entire fresh produce and floral supply chain and the only to seamlessly integrate world-facing advocacy and industry-facing support. We exist to bring the industry together to create a vibrant future for all. We grow our member’s prosperity by conducting advocacy; connecting people and ideas; and offering guidance that allows us all to take action with purpose and confidence.  While IFPA is built on the legacy of United Fresh and Produce Marketing Association, it is not just a combination. It is transformational.

Recognizing the industry required an even more powerful and unified voice, the leaders of the former United Fresh and Produce Marketing Association chose not to merge, but rather to create an entirely new organization to supersede their organizations, effective Jan. 1, 2022.

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