May 13, 2021
United Fresh, PMA members vote to go ahead with merger

Produce Marketing Association (PMA) and United Fresh Produce Association (United Fresh) held a member vote recently to seek approval to move forward in creating a single new organization representing the global produce and floral communities.

Each organization solicited votes from their members, and both organizations reported full confidence in the initiative.

The member vote was the final step in approval to dissolve each organization at end of year in order to incorporate a new association launching Jan. 1, 2022. As previously announced, the organization will represent the entire global produce and floral supply chains, with current CEOs Cathy Burns and Tom Stenzel serving as co-CEOs for 2022. Following that time, 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 of Baldor Specialty Foods and United Fresh chairman.

“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 of 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.”

PMA and United Fresh have indicated that the next priority will be to create the organization’s new structure focused on best serving the industry’s needs and goals. Members can expect an update on the staff team, volunteer leadership structure, and business plans for 2022 in the coming months.

Based on the positive member vote, both associations will now honor the membership status of the other organization when 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 & 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.”

“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.”

PMA and United Fresh will continue to provide updates to the members of both associations as information becomes available.

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