Research center liaison benefits MSQ

Bonnie Fernandez-Fenaroli of the CPS

 One of the key initiatives for our current U.S. program is affiliation with key food safety industry groups.   In fact, that was a key recommendation from our MCS Ambassadors at our last meeting in May (see post below).   

Premier among these groups is the Center for Produce Safety (CPS) at the University of California, Davis, CA.  Founded in 2006 after the California spinach outbreak, this non-profit sponsored by the Produce Marketing Assn. (PMA), with the support of a generous grant from Taylor Farms, is totally focused on the science arena.   In fact, this multi-agency collaboration (similar to MSQ) involving the University, the California Dept. of Food & Agriculture and others, does not concern itself with legislation or any other political activity.  

Next week the group is hosting its annual conference slated to feature several industry leaders presenting the latest produce safety research, with more than 250 professionals expected to attend (MSQ is a sponsor.  Read more about this event at Registration is still open as of this writing.)  

In an interview with Bonnie Fernandez-Fenaroli, executive director for the CPS the past three years, she explained:  “We are not a political organization.  Our priority is supporting much-needed research in food safety by partnering with key grower organizations and other experts.”   

In fact, Ms. Fenaroli — who  has extensive commodity experience after heading the California Wheat Commission for over 20 years — says one of their key goals is building an extensive database of global food safety personnel:  one that association participants and supporters can access to their benefit.   

The organization is international in scope, and is now currently funding crop research in Israel. . .and hopes to do projects in Mexico soon.  Ms. Fenaroli sees MSQ support and participation with them as a win-win, noting:  

 “We’re pleased MSQ is interested in associating with us.  As major producers and exporters, Mexican growers interested in researching subjects where there is gap in knowledge are invited to meet with us and request a custom project.”  

MSQ is now a Gold Level member/sponsor of the PMA and plans to be increasingly involved in these types of organizations and activities.  Clearly, these liaisons not only help spread our message, but also ensure our certified grower members and retailer partners have access to the best minds in food safety today.


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