PMA To Host Food Safety Symposium

Newark, Del. Senior-level produce executives will learn new skills to address the new reality of produce food safety at Produce Marketing Associations (PMA) first 2010 Food Safety Symposium, to be held April 6 at the CHEP Innovation Center in Orlando, Fla. Hosted by CHEP and presented by N2N global, the Orlando symposium marks the fourth in PMAs Food Safety Symposia series that began in 2009.

During the day-long event, which features an engaging, interactive format, PMA experts will translate the latest produce-specific food safety information into strategies that company leaders can understand, communicate and implement across their organizations. Attendance is limited to 50 to ensure a high level of attendee participation.

Even with a food safety plan in place, PMAs symposium helped me look at things in a different view that I think will help me continue to improve on my food safety plan, said Douglas P. Mason, owner of Mason Farms, Williamson, N.Y.

Attendance is mandatory if you want to keep your companys food safety program current and useful, said previous symposium attendee Jim Angelucci, general manager with Phillips Mushroom Farms, Kennett Square, Pa.

Featured speakers at the Orlando event are PMA Chief Science & Technology Officer Dr. Bob Whitaker, PMA Chief Operating Officer and crisis communications expert Lorna Christie, and product liability and foodborne illness litigation specialist Elliot Olsen, Esq. These experts will lead attendees through interactive discussions and scenario planning, to help attendees develop actionable strategies to protect their companies and lead to greater return on investment. Attendees will also have ready access to these food safety leaders and have a chance to interact with their fellow colleagues in attendance during the events networking breakfast and closing happy hour.

It is time for our industry to think differently about food safety, for the health of our customers, our businesses and our industry alike, said Whitaker. These symposia encourage industry executives to understand why food safety is more than a plan on a shelf, the ability to pass an audit or an expense line on a budget. Instead, true food safety requires a new business model to better safeguard public health, as well as your own sustainability.

We dont focus on the science or technical aspects of food safety, instead we focus on how to change your business model, said PMAs Christie, who noted the series is the latest PMA service designed to help members address their food safety needs. This symposia series is specifically designed to help our members address what they are telling us is the most critical issue impacting their businesses today.

CHEP recognizes the value of exchanging ideas and experiences to find solutions to the new food safety reality we all do business under, said CHEP USA Vice President of Sales Tim Smith. We look forward to hosting this Food Safety Symposium, and to sharing a look at our own facility and traceability solutions.

Continuous education sets the foundation for preventing or minimizing future foodborne illness, said Angela Paymard, chairman of N2N global. PMAs Food Safety Symposia are meant for those leaders who ultimately bear the responsibility for the safety of their products, though they dont personally manage the program day-to-day aspects of food safety. A great attendee is a CEO, CFO, security risk officer or vice president who in the event of a recall will have to be prepared to answer tough questions, and understand how to handle the press and manage the situation.

Seating at the Orlando symposium is limited to no more than 50 attendees, and advance registration ends April 1. Visit for event details and to register online. PMA members receive significant discounts on registration fees. Contributors to PMAs Gold Circle: Campaign for Food Safety, which supports PMAs food safety efforts, receive additional registration savings. Nonmembers who join PMA at the same time they register for this event save nearly $600 off the nonmember rate.

Limited opportunities to sponsor this event are available; for more information, contact Dot Siegfried of PMAs business development staff by telephone at +1 (302) 738-1700 or by e-mail at

Source: PMA