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Washington State tree fruit growers have pledged $750,000 over five years in support of a food safety research campaign by the Center for Produce Safety .

The new pledge comes from the Washington State Tree Fruit Association for  CPS, a public-private partnership based in Woodland, California.  Begun in 2007, CPS has provided $18.4 million for research.WSTFA LOGO CPS launched a Campaign for Produce Safety in 2015 to raise $20 million in five years; of  $7.45 million raised thus far major gifts  include $1 million each from the Produce Marketing Association and from Taylor Farms.

Here’s the press release issued January 27 by the Washington State Tree Fruit Association:

YAKIMA, WA — The Washington State Tree Fruit Association (WSTFA) today announced a
significant contribution of $750,000 over five years in support of food safety research. This pledge is part of a $20 million capital campaign to support the work of the Center for Produce Safety (CPS), which oversees a coordinated research effort that provides fresh fruit and vegetable producers with the data they need to fill knowledge gaps on produce food safety.

“The Washington State Tree Fruit Association’s contribution to the Campaign for Produce Safety demonstrates our members’ commitment to ensuring that Washington apples, pears and cherries are not only healthy and delicious, but also remain among the safest food choices consumers can make,” said Jon DeVaney, WSTFA President. “Our industry chose to make this investment in research through the Center for Produce Safety because of its strength in developing solutions to food safety questions that are practical, sciencebased, and credible, while using research dollars effectively.”

CPS is a publicprivate partnership that brings together food safety experts in government, academia, and the national produce industry to identify research needs, fund the most promising investigations, and translate the results into realworld solutions. In the seven years since it was established, CPS has awarded $16.4 million to support one hundred different research projects. The current capital campaign will enable CPS to greatly expand the number of critical research projects it is able to support.

The WSTFA is a voluntary, nonprofit industry association representing the growers, packers, and marketers of tree fruit in Washington state. WSTFA’s mission is to add value to all segments of the tree fruit industry through educational programs and conferences, statistics to enable growers and packers to plan for market opportunities, and engagement in Washington State government affairs to help address the market uncertainty driven by government policy.

Here’s a statement issued by CPS:

WOODLAND, Calif. – The Center for Produce Safety (CPS) today announced it has received a $750,000 commitment from Washington State Tree Fruit Association (WSTFA), the trade group representing all segments of the tree fruit industry in the state of Washington. The pledge is part of the Campaign for Produce Safety, a major fundraising initiative publicly launched in September 2015 designed to secure $20 million over the next five years to fund critically needed, actionable produce safety research.
“The Washington State Tree Fruit Association’s contribution to the Campaign for Produce Safety demonstrates our members’ commitment to ensuring that Washington apples, pears and cherries are not only healthy and delicious, but also remain among the safest food choices consumers can make,” said Jon DeVaney, WSTFA President. “Our industry chose to make this investment in research through the Center for Produce Safety because of its strength in developing solutions to food safety questions that are practical and science-based while using research dollars effectively.”
Since its inception in 2007, the Center for Produce Safety has provided $18.4 million to fund produce safety research. The Campaign for Produce Safety aims to expand this vital work to close knowledge gaps with science-based research and enhance produce safety in the United States and worldwide. Total contributions to date are $7,452,000. Expect to hear of additional contributors in the following weeks.
“Washington State Tree Fruit Association, along with all campaign contributors, recognizes that CPS is the only organization where the produce supply and demand chain works collaboratively with the regulatory, research, and academic community to identify research needs, conduct research and translate findings into science based implementable solutions and guidance from field to fork,” said Stephen Patricio, CPS’s chairman who also heads the Campaign for Produce Safety and is president and CEO of Firebaugh, Calif.-based Westside Produce. “We commend the Washington State Tree Fruit Association for its leadership and foresight, and we encourage others to join us in supporting CPS to make produce safer.”
The following are Campaign for Produce Safety contributors as of January 25, 2016. To contribute and join these industry leaders, contact Bonnie Fernandez-Fenaroli, CPS executive director, at 530-554-9706 or email bonnie@centerforproducesafety.org.
Contribution of 1,000,000+
Produce Marketing Association*
Taylor Farms*
Contribution of $500,000 – $999,999
Washington State Tree Fruit Association
California Fresh Fruit Association
Dole
Contribution of $250,000 – $499,999
Agricola El Toro
California Melon Research Board* /  California Cantaloupe Advisory Board*
Georgia Pacific*
Sysco
Tanimura & Antle*
The Wonderful Company
Contribution of $100,000 – $249,999
GreenGate Fresh
JV Smith Companies*
Lipman Produce
Pacific International Marketing
Western Precooling Systems
Church Brothers/True Leaf Farms
Florida Fruit & Vegetable Association
International Paper*
Castellini Group of Companies*
Driscoll’s*
Florida Tomato Committee”
Freshway Foods
McEntire Produce, Inc.
The Oppenheimer Group
organicgirl
Contribution up to $99,999
Sunview Marketing International*
H-E-B*
Martori Farms
Mission Produce, Inc.
Loblaw Companies Limited
California Pear Advisory Board
California Tomato Farmers
Georgia Fruit and Vegetable Growers Association
Monsanto Company*
Pasquinelli Produce Company
Rice Fruit Company
The companies and organizations distinguished by an asterisk have given not only to the CPS Campaign for Produce Safety, but also to past CPS fundraising efforts.
CPS, a non-profit foundation, is focused exclusively on providing the produce industry and government with open access to science-based information needed to continually enhance produce safety.