Center for Produce Safety Receives $500K in Funding From Fresh Express; John P. Olivo and John Gurrisi Discuss
WOODLAND, CA - Food safety is a concept near and dear to the produce industry, so much so that we have our own association dedicated to it. The Center for Produce Safety (CPS) recently received new funding, as Fresh Express has contributed $500,000 to its current capital campaign. Fresh Express President John P. Olivo urges other produce members to join the cause.
“Food protection excellence is embedded as an essential value throughout the entire Fresh Express network and family of employees and partners,” Olivo said. “Everything we do is dedicated first and foremost to ensuring that our products are safe, and that the trust consumers place in us to deliver highest quality, food-safe products is earned—each and every day.”
According to a press release, contributing to food safety advancement is one of Fresh Express’ foundational commitments as it aims to further CPS’ mission to fund science, find solutions, and fuel change.
The 2006 fresh spinach foodborne-illness outbreak was reportedly a turning point, leading the company to invest in peer-reviewed research to learn more about foodborne pathogens and possible root causes of leafy greens contamination.
“Those projects yielded some eye-opening results, and reinforced the absolute necessity for shared food safety research to protect public health,” Fresh Express Vice President, Food Safety and Quality John Gurrisi said. “Fresh Express donated its first $500,000 to CPS in 2015 to fund continuing research efforts and is why Fresh Express has made another priority contribution now to help fund CPS’s current important work.”
This $500,000 contribution will help finance the center’s work for five years. Learnings will be shared with industry, government, public health, and other produce safety stakeholders through a range of knowledge transfer tools. Over the years, dozens of organizations from across the supply chain have contributed $8.2 million to the campaign. Since its founding in 2007, CPS has invested $36 million in 211 research projects.
“The fresh produce industry must unify around food safety. We all need to drive together toward common food safety goals, rather than individually or competitively,” Olivo said. “That’s what will ensure the greatest protection for consumers, and ultimately, lead to the greatest success for everyone.”
He continued, stating, “It is imperative that the fresh produce industry continually advance mitigation strategies that are grounded in science to safeguard the fresh produce supply and to protect public health. From its inception, CPS has been fulfilling its critical produce-centric role with rigorous research, integrity, and transparency. Never rest.”
We applaud Fresh Express on this monumental contribution. For more industry news, you know where to find us.