U.S – In order to bolster its support team and improve food safety in the produce sector, the newly formed International Fresh Produce Association (IFPA), has tapped Gretchen Wall as its Director, Food Safety and Quality, and promoted Dr. Emily Griep to Vice President, Regulatory Compliance and Global Food Safety Standards.

IFPA is the global trade association representing the fresh produce and floral supply chains. It is a new association formed under the leadership of the two previous fresh produce and floral associations, United Fresh Produce Association and Produce Marketing Association.

The two organizations reached an agreement to join forces in March 2021 to create a new global trade association for the produce industry.

Launched on January 1, 2022, IFPA will continue the legacy of the two organizations, providing extensive training and professional development opportunities for members wanting to expand or fortify their produce safety knowledge.

The appointment of Wall and the promotion of Griep will provide IFPA with a strong foundation of produce safety support for the industry, according to a release. These leaders will build on the organization’s already expanded scope of services for industry members such as its inaugural Virtual Town Hall held on January 5, which focused on produce quality, and the upcoming session on February 9

“I’ve spent the past 10 years helping growers understand and apply the regulations and practices that govern produce safety. My earlier experiences with cold chain and quality issues will allow me to give holistic support to members who often manage food safety and quality,” said Wall, who joins IFPA from the Cornell University-based Produce Safety Alliance.

Prior to stepping into her new role, Griep served as Manager, Food Safety, for the United Fresh Produce Association. Now, she will use her experience, alongside that of Wall, to help IFPA continue to serve as a resource on food safety for its members and the industry as a whole, including regulatory partners, policy makers, and members of the media.

“My doctoral work focused on food safety in global markets, and I am excited to use these experiences to support the breadth of the IFPA membership. Consumers everywhere deserve to eat safe produce, and I look forward to supporting globally harmonized, science-based, practical produce safety standards,” said Dr. Griep regarding her promotion.

As stated by Dr. Jennifer McEntire, Chief Food Safety and Regulatory Officer, the launch of IFPA gave them an opportunity to reflect on the current status and anticipate the future needs of the global produce supply chain.

“The industry continues to put tremendous resources toward produce safety, and as the industry association, our team will provide expanded resources to help IFPA members stay on top of new knowledge and requirements related to produce safety,” she said.

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