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CEO DATELINE – Produce groups hold member vote to merge

May 13, 2021

Members of the Produce Marketing Association and United Fresh Produce Association voted this week to approve the groups’ plan to launch a single new organization representing the global produce and floral supply chains, according to a statement.

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The member vote was the final step in the approval process to dissolve both organizations at the end of the year and launch a new one on Jan. 1.

PMA and United Fresh announced their plans to merge on March 31. They will operate independently through this year and will retain PMA’s offices in Newark, Del., and United Fresh’s offices in Washington, D.C. PMA reported $28M in revenue in its Dec. 31, 2019 tax filing. United Fresh reported $10M in revenue in its June 30, 2018 tax filing.

Both associations now honor the membership status of the other organization when registering for events and programs; United Fresh members can receive the PMA member rate when registering for PMA events and vice versa.

PMA CEO Cathy Burns and United Fresh CEO Tom Stenzel will be co-CEOs of the new group through 2022. After that, Burns will become sole CEO.

“Both Tom and I are thrilled with the overwhelming support from members of both associations regarding the new organization we’ll launch together next year,” Burns said in the statement.

“We’re excited that our members will immediately be able to experience how we are ‘Better Together’ as we look to provide even greater value and leverage an even stronger voice on the issues our members and our industry care most about,” Burns continued.

In the coming months, PMA and United Fresh plan to create the organization’s new structure for staff and volunteer leadership, along with business plans. The merged organization will produce a single trade show instead of running separate events as they do now.

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