U.S.: PMA-United Fresh merger talks fall through

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U.S.: PMA-United Fresh merger talks fall through

Merger talks between the Produce Marketing Association (PMA) and United Fresh Produce Association (UFPA) have ended with both parties unable to agree on how the joint model would work.

The PMA's Mike O'Brien has been a co-chair of the task force for the last 18 months, and said the decision was made with "profound disappointment" despite the best efforts to find a model that would meet both member and industry needs.

"We engaged leading experts in association mergers to ensure that we took every step possible to advance the interests of our members across the global supply chain while reducing duplication and costs," he said.

"Those experts guided us through a disciplined legal due diligence process and comprehensive financial modeling to assess both the opportunities and challenges of a merger.

"Let me assure you that our duty to represent our members' best interests was first and foremost in our minds at every stage of this process."

A joint statement released by the United Fresh Produce Association (UFPA)'s chairman David Krause and chairman-elect Ron Midyett, also lamented the result.

"Based on input from many of our members, the United Fresh Board of Directors formed a task force last year to meet with PMA representatives to evaluate the potential of a single, unified association to serve our members and the industry overall," the statement said.

"From the very start, we’ve been steadfastly committed to acting only in the best interest of member companies and the entire produce industry, without predetermined constraints on programs, executive leadership or staff.

"We are disappointed that in the end, PMA’s current leadership did not agree with what we believe was a very fair, member-oriented plan that could have blended the goals and priorities of both associations. Without that commitment from our friends at PMA, the United Board could simply not abandon the principles that have guided our association for more than a century."

Despite the setback both associations were positive about their respective futures.


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