PMA and United Fresh members vote to approve merger of organizations
Produce Marketing Association (PMA) and United Fresh Produce Association (United Fresh) members have voted in favor of a historic merger of the two major U.S. produce associations.
The Boards of Directors of the two entities each held a member vote to seek approval to create a single new organization and both associations reported "full confidence" in the initiative that was first announced in March.
The member vote was the final step in approval to dissolve each organization at the end of the year in order to launch the new association Jan 1, 2022.
Current CEOs Cathy Burns of PMA and Tom Stenzel of United Fresh will serve as Co-CEOs for 2022; following that time, Burns will become sole CEO.
“Ever since we broached the subject with our respective boards, we have been encouraged by the industry’s support for the new association,” said United Fresh Chairman, Michael Muzyk.
“We strongly believe that this is the right move for our industry, but our members must share this vision,” Dwight Ferguson, Chairman of PMA said.
PMA and United Fresh have indicated that the next priority will be to create the organization’s new structure focused on best serving the industry’s needs and goals.
Based on the positive member vote, both associations will 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.
“As new partners coming together at year-end, we encourage companies that are members of one or the other associations to begin experiencing the benefits of both,” Stenzel said.
“We strongly encourage members of both organizations to participate in the United Fresh Reimagine Connections event this June, and the PMA Foodservice Conference in July.”
“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.
“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.”
Members can expect an update on the staff team, volunteer leadership structure, and business plans for 2022 in the coming months.