NOGALES, Ariz. — The Fresh Produce Association of the Americas, Nogales, donated $50,000 to the Center for Produce Safety March 12 to help fund research.

Lance Jungmeyer, FPAA president, said the board decided on the contribution to show appreciation and support for the center’s work.

“So far to date, Mexican groups or the industries representing them, haven’t really been that engaged with the CPS, and we felt this will be the first step to increasing that process,” he said.

Jungmeyer said he hoped that in the future Mexican researchers could possibly submit proposals to the center for funding consideration.

Bonnie Fernandez-Fenaroli, executive of the Davis, Calif.-based center, said she was overwhelmed by the size of the donation.

She had talked to Jungmeyer a couple months ago about FPAA possibly making a financial contribution. But Fernandez-Fenaroli said she had no idea about the amount until last week.

“It was a pleasant, pleasant surprise,” she said. “The vote of confidence was overwhelming.”

The nonprofit center funds research related to produce safety. To be considered, projects must be completed within two years and be applied research that can be implemented by field or packing operations.