See related story: PMA, United Fresh talk merger.

PMA, United Fresh merger talks continueUnited Fresh Produce Association and Produce Marketing Association board members haven’t set a merger between the two groups in motion, but they haven’t cut off talks, either.

The boards of directors of the two groups again discussed the possibility of a merger June 4, during a conference call that coincided with a PMA board meeting in Sonoma, Calif.

Mike O’Brien, immediate past PMA chairman and vice president of produce and floral for Schnuck Markets Inc., St. Louis, said “talks are continuing” in an e-mail.

He declined to comment further. O’Brien and Steffanie Smith, former chief executive officer of River Point Farms, Hermiston, Ore., and immediate past chairwoman of United Fresh, lead a 12-member task force that has been studying the possibility of a merger. Smith did not comment on the outcome of the call, and the associations did not release a statement.

Several board members declined to comment about the confernece call. One participant in the call, speaking on anonymity, suggested that if any statement would be released, it will be general and indicate progress is being made.