The U.S.-Mexico Food Safety Symposium has been added as a new feature to the 2014 America Trades Produce Conference.

The symposium, a collaboration between the Fresh Produce Association of the Americas and the Davis, Calif.-based Center for Produce Safety, is scheduled for 2-5:30 p.m. March 12, the day before the America Trades Produce Conference. Registration for the event is separate from the main conference, according to a news release from the FPAA.

The food safety event will highlight how importers and growers can help ensure a safe food supply, according to the release.

The new food safety component is a way to acknowledge the bigger role of food safety in Mexican produce and for companies to engage in the process, Alejandro Canelos, chairman of FPAA and director of Nogales-based Apache Produce, said in the release.

Bonnie Fernandez-Fenaroli, executive director of the Center for Produce Safety, will direct a session during the symposium that will look at how companies can use resources to cut the risk of foodborne illness, according to the release.

“CPS is honored to partner with the Fresh Produce Association of the Americas to tailor a program specific to the interests of the FPAA membership,” Fernandez-Fenaroli said in the release. “This forum is designed for participants to learn directly from those who have built food safety cultures in their companies and to identify resources available to support strong food safety programs.”

Additional topics at the U.S. Mexico Food Safety Symposium include:


  • “Leading Food Safety From the Top: Establishing a food safety culture within your company, starting at the CEO level;”
  • “The Food Safety Data Build — Constructing a Body of Knowledge to Reduce the Risk of Foodborne Illness;” and
  • Center for Produce Safety Partners in Research Program.


Mike Taylor, deputy commissioner of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, is a speaker during the America Trades Produce Conference, according to the release. Taylor will join invited speaker Hugo Fragoso, director general of Food Safety for Foods, Livestock and Fisheries at SENASICA, Mexico’s version of the FDA, in a March 13 seminar called “Mexico and the US: Partnering for Food Safety.”

“The collaboration and creativity in the 2014 program development has been outstanding,” Lance Jungmeyer, president of the Fresh Produce Association of the Americas, said in the release. “Bringing top government food safety officials from Mexico and the United States into the same space as growers and importers, along with a major research institution like the Center for Produce Safety, shows the supply chain’s dedication to food safety.”