(March 20, 11:06 a.m.) Three new food safety leaders for the produce industry will take part in a panel discussion at Newark, Del.-based Produce Marketing Association’s Consumer Trends ‘08: A Produce Solutions Conference.

Bonnie Fernandez, executive director of the Center for Produce Safety at the University of California-Davis, Robert Whitaker, the PMA’s chief scientific officer as of April 1, and Scott Horsfall, chief executive officer of the California Leafy Green Products Handler Marketing Agreement, Sacramento, will discuss food safety issues during the conference, according to a news release.

“Food safety is featured so prominently on consumer trends because it is top of mind these days with buyers, customers and our state and federal regulators,” said Tim York, president of Markon Cooperative Inc., Salinas, Calif., in the release.

York is scheduled to moderate the conference’s food safety panel on April 4.

The conference will run April 3-5 in Newport Beach, Calif.