The International Federation for Produce Standards (IFPS) has been granted Observer Status as an international Non-Governmental Organization (NGO) to the Codex Alimentarius Commission, providing the produce industry a focal point for interaction regarding global produce standards with the commission.
The news came shortly after the IFPS held its annual meeting May 24 in Rotterdam, in which Board members reviewed progress over the past year and set work plans for committees addressing Product Identification, Information Management, and Food Safety standards.
During the meeting, immediate past Chairman Hans Maurer, United Fresh New Zealand, and Vice Chairman Oddmund Estebo, Norges Frukt-og Gronnsaksgrossisters Forbund, Norway, were recognized for their past two years of leadership. Elected as the new Chairman of IFPS was Tom Stenzel, United Fresh Produce Association, US; Harrij Schmeitz, Frug I Com, The Netherlands, was elected Vice Chairman.
“IFPS is a very important association in bringing together produce associations from around the world to work collectively on global produce standards,” Stenzel said. “We learn from each other; share our individual views and experiences; and work together to increase the efficiency and reliability of the global produce supply chain,” he said.
Member associations of the IFPS include: Asociacion de Exportadores de Chile, Canadian Horticultural Council, Canadian Produce Marketing Association, Freshfel Europe, Fresh Produce Consortium (UK), Frug I Com (Netherlands), Fruit South Africa, Horticulture Australia Ltd, Norges Frukt-og Gronnsaksgrossisters Forbund (Norway), Produce Marketing Association (US), United Fresh (New Zealand), and United Fresh Produce Association (US).
The IFPS Board discussed work of its four current committees:
• The IFPS Product Identification Committee works to align and facilitate the development of global product identification standards for use and adoption within the global produce industry; the committee is chaired by Ed Treacy, Produce Marketing Association, USA.
• The IFPS Information Management Committee works to facilitate the classification and transactional standards for proper use and adoption within the global produce industry; the committee is chaired by Gerard Lamers, Frug I Com, The Netherlands.
• The IFPS Food Safety Committee works to facilitate a common approach and harmonization of food safety standards with the global industry; the committee is chaired by Heather Gale, Canadian Horticultural Council, Canada.
• The IFPS Communications Committee supports the work of all IFPS committees through dissemination of information on its website, to the media and at industry events; the committee is chaired by Harrij Schmeitz, Frug I Com, The Netherlands.
The IFPS Board also made plans to host its second international forum at the upcoming Fruit Logistica Trade Fair in Berlin in February 2012. IFPS Board representatives will also make presentations at other produce industry events, including Asia Fruit Logistica in September 2011 and PMA Fresh Summit in October 2011.
Prior to the Board meeting, directors participated in tours of the local fruit and vegetable industry, visiting Fruit Wharf in the port of Rotterdam, Albert Heijn, Greenpack, Nature’s Pride, Terra Natura International and Lans.
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