The Center for Produce Safety (CPS) has announced fourteen new grant awards valued at $2.8 million. The research awards are directed at answering critical questions in specific areas of food safety practices for fruit, vegetable and tree nut production; pre-harvest, harvest and post-harvest handling; and co-management of food safety and the environment. The objective is to provide the produce industry with practical, translatable research data that can be used at all levels of the supply chain.

The broad range of the projects reflects the commitment of CPS's Partners in Research, a cross section of public and private partners. Contributing partners for these projects are: California Department of Food and Agriculture, Oregon Department of Agriculture, Washington State Department of Agriculture, California Cantaloupe Advisory Board, California Leafy Greens Research Program, California Melon Research Board, California Pistachio Research Program, National Mango Board, Washington Tree Fruit Research Commission and the CPS Campaign for Research.

“We’re very encouraged and excited about this round of funded research projects. The research being conducted at CPS is relevant to all points of the supply chain–farmers, shippers, handlers and consumers. The goal for CPS, and our contributing Partners in Research, is to keep fresh produce safe for everyone,” said Stephen Patricio, chairman for the CPS Board of Directors. “I encourage industry stakeholders to continue their support of the Center for Produce Safety research programs.”

One of the new industry partners in the award announcement is the National Mango Board (NMB). Executive Director, NMB, William Watson noted, "The mango industry is grateful to be a partner in food safety with CPS. Their expertise and guidance helped shape a very strong research project that will help the mango industry's commitment to food safety." 

The CPS Technical Committee reviewed 48 proposals this year. The CPS Technical Committee is an advisory group that includes experts from industry, academia, government and non-governmental organizations.  “CPS, its technical committee and partners in research have yet again demonstrated tremendous leadership and truly moved the ball forward on produce food safety. It has selected and funded an outstanding slate of produce safety research that will be impactful and valuable for the entire produce supply chain,” stated Jim Gorney, vice president, Food Safety & Technology, Produce Marketing Association and chair of the CPS Technical Committee.

To date, CPS has funded 100 projects valued at $16.4 million. The awards were made possible by funds provided by partners and contributors to the CPS Campaign for Research.