Produce Industry Faces ‘Brain Drain’ With Food Safety Rules Ahead

Looking ahead, Gombas said the biggest obstacle for the industry is fragmentation — the same challenge that has hurt the industry over the last decade.

David Gombas officially retired as senior vice president of food safety and technology for the United Fresh Produce Association as of June 1, but he is staying on until United Fresh names a replacement.
David Gombas officially retired as senior vice president of food safety and technology for the United Fresh Produce Association as of June 1, but he is staying on until United Fresh names a replacement.

David Gombas officially retired as senior vice president of food safety and technology for the United Fresh Produce Association as of June 1, but he is staying on until United Fresh names a replacement.  With food safety regulations already finalized and education, implementation and enforcement staring down the industry, the United Fresh food safety expert vacancy comes at an inopportune time, according to The Packer.

Looking ahead, Gombas said the biggest obstacle for the industry is fragmentation — the same challenge that has hurt the industry over the last decade. Because the industry is fragmented there are too many individual units trying to speak for the industry, he said. As a consequence, FDA or other regulators will “cherry pick” what they want to hear.

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