Produce association launches transportation task force

| Friday, September 02, 2005

The Produce Marketing Association, a trade association representing more than 2,100 companies connected with the produce industry, has formed a Transportation Task Force aimed at tackling some of the transportation issues facing the produce industry.

The task force was formed following a focus group survey that the association conducted on Aug. 4. The focus group singled out some of the more serious issues facing the industry, including driver shortages, the reluctance of many drivers to carry produce, government regulations and the need for more efficient distribution patterns.

Steve Barnard, chairman of the PMA Executive Committee and president of Mission Produce Inc., Oxnard, CA, said in a news release that the first order of business for the task force will be to analyze those issues raised by the focus group.

“Those concerns have been reinforced by discussions in board meetings and were echoed by the focus group participants,” he said.

Bryan Silbermann, president of the PMA, said that the focus groups provided “a reality check for the produce industry.”

“While we recognize that PMA can’t solve some of the transportation issues like rising fuel costs, the Executive committee felt strongly that PMA can play a leadership role in finding solutions to many of the issues discussed."

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