Produce safety specialist Ian Bessell is Birko’s director of business development of food safety for produce.

Bessell joined the Henderson, Colo.-based Birko on Aug. 28. The hire helps the produce food safety material supplier enter new produce markets, Birko officials said in a news release.

“We’re delighted to have Ian on board at Birko,” Kelly Green, Birko’s owner and chairman of the board, said in the release. “Ian’s extensive background in fruits and vegetables throughout the produce markets will be invaluable as Birko continues expanding its food safety expertise in the produce sector.”

After earning a master’s in agribusiness and a bachelor’s in food and resource economics from the University of Florida in Gainesville, Bessell worked 10 years in sales for Zeigler Bros. Feed.

Produce safety specialist joins BirkoFor three years, he was business development director of produce and seafood for ABC Research Laboratories in Gainesville.

The Wellington, Fla.-based Bessell serves on several produce industry committees including the Washington, D.C.-based United Fresh Produce Association’s food safety and technology council and the Newark, Del.-based Produce Marketing Association’s produce safety, science and technology committee.

He was also a member of the Produce Safety Alliance’s working committee and is a member of the third class of the Florida Fruit & Vegetable Association’s Emerging Leader Development Program.