(June 19) The Center for Produce Safety at the University of California-Davis expects to have an executive director by mid-September.

More than three dozen industry leaders, association representatives, government regulators and academics met June 12 at UC-Davis to discuss the future of the center, established April 11 to serve as a clearinghouse for research information, a funding source for research and as a focal point for training and outreach.

Bryan Silbermann, president of the Newark, Del.-based Produce Marketing Association, said the meeting produced a target date of July 30 for appointing an advisory board. Silbermann said it was unclear how many board members will be chosen, but added that likely would be less than two dozen.

“We’re working on a list now,” he said June 18.

Silbermann said leaders hope to select board members who represent several segments of the produce industry as well as representatives from state and federal regulatory agencies, consumer groups and key associations. He said the majority of board members likely will be U.S.-based, but he added that the board should have companies with international operations and that international associations also could be included.

The center was launched in April with pledges of more than $5 million, led by $2 million each from PMA and Taylor Farms LLC, Salinas, Calif. Silbermann said additional fundraising is on hold.