A group of retail and foodservice buyers will address food safety for smaller growers at the United Fresh Produce Associationâs Washington Public Policy Conference.
A Sept. 15 session, âThe Role of Buyers in Assuring Small Farm Food Safety,â will explore the role retailers and foodservice companies play in assuring small operations and seasonal farms meet the same food safety and quality standards required of large commercial growers.
The panel, to be moderated by Mitch Smith, director of U.S. quality systems, agricultural products for McDonaldâs USA, Oakbrook, Ill., includes Kent Killebrew, quality assurance manager for Ahold USAâs corporate brandsâ fresh products operation; Hal King, senior manager of food and product safety at Chick-fil-A Inc., Atlanta; New Jersey Assistant Secretary of Agriculture Al Murray; and Michael Jantschke, director of food safety for Pro*Act, Monterey, Calif.
âMore than ever, todayâs retailers and foodservice operators rely on a wide variety of sources large and small for a constant, year-round supply of fresh produce,â Tom Stenzel, United Freshâs president and chief executive officer, said in a news release. âThis session is designed to help those buyers better understand how to assure that their product is safe, no matter its source.â
Other speakers at the conference include U.S. Department of Agriculture Deputy Secretary Kathleen Merrigan, Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.), House Minority Leader John Boehner (R-Ohio) and political strategist Frank Luntz.
During the conferenceâs yearly March on Capitol Hill, the conference gives produce industry leaders time to personally meet lawmakers and their staffs, discuss food safety policies with Food and Drug Administration officials, listen to cabinet officials and talk with President Obamaâs executive staff.