(May 4) The Produce for Better Health Foundation executive committee has provided guidance for future cross-branding possibilities.

The direction, from PBH president Elizabeth Pivonka, was given in the wake of objections by some board members over the group’s decision in late April to pull back from what was in March called a strategic alliance between PBH and Imagination Farms, the Indianapolis-based licenser of Disney-branded fruits and vegetables.

The agreement would have allowed the use of Disney characters on the PBH Web site. PBH later withdrew from the agreement when some board members said the characters shouldn’t be used on the Web site if all marketers didn’t have access to the characters in their marketing efforts.

The new policy, as approved by the PBH executive committee May 1, reads:

“PBH will continue to aggressively encourage industry members and others to use the Fruits & Veggies — More Matters brand logo and messages in their marketing efforts following PBH approval (as agreed upon in the Fruits & Veggies — More Matters brand licensing agreement.) PBH will not use brand images (e.g. logos, characters) of other food or marketing entities exclusively aligned with individual food companies in PBH materials (e.g. printed materials, websites, etc) if use of the brand precludes any PBH licensee in good standing from benefiting through the marketing of said brand. Use of said brand in PBH materials to show that the company has provided a contribution to support PBH activities (e.g. in-kind, cash, sponsorship, or advertisement) is acceptable. When the situation is not clear-cut or obvious, it will be brought to the executive committee for review. When confidentiality is a high priority, PBH officers may review the situation first to determine if it should be brought to the full executive committee.”

Pivonka noted that the guidance prevents an unfair competitive advantage to some at the expense of others, while still allowing for collaborations that benefit our collective effort to increase fruit and vegetable consumption.