Bayer CropScience LP believes strongly in its commitment to protecting tomorrow today through its sustainability efforts. John Smith, director of the Horticulture Region for Bayer CropScience, has presented Tom Lovelace, United Fresh Produce Association (UFPA) chairman, with a $1.1 million endowment over the next four years to create the Center for Global Produce Sustainability during the opening session of the 2009 United Fresh Conference.
The Center for Global Produce Sustainability will bring a strong focus to helping growers and food-chain partners to proactively shape and influence the numerous developments driving enhanced sustainability in the produce supply chain.
The Center will be housed within the United Fresh Research and Education Foundation. An advisory board consisting of leaders from across the fruit and vegetable production chain and allied partners will be appointed to provide leadership and direction to its efforts.
"UFPA is honored to collaborate with Bayer CropScience on the Center for Global Produce Sustainability," said Tom Lovelace, UFPA chairman.
He adds, "Today there is a growing commitment to sustainability throughout our industry, but many different needs for education and guidance along the supply chain. This Center will allow us to strengthen the voice of our members from growers through the entire food chain to retail and foodservice, and ensure that future programs meet their needs."
In the coming year, the Center will enhance its strategic work with allied partners in the areas of sustainability, focus on implementing its advisory board, developing a strategic vision on how it can best serve the fresh produce supply chain, creating and publicizing the Center's goals and strategic views on sustainability, outreach to key stakeholders, development of a website to exchange information and conducting a baseline survey of needs in the industry.
Building on Year One, Year Two will focus on the development of innovation initiatives that bring sustainable benefits to the grower and supply chain partner.
"We all play a large role in the production of food and by working even more collaboratively we can improve the sustainability and viability of our tremendously productive farming operations while protecting our world for future generations," said Smith in his closing comments. "We have the power to make a difference."
More information on the Center will be shared in the future. To learn more about this initiative, visit www.bayercropscienceus.com.