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United Fresh and PMA FAQ’s

Frequently Asked Questions

As of 3/31/2021

When will the new association begin operation?
Both United Fresh and PMA will continue to operate as independent organizations through 2021.  During this period, the associations will support each other in their ongoing operations, while finalizing plans for the new association. The new association will begin operations January 1, 2022.

PMA & United Fresh have discussed coming together before. Why now?
Members and staffs of both organizations have long recognized the potential synergies that might be achieved by combining our efforts. However, that requires a mutual commitment to the priorities important to both associations, and a blending of organizations that would truly result in greater value to the membership. Our current CEOs Cathy Burns and Tom Stenzel share that commitment, and both Boards have endorsed an Agreement in Principle to form a new association designed to serve today’s global fresh produce and floral industries.

Was this decision made because of COVID-19?
The COVID-19 pandemic has certainly led all businesses to think strategically about their future operations. PMA and United Fresh are no different in that both associations are committed to delivering the greatest possible member value despite the challenges brought by the pandemic. Coming together now is not driven by financial concerns, but by a true desire to maintain and build member value in the future. 

What will the new association be called?
Determining a new name will be part of the branding process we undertake during 2021.

What will this new association offer the industry?
The new association will bring together the strengths and resources of both United Fresh and PMA, while streamlining communication and service to the fresh produce and floral industries. And, importantly, the new association will be better positioned to drive increased produce consumption and floral demand. Valued programs offered by one or the other associations today will continue in the new organization, and new programs will be developed. 

What happens to my membership(s)?
Throughout 2021, you will continue to enjoy the full complement of benefits and services of the associations to which your company currently belongs.  If your membership is paid annually on a calendar year January-December, you will renew your membership in the new association as of January 1, 2022. If your membership renews at a different anniversary date, staff will follow up with you to determine a plan to shift to a calendar year cycle as part of the transition process.

Who will lead the new association?
PMA’s Cathy Burns and United Fresh’s Tom Stenzel will work together through 2021 to build out the new association, and will then serve as co-CEOs through 2022 launching the new organization together.  Following that time, Burns will become sole CEO.  Burns and Stenzel will report to a new Board of Directors that will blend current directors from each association and new directors committed to the success of the new association.  During 2021, Burns and Stenzel will work to create a staff team to lead the new organization, as well as multiple volunteer leadership opportunities.

Who are your new volunteer leaders?  How can I volunteer to serve on a committee?
The new organization will be led by a Board of Directors and multiple volunteer leadership groups. We are committed to including a wide array of industry leaders throughout a broad volunteer leadership structure. As we complete the organizational structure for the new association, we will communicate regularly with you about opportunities to serve. 

I’m not currently a member of either association. Should I wait until the new association is formalized to become a member?
We encourage you to become a member today so you can enjoy the full complement of benefits that United Fresh and PMA have to offer your company. 

What happens to my company’s exhibit space and priority points related to Fresh Summit and the United Fresh Convention & Expo?
The new association will take into consideration past exhibit, sponsorship and membership support as we develop a plan for future conventions & expositions. Specific plans will be forthcoming later in 2021.

What does this mean for the United Fresh Start Foundation?
Both associations are strongly committed to continuing to provide leadership in increasing children’s access to fresh fruits and vegetables in schools and in communities. We also are committed to driving consumption of fresh produce for all consumers as a key to health. The Foundation will continue to operate during the transition process, as we work together to determine the best structure to deliver on this key mission area in the future.

What does this mean for the Center for Growing Talent (CGT)?
Likewise, both associations are strongly committed to attracting and developing talent to help grow and lead the global produce and floral industry. Center for Growing Talent, which also leads our Diversity and Inclusion programs—both of which are priorities for our members, our industry and our associations—will continue to operate during the transition process, as we work together to determine the best structure to deliver on this key mission area in the future.


I have more questions – who can I speak to about this?
Please enter any additional questions here as we will answer new questions on this FAQ page and get back with you personally if required.

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