The entire fruit and vegetable industry shares the responsibility of providing customers with healthy and safe food and recent young professional award demonstrates the importance fresh produce safety has in the industry.

The Australian Institute for Agricultural Science and Technology (AIAST) awarded the 2013 Young Professional in Agricultural Industry Award to Erika Watson, Fresh Produce Safety Project Officer at the University of Sydney. 

In this role, Erika has been working towards the establishment a Fresh Produce Safety Centre, which will be dedicated to improving food safety for the fresh fruit and vegetable industries.

FPS A&NZ is a collaborative project funded by PMA A-NZ and the University of Sydney with matched funds from the government through HAL, and has been maintaining momentum towards this goal.

Outcomes have included a national forum with guest speakers from The Center for Produce Safety, UC Davis and PMA US, outreach activities such as the launch of the FPS A&NZ website, the monthly newsletter, an industry survey, and presentations at the Freshcare workshop, identifying research priorities and a call for research proposals and finally the inaugural Food Safety Hub at PMA Fresh Connections where delegates can find out more about the proposed Fresh Produce Safety Centre.

To read the full story about Erika and the AIAST award, click here.